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Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure aimed at reducing the size and volume of the breasts while also improving their shape and proportion to the body. This procedure is commonly sought by individuals who experience physical discomfort, such as neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, or skin irritation, due to the weight and size of their breasts. Breast reduction surgery can also alleviate psychological distress associated with overly large breasts and improve self-confidence and body image.

Here’s an overview of the breast reduction procedure:

  1. Consultation: The process typically begins with a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. During this consultation, the surgeon will evaluate the patient’s breast size, shape, and symmetry, discuss their goals and concerns, and assess their overall health and medical history. The surgeon will also explain the surgical technique, potential risks and complications, and expected outcomes.
  2. Anesthesia: Breast reduction surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia, although local anesthesia with sedation may be an option in some cases.
  3. Incisions: The surgeon will make incisions on the breasts, typically following a predetermined pattern depending on the patient’s anatomy and the desired outcome. Common incision patterns include the anchor-shaped incision (around the areola, vertically down the breast, and horizontally along the breast crease) and the vertical or lollipop incision (around the areola and vertically down the breast).
  4. Tissue Removal and Reshaping: Once the incisions are made, the surgeon will remove excess breast tissue, fat, and skin. The remaining breast tissue is then reshaped and lifted to achieve a more proportionate and youthful contour. The nipple and areola complex may also be repositioned to a higher, more natural position on the breast mound.
  5. Closure: The incisions are closed with sutures, and dressings or surgical tape may be applied to support the breasts and promote healing.
  6. Recovery: After breast reduction surgery, patients can expect some swelling, bruising, and discomfort, which can be managed with pain medication and cold compresses. Most patients can resume light activities within a week but should avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for several weeks. It’s essential to follow the surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully to promote healing and minimize the risk of complications.
  7. Results: Over time, swelling will subside, and the final results of the breast reduction will become apparent. The breasts will be smaller, firmer, and more proportionate to the body, with improved symmetry and contour.

Breast reduction surgery can have significant physical and emotional benefits for individuals with overly large breasts. However, like any surgical procedure, it carries potential risks and complications, including infection, bleeding, changes in nipple sensation, scarring, and asymmetry.