Breast reduction surgery has become a standard and popular procedure, so you probably know someone who has undergone it. Several reasons may lead to breast reduction surgery, but the most common cause is not cosmetic. Most of the time, it’s about health, especially if you have chronic pain in your neck, back, or shoulders. A woman’s breasts weight can bend her over, causing spinal and cranial injuries because she would be bent over. Then there is also the psychological reason, as many women prefer to avoid unwanted attention.
As a major procedure, you should understand what will happen, the potential complications, and expect afterward. The satisfaction rates of women informed more about their procedures before their appointments tend to be higher. It would be best to learn all you can learn about surgery before you decide to undergo it. So here are all things about breast reduction surgery that you should know.
What Is Breast Reduction?
Breast reduction operation reduces the size of your breasts by removing extra fat, skin, and tissue. A breast reduction surgery may be an option for you if your breasts are large and out of proportion to your body. You may also suffer from neck pain, back pain, or other symptoms. Breast reduction is generally a very satisfying procedure for most women. It can also occur in men suffering from conditions such as gynecomastia, in which the breasts are abnormally large.
How Breast Reduction Surgery Performs?
Depending on your case, you may or may not need to stay in the hospital for at least one night after your breast reduction surgery. During the procedure, you will be put to sleep, as general anesthesia is used. It will take two to five hours, sometimes longer, to perform breast reduction surgery. According to the shape and size of breasts, the amount of tissue that needs to be removed, and desired results, your surgeon might use one of the following methods:
Anchor Method or Inverted-T
By performing this procedure, the surgeon will make several cuts around the lightly pigmented area around each nipple, from there to the boundary between the chest and the breast and beneath the breasts. For larger breast reductions or people with sagging or unevenness, this type of surgery is most beneficial.
Lollipop Method or Vertical.
Surgery is performed around your areola and into the crease underneath your breast, removing excess tissue and fat, reshaping, and lifting the breast. Sagging breasts and moderate breast reductions are best treated with this technique.
In the surgical procedure, your surgeon will make a few small incisions on your skin and insert a thin tube attached to a vacuum, which will remove fat and fluids from your breast. Generally, this method is recommended for small reductions in size and people whose skin can heal back into place.
How to Recover from Breast Reduction Surgery?
Time and attention are required for a successful recovery following breast reduction. Your recovery is greatly influenced by your role, before and particularly in the days, weeks, and months following surgery.
Preparing for Recovery Before the Breast Reduction Surgery
To heal faster after the breast reduction surgery, you have to be in good physical condition, and it’s essential to ask about it from your surgeon. Apart from your surgeon’s instructions, it’s best to prepare your home and what you may need during recovery time.
These items may include loose and comfortable shirts, clean cloths and towels and sterile gauze, lots of ice, any creams and ointments recommended by your doctor for healing incisions and scarring. Your work and other obligations should have been put on hold during the first couple of weeks, so you can rest and recover.
Recovery in the First Day After Breast Reduction
In most cases, you will begin your recovery at home the day after your breast reduction surgery. The effect of anesthesia will wear off after an hour or two. The nurses are there to make sure you are as comfortable as possible as you slowly wake up.
Upon being alert enough, you will receive instructions for recovery at home. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them. If you have arranged for someone to pick you up, you will be discharged to their care.
A post-operative bra is likely to be worn after surgery, while you will have bandages covering the incisions. Even though your breasts are a bit swollen, you’ll notice they’re smaller. On the first day, your incisions will probably be covered in gauze, so you won’t even see them. The healing process will begin under that gauze. Your job is to rest so that this can happen.
Recovery in the First Week After Breast Reduction
During the first week after surgery, you may experience some pain. Pain levels vary among patients, but most are pleasantly surprised when they realize that the pain is less than expected. It is more common for patients to complain of tightness than severe pain.
At the same time, it is essential to make sure that you do not let the pain take over, especially in the first few days after the procedure. Be sure to take your pain medications as prescribed, as they may take some time to take effect.
Even though you should rest and take precautions, it is vital not to confine yourself to bed for the first week. You should gradually return to normal self-care activities and engage in gentle exercise during your recovery.
Don’t take the opportunity to start smoking again after you have stopped before surgery. The healing process can be hindered by smoking. Depending on your job requirements, you’ll probably be cleared by your surgeon to return to work in a week or two, and you’ll be able to drive several days later.
Recovery in the First Month After Breast Reduction
In this first month, you will be able to feel yourself again; your wounds will heal, and your incisions will disappear. After a breast reduction procedure, you’ll also notice that your neck and shoulder pain will decrease, your clothes will fit better, and your mobility will improve. Breast reductions have various benefits, depending on your reasons for having one.
In the month following surgery, your body works hard to heal and repair itself. Wear looser clothing and avoid tight-fitting clothes until your incision sites have healed. Although it may be tempting to wear tight clothing you could not wear before, wear soft undergarments and loose clothes that won’t interfere with the healing process.
It’s important not to embark on the full activity until you’re well enough to do so. When in doubt, ask whether something is too extreme. You may be able to begin light exercise near the end of the month if your doctor allows you to do so. Following 6 to 10 weeks, you may be cleared to exercise. You’ll be doing things that you would never have dreamed of doing within six months.
Risks and Complications of Breast Reduction
Breast reduction surgery leaves scars as an average side effect. It may take time for these scars to fade, but they will never completely disappear. After a surgical procedure, you may experience discomfort when lifting heavy objects.
There are several other common problems after breast reduction surgery like anesthesia side effects (side effects from the sleeping tablets) for few days, loss of sensation in breasts and nipples, which could last for a short time or for a long time, bleeding, clotting, visible swelling and bruising on the breasts, as well as damage to the nerves, blood vessels, and other parts of breasts. Apart from these, you may face the need for more surgery. A graft may be required in scarce instances, like when the nipple area fails to heal correctly.
If you notice any signs or symptoms of infection, including redness, tenderness, swelling, or fever, If you have pus coming from the incision site or any unusual discharge, and if any stitches fall out before their scheduled removal, you should contact your physician as soon as possible.