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Breast Reduction

Underlying Problem Requiring a Breast Reduction:
Breast reduction surgery is also called "mammoplasy" and is performed on an outpatient basis. It is typically performed on women with exceptionally large breasts. Because of the weight of the breasts, these people can experience chronic head, back, neck, and shoulder pain. The weight can also cause extreme discomfort from bra straps that dig into or rub the skin of the shoulders. Circulation and respiration problems can also occur. In addition to the physical discomfort of such large breasts, some individuals suffer from emotional distress over the situation, as well. It is not even unheard of for men to seek this surgery if they have a condition called gynecomastia.

Doctors and patients work together long before surgery to determine how best to proceed. At this time, they will choose a procedure and will discuss how nipples will be placed during the actual operation. The patient will usually undergo general anesthesia. Most doctors will utilize either the inferior pedicle technique or the vertical scar technique, although a third procedure that requires liposuction only is also gaining in popularity.

To perform the inferior pedicle technique, doctors will create an incision that encircles the areola and extends downward along the breast. Another cut runs along the bottom of the breast and intersects this first incision. At this point, skin, fat, and glandular tissue are removed, and the nipple and areola are relocated to a higher position. The vertical scar technique does not include the horizontal incision under the breast. Generally speaking, the results of the vertical scar technique tend to look more natural, although the inferior pedicle technique may be the best option for those with exceptionally large breasts.

Either procedure may use liposuction to remove some of the fat from the breast interior. In some instances, only liposuction is needed. This is often the case for men, as well as for women whose breasts are on the smaller end of those still requiring a breast reduction. This procedure will have fewer risks and will have a faster recovery time.

Recovery from a Breast Reduction:
While most breast reduction patients are extremely happy with their results, there is a recovery period to consider. The different options will require varying degrees of physical restriction and recovery time. There is also a potential for scarring, asymmetrical breasts, loss of nipple sensation, fluid retention, and other undesirable outcomes. Breast reduction surgery may not be encouraged for women who plan to breastfeed, although the type of procedure can have some effect on that ability. Generally speaking, however, breast reduction patients are able to perform most daily activities in just a couple of weeks and are some of the most satisfied "cosmetic surgery" recipients.

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Auburn, AL
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Featured Physicians

The following doctors specialize in Breast Reduction, and are current with the state-of-the-art in this technology. You can trust them with your care.