Midstream_Breast Reduction_2022

Answers to your breast reduction questions

Breasts come in all shapes and sizes, but sometimes when they are large they can be a source of discomfort and interfere with activities of daily living. A breast reduction is a surgical procedure that reduces breast size to alleviate the symptoms associated with large breasts.

What does breast reduction involve?

Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty is a procedure that removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin. The nipples will be raised and reshaped, along with the breast to create an aesthetic breast contour that is more in proportion with your body. Breast reduction is ideal for women with large breasts as it alleviates the pain and discomfort associated with excessively huge breasts. The procedure also improves breast asymmetry and eliminates sagging by lifting your breasts.

How do I know if I am a candidate for breast reduction?

Good candidates for breast reduction are women who are in good health, certain that they want to reduce their breast size, and have realistic expectations. Signs and symptoms that breast reduction may be of benefit to you include the following:

  • Persistent headache, back, neck or shoulder pain
  • Shoulder grooves from bra straps
  • Poor posture
  • Skin irritations beneath the breast crease
  • Limitations in the ability to be physically active
  • Arm numbness or tingling

Do I have to be a certain age to undergo a breast reduction?

Breast reduction surgery has been found to be safe and effective procedure in adolescents and young women who have significant symptoms, though this is in careful consultation with the patient and the parents or guardians.

Should I get a breast reduction before or after pregnancy?

It is generally recommended that you postpone breast reduction surgery until after you are done having children. While that is the preferred choice, it is not the only choice. It is hard to predict what effect pregnancy will have on your breasts. Some women experience minimal changes to their breasts after pregnancy, while some women experience considerable changes to the size and dynamics of their breasts. Generally, there will likely be some changes to your surgical results, which may require a revision to restore your original outcome.

Most women who have undergone a breast reduction surgery are able to breastfeed after the procedure. However, there is a risk that your ability to breastfeed will be affected following a breast reduction procedure. It is important to discuss this topic and any other concerns you may have during your initial consultation.

How much smaller will my breasts be?

The amount of breast tissue to be removed will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your breasts, the distance that the nipple has to be raised, the blood supply to the nipple, your body habitus. The bigger your breasts the larger the amount of tissue that will be removed. However if too much breast tissue is removed, the nipple may not have enough blood supply to survive. Your plastic surgeon will be able to determine a safe amount of breast tissue to be removed.

It is not possible to predict the exact cup size, however it is thought that for every 100-300 grams of tissue removed breast size will reduce by one cup.

What can I expect after a breast reduction surgery?

After the procedure your breasts will be covered with dressings or bandages. An elastic bandage or support bra may be worn to minimise swelling and support your breast. A small tube may be temporarily placed under the incision to drain any excess blood or fluid. You will have some bruising and swelling. You may experience some pain and discomfort. Medication including pain medication will be prescribed for you.

It can take 2-6 weeks to fully recover from breast reduction surgery. You will start to see the results after 6-8 weeks once the swelling has subsided. Scars from the procedure will heal over a period of at least a year after surgery.

How long will the results of the surgery last?

The results of the breast reduction surgery will be long lasting so long as you maintain a stable weight and do not have more children.

Is breast reduction covered by my medical aid?

A breast reduction surgery treats physical and functional symptoms associated with large breast, and is therefore considered a medically necessary procedure. It is important to check with your medical aid/scheme plan to determine their criteria for coverage and pre-authorisation for the procedure. Medical aid/schemes often require documentation in the form of a motivational letter and photographic evidence.

Does it sound like breast reduction is right for you?

If you think that you would be a good candidate for a breast reduction it is advisable to schedule a professional consultation. The consultation allows your plastic surgeon to discuss your goals and expectations, assess your fitness for surgery, discuss your options, and tailor make a treatment plan for you.

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