Large breasts may cause physical and mental discomfort and can even harm the women who have them — the size and weight of large breasts can result in self-consciousness, improper posture, pain in the back and neck, indentations from bra straps, skin rashes, breathing problems and skeletal deformities. Breast reduction surgery is usually done to provide physical relief from these symptoms, not for cosmetic reasons. Performed under general anesthesia, the two- to four-hour procedure removes fat and glandular tissue and trims resultant excess skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts that are in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body.
Please consult with Dr. Dufresne if you intend to breast-feed since many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples may be removed.
During the procedure an anchor-shaped incision is made from the new location of the nipple down to and around the crease beneath the breast. The surgeon removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin, relocates the nipple and areola, and reshapes the breast using skin from around the areola before closing the incisions with stitches. Liposuction may be needed to remove excess fat from the armpit area, and in some cases when only fat needs to be removed from the breasts, liposuction alone is used for breast reduction.
For a few days after surgery the breasts are bound with an elastic bandage or a surgical bra and you may be given surgical drainage tubes for fluid removal. Stitches come out in a week and the surgical bra must be worn for about a month.
A little pain is normal after surgery, whether it’s mild discomfort, swelling during menstruation, a measure of numbness or sensitivity, or random, shooting pains that may last for a few months. Swelling, bruising, crusting and slight changes in breast size are also common. Most patients return to work in about two weeks, although you should avoid heavy lifting for three to four and only gentle contact with the breasts should occur for six weeks.
Scars fade with time but will not disappear, although they can be hidden with a bra, bathing suit or low-cut top.
Risks are rare and usually minor but may include bleeding, infection, reaction to the anesthesia, small sores around the nipples, slightly mismatched breasts or unevenly positioned nipples, and permanent loss of feeling in the nipple or breast.
Before and After images of actual patient
Craig R. Dufresne, M.D., F.A.C.S. is conveniently located to serve Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax County