Women who have large breasts may experience a variety of problems from the weight and size of their breasts, such as back, neck, and shoulder pain, and skin irritation. Breast reduction is usually performed for relief of these symptoms rather than to enhance the appearance of the breasts. The best candidates are those who understand the procedure and have realistic expectations about the results. There are a variety of different surgical techniques used to reduce and reshape the female breast. There are both risks and complications associated with reduction mammaplasty surgery.
Also known as reduction mammaplasty
The goal of breast reduction surgery is to reduce the size of your breasts and reshape them so that they are proportionate to the rest of your body and are no longer a source of physical discomfort. This commonly requested, predictable procedure has the dual benefits of improving your appearance while relieving the physical and emotional burden of overly large breasts.
When to Consider Breast Reduction
- If your breasts are too large for your body frame and create back, shoulder or neck pain
- If you have heavy breasts with nipples and areolas (pigmented skin surrounding the nipples) that point downward
- If one breast is much larger than the other
- If you are unhappy and self-conscious about the large appearance of your breasts
- Your breasts will be in better proportion with your body and will feel firmer.
- Surgery will alleviate neck, back, and shoulder pain and make it easier to breathe and exercise.
- Your clothes will fit better and you will feel more confident about your appearance.
- You may have decreased sensation in some areas, including the nipples and areolas.
- Some women complain that their breasts and nipples look slightly uneven.
- Breast-feeding may be a problem.
These are the top three pros and cons to weigh when considering breast reduction. If you want to focus on those specifically unique to you, please consult with your aesthetic plastic surgeon.
Are you a good candidate for a breast reduction?
Women who seek breast reduction often have had children, are overweight, have a predisposition for large, disproportionate breasts, or are sensitive to oestrogen. Large breasts often run in a family, inherited from mothers and grandmothers.
Following are some common reasons why you may want to consider breast reduction:
- You have backaches, neck aches, or skin irritation under your breasts.
- You have difficulty breathing and notice grooves in your shoulders from your bra straps.
- You have poor posture or numbness in parts of your breasts and upper chest from excessive breast weight.
- You find it nearly impossible to buy dresses and blouses and difficult to find tops and bras that fit.
- You are very unhappy with your appearance because of your breast size.
- You are in good health with no active diseases or pre-existing medical conditions.
- You have realistic expectations of the outcome of your surgery. You must be able to discuss what you want with your plastic surgeon so that you can reach an understanding of what can realistically be achieved.
- Your skin has adequate elasticity, so it can resume its former tightness following surgery.
- You are mentally and emotionally stable. Breast reduction requires patience and stability to deal with the healing period.
- You are old enough so that your breast development has stopped.
- You have finished having children and breastfeeding, because this can have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts. Nevertheless, many women decide to undergo breast reduction before having children and feel that they can address any subsequent changes later. If you plan to breastfeed in the future, you should discuss this with your plastic surgeon
A history of irregular mammograms, undiagnosed lumps or other types of masses, severe obesity, diabetes, wound healing disorders, current breastfeeding, smoking, clotting disorders or a family history of them, and heart or circulatory disorders are all contraindications for breast reduction.
If you are in good general health and have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.