Breast Reductions & Breast Reduction With Lift
Written by Dr. Cross
The breast reduction is one of the most rewarding procedures in plastic surgery. In a matter of a couple of hours of surgical time and few days of recovery time, the burden of large, heavy uncomfortable breasts is eliminated. Women, young and old, report years of having suffered through difficulty in finding clothes that fit appropriately. They experience neck, shoulder, and back pain, as well as bra strap grooving. Many find increased pain or embarrassment when exercising. With a breast reduction procedure, these are all reversed in a matter of a few hours. Additionally, large breast are often associated with poorly shaped breasts, and fullness in the armpit and back areas. These too can be corrected at the time of a breast reduction procedure.
Before and after result for a breast reduction in a patient with dense, wide, heavy breasts including fullness in the side and armpit area as well as poor shape and asymmetry. All of these issues have been corrected and the incision is barely perceptible. *Results May Vary
The most important element to a breast reduction procedure is the technique that is used to shape and hold the tissue after the excess breast tissue has been removed. Most breast reduction techniques, like their breast lift counterparts, attempt to improve the appearance of the breast by using the skin to hold shape. While these techniques provide good results immediately after the procedure, the shape is lost over time. Skin stretches too easily. Over months, the skin stretches, scars thicken and widen, and the breasts sag. Furthermore, using the skin to create shape requires that long incisions are used. These incisions tend to extend from the center of the chest all the way out to the armpit region.
The most effective and lasting way to restore and maintain breast shape is to use breast tissue itself, not skin, to maintain breast lift and shape. Dr. Cross uses a patient’s own breast tissue to create an “internal brassier”. The breast tissue heals in its new position and stays there, holding the new shape and position indefinitely. Additionally, by avoiding tension on the skin during the shaping process, incisions remain thin and fade to be imperceptible, and can be customized to the shortest length possible for a given patient’s anatomy.
Before and after demonstrating the degree of lift that can be obtained when a patient’s own tissue, rather than skin, is used to create the new shape of the breast. Notice, end result almost has the appearance of a breast being shaped by an invisible bra. *Results May Vary
For many patients, Dr. Cross uses liposuction to assist with the reduction, shaping, and sculpting of the breasts. While not necessary in all patients, when it is used, it allows Dr. Cross to get a better result with less trauma to the tissues, less risk of changes to nipple sensation, and a faster recovery.
Like breast lifts, breast reductions are one of the most well tolerated procedures in plastic surgery. Patients usually do not require a breathing tube for the procedure. They typically receive the same type of anesthesia that one gets for a colonoscopy. The anesthesia is given by vein, patients are not paralyzed, and they do not breathe anesthesia gases. Once they are asleep, patients usually have a soft balloon put in their mouth to prevent them from snoring during the case. Patients are completely asleep, so that they do not have to worry about being aware of anything or remembering anything.
Patients wake up wearing a bra that is kept on for 2 days. After 2 days, patients can remove the bra, shower, and wash over their breasts. All sutures are dissolvable and a water tight glue is put on the incisions. Generally, drains are not necessary after a breast reduction procedure and patients return to their normal daily activities immediately. Mild to moderate pain may occur for the first few days and soreness can last a couple of weeks. Patients are permitted to start exercising one week after the procedure, with no limitations on any form of activity by 2 weeks.
For patients of the correct age, normal breast screening for cancer is continued after the procedure. In fact, for some women, mammograms become a little easier after the procedure, since there is less heavy, dense tissue for the image to have to penetrate through. Breast reductions are considered safe, even in patients who, through personal or family history, or through screening, have been found to be at higher risk of developing breast cancer.