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  Breast Reduction


Very large breasts are often a cause of many problems for the affected woman. Shoulder discomfort and deformity together with breast pains are common. The patient has difficulty with finding suitable clothing for herself. She also finds it difficult to engage in most athletic activities. Quite often there are skin problems due to irritation of the breast skin rubbing on the abdomen. Finally, spinal pain and deformity become a distressing problem.

The operation, which really is an application of both branches of plastic surgery, the cosmetic and the reconstructive. Basically it involves removing the excess tissue, creates a more natural shape of the breast and very importantly lifts the sagging nipple to its proper position.

Most techniques are based on lifting the nipple on a bridge of tissue with the aim of maintaining both its integrity and its sensation.

Breast Reduction Before

Breast Reduction After

In most cares the incisions and consequently the scars take the form of an inverted T. The vertical limb starts at the lower point of the elevated nipple and reaches the horizontal one which lies at the junction of the breast with the chest wall.

The patient must appreciate that the post-operative scars are most notable during the first 4 to 9 months after the operation. However they continue steadily to fade out and improve with time perhaps for another couple of years. There is no question about the overall benefit to the patient resulting from this operation especially when the relief enjoyed by the patient is compared to the very mild appearance of the scars 2-3 years after the operation.

The patient must know that breast feeding may become impossible. The sensation of the nipples may potentially be altered or lost ,especially in large reductions, although it is unusual for both nipples to lose their sensation permanently. It must be remembered however, that very large and pendulous breast may already have reduced sensation of their nipples anyway.

The operation is done under general anaesthesia and the patient stays in the clinic for 2 days. She can resume her normal work in 2-3 weeks and the post-operative pain is very moderate during the first couple of days only and is certainly well controlled with analgesics if necessary. After a few weeks the patient replaces her heavy duty brassiere with a standard one. The shape of the breast continues to improve over the next few months.
Immediately after the operation the patients feel that a large weight has been lifted off them. This operation bestows the patient a new sense of freedom since now they can do things that were impossible for them to do for very long time. Many older patients express regret for having delayed the operation for years and allowing themselves to suffer unnecessarily for so long in the mistaken belief that breast reduction is an operation for vain people.