Women who are unhappy about having overly large and cumbersome breasts may benefit from breast reduction surgery. During this surgical procedure, excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin are removed from the breasts to produce a more attractive and comfortable chest profile. Dr. Sung performs various breast reduction techniques to increase patient comfort, make the breasts appear more proportional, and boost patient confidence.
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The ideal candidates for breast reduction surgery have realistic expectations of the procedure and are in generally good health. Women may consider breast reduction surgery if they can relate to any of the following cosmetic concerns attributed to having breasts of a substantial size:
Breast reduction surgery is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia that usually lasts about two to five hours. It typically takes place at a hospital, an office-based surgical suite, or an ambulatory center. Excess breast tissue is removed and reshaped to achieve the desired breast contour, and the nipples and areolas are repositioned or resized. Excess skin is trimmed to create more definition, and incisions are closed with stitches. Depending on the size, shape, and degree of sagging of the breasts, as well as the amount of excess breast tissue, Dr. Sung will use one of four breast reduction techniques.
The periareolar technique involves creating two concentric incisions around the areolas. Through these incisions, excess tissue is removed, and areolas may be altered. The periareolar technique is most appropriate for women who need a mild breast reduction.
The lollipop technique involves creating one incision around the areola and follows vertically down the lower breast to the inframammary fold. Through these incisions, excess tissue is removed, the breasts are reshaped, and the areolas may be reduced. The lollipop technique is most appropriate for women who desire moderate breast reduction.
The anchor technique involves creating an incision that encircles the areola and runs vertically down the breast to the crease as well as an incision that follows along the inframammary fold horizontally. Through these incisions, excess tissue is removed, the breasts are reshaped, and the areolas may be reduced. The anchor technique is most appropriate for women who need extensive breast reduction.
Liposuction is sometimes performed alone to reduce breast size in both men and women, but it only removes fatty tissue. Because many patients suffer from excess glandular tissue as well as excess breast fat and sagging skin, liposuction is not always the most appropriate approach to breast reduction. The advantage of using liposuction for breast reduction is that it is less invasive than the other techniques and produces little scarring.
Patients typically return home the same day of their breast reduction surgery, although some may require an overnight stay for observation. Patients can expect to feel sore and tired during the initial stages of recovery, but discomfort can be managed with prescribed pain medication. Bruising and swelling are also likely to occur, which will subside over time. Bandages are removed after two days, at which point they will be replaced with a surgical bra. The surgical bra should be worn for at least one week to minimize swelling, and then a support bra must be worn continuously for one month. Stitches are removed one to two weeks after surgery. Most patients return to work within one or two weeks, but patients should avoid strenuous activities for at least four weeks.
Patients can expect to notice the results of their breast reduction surgery immediately following the procedure. The breasts will continue to improve in appearance over the next few months as residual swelling subsides and scars fade. Breast reduction results are considered to be permanent as long as patients do not experience significant weight fluctuations or pregnancy following the procedure.
Complications associated with breast reduction surgery are uncommon, especially when performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. Although rare, the risks of breast reduction surgery can include the following:
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