Breast reduction patients are among the most satisfied with their results of all plastic surgery patients. Having smaller, lighter breasts that are better proportioned to your body can not only help relieve pain and discomfort, but you will also enjoy greater freedom in many of your daily activities. Imagine finding bras that fit comfortably, enjoying exercise without feeling self-conscious about your breasts, and feeling more confident in your appearance every day.
Your Consultation: the First Step
During a consultation, Dr. Branman will listen to your concerns and evaluate your current breast size and shape. He will discuss with you the various factors that can affect your results, such as your age, any existing asymmetry, and your natural body proportions.
If Dr. Branman agrees that surgery will help you achieve your goals, and you wish to proceed, he may advise you to get a mammogram to establish a baseline and ensure your breast tissue is healthy before having surgery. Dr. Branman will also provide specific instructions on surgery preparation, including guidelines on eating, drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications.
What is involved in breast reduction surgery?
A breast reduction is typically an outpatient procedure performed at our accredited surgical facility. The operation usually requires about 2-3 hours time, using general anesthesia.
During surgery, Dr. Branman will remove excess fat, glandular tissue and skin, raise the nipple/areola complex, and reshape the smaller breast into a more lifted, youthful position to eliminate sagging. The result is a smaller, more aesthetically pleasing breast that feels firmer and fits more comfortably into clothing.Click to request your Consultation with Dr. Branman
What do breast reduction scars look like?
A few different incision techniques can be used to perform a breast reduction, each of which result in some degree of scarring. The best technique for you is largely dependent on how much breast tissue needs to be removed to achieve the desired result.
The most commonly used breast reduction incision is the “anchor” shaped incision. This technique allows for the most dramatic reduction in breast tissue, and results in three scars: around the nipple, along the outline of the areola, one vertically down from the areola, and a third following the natural crease underneath the breast.
For patients who only need a modest reduction, a vertical or “lollipop” technique may suffice. This technique eliminates the incision in the inframammary fold (the crease underneath the breast), so there are only scars around the outline of the areola and vertically on the lower portion of the breast.
For each patient, Dr. Branman considers what will achieve the best aesthetic improvement with the smallest scar and the least amount of risk. Both of these techniques result in scars that, with proper care, will fade significantly over time and are easily hidden by clothing, even bikini tops.
How will I feel after breast reduction surgery?
After surgery is complete, you’ll be given an elastic bandage or special bra to wear over the gauze dressings. Bruising and swelling should be expected for the first few days. Dr. Branman will prescribe a pain medication to help alleviate discomfort. Stitches are removed after about 7-10 days.
After a short recovery period, your bandages or surgical bra will be replaced by a soft support bra, which must be worn for 3-4 weeks. It is normal to have some temporary loss of feeling in the nipples and breast skin. Normal sensation typically returns over the next 6 weeks. In some patients, numbness can last a year or longer, particularly around the nipples.
How long does recovery take after a breast reduction?
Healing from breast reduction surgery is a gradual process that requires patience. While you will be able to walk around after the first day, expect to take 1 to 2 weeks away from work, depending on the nature of your work and how you feel. If you have a desk job, you can probably go back to work fairly quickly. You should not do anything that requires lifting or reaching high above your head for 3-4 weeks, such as heavy cleaning or carrying groceries. You will also need help caring for younger children for the first couple of weeks.
Dr. Branman will provide detailed instructions regarding recovery and the resumption of activities. You will need to avoid strenuous exercise, such as running or weight training, for about 1 month. After that, we recommend that you resume these activities slowly. It is important not to do too much too soon.
What are the risks of breast reduction surgery?
A breast reduction isn’t a simple surgery, but it is generally safe when performed by a qualified, experienced cosmetic surgeon. All surgeries carry a risk of complications, including infection, reaction to anesthesia, or poor healing that results in prominent scars. You can reduce your likelihood of complications by closely following Dr. Branman’s instructions before and after surgery.
With breast reduction, there is some risk of permanent loss of nipple sensation. Additionally, the ability to breastfeed may be compromised for some patients, depending on the extent of surgery. Future pregnancies or significant changes in weight can also affect your breast size and shape. We are happy to talk with you about any concerns you may have about these factors.
If you have questions or would like to learn more about your options for breast reduction surgery, we are here to help. Contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Branman at our Little Rock cosmetic surgery office.