As well as jeopardizing ones general appearance, very
large and heavy breasts usually cause physical discomfort,
such as shoulder, neck and back pains. The patient will decide
along with her doctor, the size and shape she wishes her breasts
to have after the surgery. Additionally, she must be aware
of potential risks although uncommon related
to this type of intervention, of possible post surgical complications
of the healing process. Reduction mammaplasty also corrects
breast flaccidity, providing them with new consistency. The
surgeon must always seek a balance between the volume of the
new breast and the chest size, so that the achieved aesthetic
result is more harmonious.
Besides aspirin and other medications that contain acetylsalicylic
acid, the patient must refrain from taking any diet pills
or diuretics during the 10 days that precede the surgery.
The doctor must be informed of any change in the physical
state, such as a flu or malaise.
The patient should avoid any liquor and also eat moderately
on the eve of the surgery. Upon being hospitalized the patient
should carry a bra, which will be worn right after surgery.
The several techniques used in reduction mammaplasty vary
depending on the case. The current tendency is to leave smaller
scars, something that depends on the size of the breasts.
There can be T-, L-, I- or O- shaped incisions, always on
the lower half of the breast. There is also an incision around
the areola, aiming at replacing the nipple and possibly reducing
its size. Excess of skin, glandular tissue and fat are removed
through the incisions. Finally the breasts are reshaped and
the nipples are replaced. Normally general anesthesia is preferred
for this type of surgery, but in special cases local anesthesia
can be used. The surgery lasts an average of three hours.
Hospitalization period for this surgery is normally 24 hours.
The stitches are removed approximately in the second week.
The patient can return to her activities gradually. The patient
must avoid raising her arms above the head, carry weight or
exercise excessively for three to four weeks. Swelling and
a possible feeling of insensitiveness in the nipples are natural
and normally disappear in the first weeks. The scars are easily
hidden with the use of bikinis and low-cut blouses. Its size
can be larger or smaller, depending on the breast size. In
most cases the scar has good quality and tends to be imperceptible.
The cicatrisation process can be divided in three evolutionary
periods: the first one that goes up to the end of the first
month, has scars with good appearance and that are little
visible. The second, that goes from the 30th day until the
12th month, when the scar gets thicker and darker. The third,
that goes from the 12th to the 18th month, when the scar is
beginning to get lighter and have a more natural aspect. The
final result of both cicatrisation and breast contour can
only be assessed after this period. There is a series of clinical
and surgical resources that are available to correct possible
cicatrisation problems such as keloid, but these should only
be used after the three phases of the process.