Breast reduction can dramatically change your upper body profile by reducing breast size, improving symmetry, adjusting the nipple and generally creating a more youthful look.
For women whose breasts are too large for their frame, it can be a welcome solution to neck and back pain, poor posture and even unwanted attention. Below, trusted Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Galiano reviews the benefits and options for patients considering breast reduction.
Heavy breasts can limit a woman’s freedom, making some physical activities impractical or uncomfortable. Bra straps may chafe against the skin and put a strain on shoulders, potentially impacting circulation. The added weight of a larger breast size pulls the shoulders forward, often leading to chronic back pain and a slouch when walking or standing.
Many women choose a breast reduction procedure for practical and emotional benefits. A woman with a small frame and large breast size may find it hard to find clothes that fit. She may also find it difficult to jog and participate in sports. A disproportionate profile may lead to discomfort or embarrassment in social situations. A slimmer, fit profile can build confidence and boost self-esteem.
Breast reduction has the goal of providing smaller, better-shaped breasts that are in proportion with the rest of the body. The surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, using general anesthesia or “twilight” IV sedation. The entire process will normally take approximately two hours.
During the procedure, Dr. Galiano makes a vertical incision, removes fat and skin and then tightens and reshapes each breast. The size of the areola may be reduced, and in the case of larger breasts the nipple and areola may also be repositioned. If there is a notable degree of sagging, he will lift each breast to renew the natural contour.
One of the benefits of breast reduction surgery is that follow-up procedures are usually not necessary. In the absence of future pregnancies or dramatic weight gain, the results of your breast reduction will be long-lasting. Except in rare cases, breast tissue will not grow back, so your new slim profile should be permanent.
Discomfort after a breast reduction operation is minimal, as the sutures dissolve internally and dressings can be removed in 10 to 14 days. Driving can be resumed in four to five days, while showering and bathing can recommence in five to seven days. Physical activity, which includes lifting objects, must be restricted for two weeks, and active sports should be avoided for two to four weeks.
As with most breast surgery, patience is a virtue. It may take two to three months to see final results in the mirror. That is because post-surgical swelling subsides very slowly, and your new breasts may at first appear slightly larger than you had hoped. Breasts may also not seem perfectly symmetrical during recovery, as one breast will commonly heal faster than the other. Because small changes continue to occur during the gradual healing process, the ultimate result may not be evident for as long as a year. The good news is that there is no waiting period for relief from the back, neck and shoulder pain you may have previously experienced.
To learn more about breast reduction surgery, schedule a personal consultation with Chicago plastic surgeon Dr. Robert Galiano. Please call (312) 926-4382 or request an appointment online today.