Breast reduction surgery is a procedure that reduces breast size of one or both breasts by removing excess breast tissue and skin through a small, anchor-shaped incision.
Your breasts typically stop growing once you complete puberty (age 14-18). However, for some women, their breasts continue to get larger to the point that their breast size impacts the women's daily lives. This may create a number of health issues including chronic back, shoulder and neck pain, grooving in the shoulders, chafing under the breasts, and posture problems.
Are You a Good Candidate?
- Breast reduction surgery may be helpful if you:
- Feel that your breast size interferes with your daily activities.
- Experience pain in your back, neck, and/or shoulders from the weight of your breasts.
- Have deep grooves in your shoulders from the pressure of your bra straps.
- Have one breast that is significantly larger than the other.
- Are self-conscious or bothered by breasts that you feel are too large or hang too low on your body.
- Have nipples that lie beneath your breast crease when not supported by a bra.
- Have trouble finding clothes or bras that fit.
Your first step will be to have a detailed consultation with Dr MacDonald, where she will listen to your goals and concerns and complete a careful examination. Then, Dr. MacDonald will discuss the treatment options that best address your concerns and particular situation.
Dr. MacDonald and her staff will:
- Give you detail information about the surgery and what you can expect before, during and after the procedure.
- Discuss any concerns or questions that you may have.
- Discuss potential risks of the procedure.
Breast reduction surgery is a day surgery, meaning you go home the same day. It requires a general anesthetic so we have you complete a pre-operative questionnaire to ensure you are ready for surgery. You will be given instructions on what time to arrive and reminded not to eat or drink anything the night before surgery. The surgery is approximately 2 hours and you will spend approximately 3 hours in the recovery room, so plan to spend the day at the hospital. You will be given a prescription for pain medication before leaving the hospital.
You will need someone to drive you home from the hospital and stay with you for the first 24 hours. You can shower 48 hours after surgery. All the stitches are dissolving and wound care is simply ointment and gauze. You will have a wrap or binder on from the day of surgery and this is worn full-time until the healing is complete in around 2-4 weeks. Dr. MacDonald will see you 5-7 days after surgery to show you how to care for the implants and wound.
If you have a very physical job, you should plan to have 4 weeks of healing time. If you have a fairly sedentary job, then you can return to work as early as 2 weeks after the procedure. You need to avoid activities that may increase your blood pressure, such as running or lifting weights, until 4-6 weeks after surgery. However, you are encouraged to be out walking as soon after surgery as possible.
As in any surgery, risks include infection, scarring, delayed wound healing and bleeding. Issues specific to this surgery are asymmetry, numb skin/nipples, and capsular contracture (scar tissue around implant). Complications in this procedure are relatively uncommon but will be discussed further at the time of consultation.