Large breasts can make life miserable for some women. It s not just that they cannot find clothes to fit properly. They can cause pain in the breasts, neck, upper or lower back along with improper posture, rashes, breathing problems, skeletal deformities, and low self-esteem. Breast reduction surgery is usually done to provide relief from these symptoms. Performed under general or local anesthesia with sedation, depending on the preferences of the patient, the two- to four-hour procedure removes fat and glandular tissue and tightens skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts that are in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body.
When done properly, breast reduction surgery can even be done for women who intend to breast-feed, because the method of breast reduction Dr. Reiffel performs actually maintains many of the milk ducts, frequently allowing patients to experience breast-feeding after surgery, although the amount of milk may be somewhat limited. This method also helps preserve sensibility to the nipple.
During the procedure an “omega”-shaped incision is made from the new location of the nipple down to the crease beneath the breast. Dr. Reiffel removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin, while leaving the nipple and areola still on the breast, no matter how much the nipple needs to be elevated. The size of the areola is frequently made smaller, as well. Liposuction may be needed to remove excess fat from the armpit area, and in some cases when only fat needs to be removed from the breasts, liposuction alone is used for breast reduction.
For three weeks after surgery the breasts are bound with an elastic bandage and a surgical bra. There may be surgical drainage tubes left in place for a few days for fluid removal. At that point, the patient may begin to shower. Stitches come out in stages over two weeks and the surgical bra must be worn for about a month. Scars fade with time but will not disappear, although they can be hidden with a bra, bathing suit or low-cut top.