Breast Reduction: When Less is More
One of the top five cosmetic procedures in the UAE, breast reduction can alleviate self-image issues and discomfort caused by large breasts
“Just as small-breasted women can sometimes suffer from low self-esteem, women with large breasts can also lack confidence. Large breasts can also cause discomfort and pain, and a breast reduction can lessen the impact on a patient’s lifestyle by alleviating discomfort and giving a more proportionate appearance. During breast reduction, excess skin, fat and glandular tissue is removed,” explains Dr Trelles, plastic and laser surgeon at state-of-the-art dentistry, plastic and aesthetic laser surgery clinic Vilafortuny.
So are you a candidate?
A breast reduction is appropriate for non-smoking women, who are in overall good health. You may want to consider breast reduction if your breasts:
- Cause back, neck or shoulder pain.
- Cause regular indentations from your bra straps.
- Cause skin irritation beneath the breast crease.
- Limit your physical activity.
- Are too large in proportion to your body.
- Are pendulous and hang.
- Have enlarged areolas caused by stretched skin.
The initial consultation
“During your initial consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss expectations, desires and potential outcomes. Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your body and ask questions about your health and lifestyle,” says Dr Trelles.
He further notes that during this consultation, patients should be prepared to discuss: reasons for treatment, expectations, existing medical conditions including allergies, current medication and use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, personal and family history and results of previous mammograms or biopsies. Additionally, your doctor may also need to evaluate your overall health and risk factors, discuss potential complications, examine and measure your breasts and photograph them for medical records, discuss options for incision location, anaesthesia and outcomes.
Preparing for the procedure
Prior to your breast reduction, the Vilafortuny team will give you instructions on what you will need to do before surgery. There are several steps you may need to take before your surgery including:
- Lab testing and/or medical evaluation.
- Mammogram before surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue.
- Begin taking certain medications or adjust your current medications
- Stop smoking at least four weeks prior to surgery
- Avoid taking any anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin.
- Arrange for transportation home after the procedure.
What to expect
“Vilafortuny performs breast reductions on an outpatient basis,” notes Dr Trelles. “We have plastic surgeons that are board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. An ABPS board-certification requires advanced fellowship training and demonstrated expertise in plastic surgery.”
Dr Trelles further advises to expect the following:
You will receive either intravenous anaesthesia or general anaesthesia before and during your surgery.
Your plastic surgeon can employ several different types of surgical incision during breast reduction. The type of incision used will depend on your condition, your breast composition and the amount of reduction desired.
Traditional breast reduction
An anchor-shaped incision is made around the areola where excess skin, fat and glandular tissue is removed from the lower breasts. This method is ideal for women with extremely large breasts.
Vertical incision breast reduction
Incisions are made around the areola and extend down to the breast crease in a keyhole pattern to remove excess skin, fat, and tissue. This technique is optimal for women with moderately large breasts.
Scarless breast reduction
During scarless breast reduction, there is no excising of skin, fat, or tissue. Instead, our plastic surgeons will use liposuction to suction out fat deposits. This treatment is best suited for women who have little to no excess skin and just need to eliminate fatty tissue in the breasts.
After the incision is made, your plastic surgeon will reposition your nipple according to your preferences. If necessary, the areola can be reduced by excising skin at the perimeter. For extremely large pendulous breasts, the nipple and areola may be removed and transplanted to a higher position on the breast.
What to expect after
Your plastic surgeon will be available to address concerns and questions after the procedure and will provide written instructions regarding:
- Post-surgery care to follow at home.
- Prescriptions for medication.
- Follow-up appointments.
- Post-surgery mammogram.
“After the procedure, your breasts will be bandaged to reduce swelling. You may experience some soreness during the first few days after surgery – pain medication can be prescribed to help ease these symptoms. Recovery time, meanwhile, varies: most women can return to work after one week, but it’s best to avoid strenuous physical activity for up to two to three weeks. Even though scarring is inevitable, the incision lines will diminish over the next few months,” says Dr Trelles on what to expect after the procedure.
He adds: “There are risks associated with any type of surgery: bleeding, infection, adverse reaction to anaesthesia are rare, but they can happen. Following pre- and post-surgery instructions will help you to avoid any risks or complications.”
The final results of your breast reduction surgery will be immediately visible and improvement in appearance will occur over the next several months. Once healed, most women experience a sense of relief and satisfaction after the procedure is complete. As long as you maintain your weight and live a healthy lifestyle, your new look should be long-lasting.