Breast Reduction Surgery
The breast is an organ that symbolizes fertility, femininity, and motherhood, and plays a crucial role in the social identity of women. In addition to their appearance, breasts are also functionally important for breastfeeding, and may differ in size and shape from woman to woman. In modern times, breast reduction surgeries are particularly important due to their negative impact on health among the range of aesthetic operations performed under the umbrella of breast aesthetics. Compared to other types of breast surgeries, breast reduction surgeries, which are not solely performed for aesthetic purposes, have recently become the most commonly performed aesthetic surgeries by plastic surgeons.
Causes of Breast Growth
Breast reduction surgery is unique from other breast surgeries in that it is a plastic surgery performed not only for psychological reasons but also for physiological reasons. Women with large breasts may experience symptoms such as neck, back, and waist pain, posture disorders, skin problems underneath the breasts due to sweating, and pressure marks on the shoulders from bra straps. These physical symptoms can negatively impact the quality of life for these women. In addition, genetic factors also play a significant role in breast growth, and some families may have a genetic predisposition for larger breasts. Weight gain, pregnancy, breastfeeding, hormonal imbalances, and certain medications can also contribute to breast enlargement and sagging.
What is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Having disproportionately large breasts can cause both aesthetic and functional problems for individuals. Large breasts may lose their aesthetic appearance, and can also cause neck, shoulder, and back pain, as well as posture disorders, which can become permanent if left untreated. Additionally, the inability to wear desired clothing and the visible disproportion can negatively impact the self-esteem and psychological well-being of women.
Such problems are eliminated by breast reduction surgery, so that the person can continue his normal healthy life more easily.
It is possible to use many techniques in breast reduction surgery. Some criteria are taken into consideration in the choice of technique.
- Patient's breast volume
- Breast sagging condition
- Breast tissue density and position
- Age of the patient
- Whether there will be pregnancy expectancy after surgery
- Scars’ location preference
- Smoking story
- Drugs used and Habits
These factors are the criteria that affect the success of breast reduction surgeries.
The primary factor that determines the technique used in breast reduction surgery is the location of the pedicle, the structure that connects the nipple to the chest wall. The pedicle can be located on the top, bottom, side, all over, or oblique. This connection contains blood vessels, sensory nerves, and milk ducts. During the surgery, the amount of breast tissue to be removed is determined by preserving this pedicle, and the remaining tissue is then removed. It is essential to preserve this structure to ensure that the nipple remains viable, and the milk-giving and sensory functions are not affected.
The nipple is moved to a new location, typically 19-24 cm from the bone notch under the neck, based on the individual's height and body structure. The breast tissue is then fixed to the rib cage using suture ropes that serve as a replacement for the suspension ligament, helping to delay breast sagging over time. Finally, the remaining breast tissue is then sutured together, and the incisions are closed to form a scar that is planned either in the shape of an inverted T or an I (lollipop).
When Should the Surgery Be Done?
Breast reduction plastic surgery can be performed on any woman who has completed breast development and has no medical contraindications. It is recommended that the surgery be performed as early as possible since large breasts can cause posture disorders, rashes, and wounds under the breast, as well as serious psychological problems, particularly during adolescence. The earliest age for performing this surgery is typically 18, which is considered the age of completion of body development. The upper age limit for this surgery depends on the individual's overall health status and suitability for the procedure, and is determined on a case-by-case basis.
Vertical or Lollipop Technique
This technique involves making a circular incision around the areola and a vertical incision down to the breast crease. Excess breast tissue is removed and the remaining tissue is reshaped and lifted. The nipple is repositioned to a higher location, but the blood supply and nerve connections are preserved. This technique leaves a vertical scar and a scar around the areola.
Inverted-T or Anchor Technique
This technique involves making an incision around the areola, a vertical incision down to the breast crease, and a horizontal incision along the breast crease. Excess breast tissue is removed and the remaining tissue is reshaped and lifted. The nipple is repositioned to a higher location, and the blood supply and nerve connections are preserved. This technique leaves a scar around the areola, a vertical scar, and a horizontal scar along the breast crease.
The choice of technique depends on the individual's breast size, shape, and degree of sagging, as well as the patient's preferences and the surgeon's expertise. A skilled plastic surgeon can help determine the best technique to achieve the desired results while minimizing scarring and preserving the nipple's function and sensation.
It is important to follow post-operative care instructions carefully to ensure proper healing and minimize the risk of complications. The patient may need to wear a special supportive bra for a few weeks after the surgery to help reduce swelling and support the breasts. Strenuous activities should be avoided for several weeks, and the patient should avoid lifting heavy objects or engaging in strenuous exercise for at least 6 weeks after surgery. Smoking should also be avoided for several weeks before and after the surgery to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications. The physician will provide specific instructions tailored to the patient's individual needs and circumstances. It is important to attend all follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process and ensure that the patient is recovering well.
Breastfeeding Function After Breast Reduction Surgery
That is correct. Breast reduction surgery aims to preserve the milk ducts and the blood supply to the nipple as much as possible to maintain the ability to breastfeed. However, the ability to breastfeed after surgery is not guaranteed and can vary depending on the amount of tissue removed and individual factors such as the extent of fibrosis. Therefore, it is generally recommended that women who plan to have more children delay breast reduction surgery until after they have finished breastfeeding.
Will there be a scar after breast reductıon surgery?
Scarring is an inevitable part of breast reduction surgery, but there are steps that can be taken to minimize the appearance of scars. After the surgery, the patient should follow the surgeon's instructions carefully to ensure proper wound healing. This may include keeping the incision site clean and dry, avoiding strenuous activities, and using scar reduction treatments such as silicone sheets or gels. In some cases, the surgeon may also recommend laser therapy or other scar revision techniques to improve the appearance of the scar. However, it is important to keep in mind that scars are a natural part of the healing process and it may take several months to a year for them to fully mature and fade.
It's important to note that every person's recovery process may vary depending on their individual circumstances and the specific techniques used during their surgery. It's essential to follow your surgeon's post-operative instructions carefully to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. In addition, it's recommended to attend all follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress and address any concerns or issues that may arise.