Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is for a woman experiencing health problems and/or extreme self-consciousness associated with very large, heavy breasts. The goal is to give the woman a more attractive contour with smaller, better-shaped breasts in proportion with the rest of her body. She will then benefit as a result of the freedom from health problems associated with large breasts and an improved self-image.
Medical problems associated with very large breasts include back and neck pain caused by the excessive weight, skin irritation, skeletal deformities, and breathing problems. Bra straps may leave shoulder indentations. Large, heavy breasts also contribute to poor posture, and can interfere with normal daily activities such as exercise. Excessive breast size may also lead to a decreased sense of attractiveness and self-confidence.
San Antonio plastic surgeon John Ayala, MD performs breast reduction under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis or in the hospital. The surgery removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts, making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. It can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.
Incisions are made around the pigmented nipple-areolar complex and extend vertically below the nipple and in the fold under the breast. The nipple-areolar complex is moved upward to the desired location. The incisions are covered with a light dressing.
Afterward, the breasts are placed in a surgical bra that will hold them symmetrically during initial healing. Initial discomfort subsides daily and can be controlled with oral medications. Scars will fade in 6-18 months.
Recovery: What to Expect
Much of the swelling and bruising disappears in the first few weeks following the surgery. Breasts may appear slightly mismatched, or have unevenly positioned nipples. Their new shape will be apparent within six months to one year.