Breast reduction, also referred to as reduction mammoplasty, reshapes your breasts to make them smaller. The surgeon removes excess glandular tissue, skin, and fat to reduce the size of your breasts. Whether you are looking for breast reduction surgery for cosmetic reasons or to eliminate health issues due to large breasts, you will want to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure.
Causes of Large Breasts
Macromastia is the medical term for having disproportionate, large, and heavy breasts on an otherwise averaged-sized person. Large breasts often have a genetic link and run in the family. If your mother or grandmother had large breasts, you most likely inherited your large breasts from them. Some women, though, have large breasts due to excess weight, a pregnancy, or have a estrogen sensitivity.
When is Breast Reduction a Good Option?
If your large breast size bothers you, affects your life negatively, or causes you physical discomfort, you might want to consider this procedure. Also, some reasons, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), why it can be a good option for you include:
- You don’t smoke.
- You are healthy physically.
- You have large breasts that bother you.
- You have expectations that are realistic.
- Your breasts limit the amount of physical activity you can do.
- You have neck, shoulder or back pain due to the weight of your breasts.
- Your bra straps cause shoulder indentations or grooves.
- Underneath your breast crease you have skin irritation or death of skin tissue.
Other reasons you might opt for breast reduction surgery include:
- You have numbness in any portion of the upper chest or breasts.
- Are very displeased with the difficulties it takes you to find tops or dresses that fit well.
- Have droopy breasts.
- Have nipples that point downward.
Some women choose to have reduction mammoplasty because they have trouble breathing or they experience discomfort when exercising.
Often times, women with overly large breasts, have breast reduction surgery because they have neck, back, or other health problems. Because it is frequently done to correct a medical or physical problem, instead of to improve appearance, the ASPS classifies breast reduction surgery not as a cosmetic procedure, but as a reconstructive procedure.
Are You a Good Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?
Like breast augmentation surgery, you are considered a good candidate for breast reduction surgery if you have no pre-existing medical conditions or active diseases and are in good health. You must have expectations of the final results that are realistic as well. You also must realize that you may not be able to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery.
Tell your plastic surgeon what you are looking for and what results you want achieved, within reason. Your skin needs to be able to bounce back to its original tightness after surgery and have good elasticity. You also need to be in good emotional and mental health before you undergo the surgery.
When are You Not a Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery
While many women (and men) are great candidates for breast reduction surgery, some individuals may not be. Some of these factors that might rule out your candidacy for breast reduction surgery includes:
- Have a history of irregular mammograms.
- Have diabetes.
- Being severely obese.
- Have undiagnosed masses or lumps.
- If you are breastfeeding or recently stopped breastfeeding.
- Have a clotting disorder or a family history of a clotting disorder.
- Have heart problems.
- Have circulation problems.
- Have wound healing problems.
- Have unrealistic expectations of the procedure.
A complete examination and discussion with a qualified and board certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Angela Champion, M.D. will help you determine if you are a good candidate for breast reduction surgery.
Questions to Ask your Plastic Surgeon Concerning Your Candidacy for Breast Reduction Surgery
These are just some questions that you can ask when having an initial consultation for breast reduction surgery. List any other questions you have before you go to your consultation appointment.
- Does the surgeon think you are a good candidate for the procedure?
- To get the best results, what is expected of you?
- What surgical method does the surgeon recommend for you?
- What is the recovery period like?
- Will my scars be visible and where will my scars be located?
- Are there any complications or risks involved with the procedure and how are they handled?
Knowing What is Involved in Recovery
Another consideration for having breast reduction surgery is knowing what is involved during recovery. Breast reduction surgery requires a commitment, including a time commitment for recovery. While the actual surgical procedure takes three to five hours on average, the recovery period can take up to six months.
You may have soreness, swelling, pain, and difficulty sleeping for a few days or weeks after your surgery. You will need to monitor your temperature to check for infection, and you will need to take care to keep your incisions and sutures clean and dry. Taking sponge baths until your incisions are closed completely is also necessary.
Restraining from strenuous activities and exercise is required for about four weeks, and you will not be able to lift anything heaving than five pounds until your surgeon gives you the green light. It may take you up to ten weeks (or as short as six weeks) to gain full range of motion, depending on how your healing process goes. At about the six months mark post surgery, you should be able to participate in all those activities you always wanted to but were prevented doing so because of your oversized chest.
Overall, you are a good candidate for breast reduction surgery if you have realistic expectations, a positive attitude, and are in good general health. This procedure can help you if you want it done for cosmetic reasons or to eliminate health issues, but either way, it is your decision and you will want to be sure it is a wise one.
To learn more about treatments and procedures by Board Certified Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Angela Champion, M.D. contact us at 949.640.4005. Taking new patients from in and around Newport Beach | Orange County CA.