DR. FILIPPOS PAPATHEODORAKIS
AESTHETIC PLASTIC SURGERY
Contrary to common belief its not just breast aesthetics that drives patients to surgery. Large heavy breasts have a degenerative effect on the neck and also on shoulder skin.
When breast reduction comes in mind patients think about ugly unsightly scars. The truth is that although surgical techniques evolve, we still need long incisions in order to perform breast reduction. Newer approaches have reduced the necessity of the long inframammary scar , but cutting around the areola and having a vertical scar that extends from the areola to the inframammary fold is essential.
Contrary to common belief its not just breast aesthetics that drives patients to surgery. Large heavy breasts have a degenerative effect on the neck and also on shoulder skin. Patients quite often complain of chronic pain, discomfort on their everyday or sports activities and difficulty on dressing for social life. For another group of patients breast reduction has more than functional base. Thick breast tissue is very difficult to fumble from patients or doctors. Mammography also looses a lot of specificity on that kind of breast tissue. So by having a breast reduction these patients will have a big part of their breast sent for biopsy and will make future possible cancer detection easier.
Its very important before you start thinking for surgery to have a normal stable weight. Breasts often are affected from diet so if you loose weight after surgery its very likely that breast size will be affected in a negative way.
Breast reduction is an operation performed under general anesthesia. Surgery can last 2-3 hours depending on the severity of the deformity. At the end of the surgery you will wear garments and a special supporting bra. Drains are often used. You need to stay in hospital for 1-2 days. Patients experience the benefits of surgery quite fast compared to other forms of plastic surgery as the weight gone and the better balance of their body readily shows. Everyday activities commence after few days and usually after 2 weeks you can go back to work unless it involves a lot a manual handling. Sports activities should wait for 6 weeks.
Early complications like hematoma and infection are rear. Most of the post-operative problems have to do with wound healing. If you are a smoker avoid smoking for 4 weeks prior to surgery and 2 weeks after. Minor wound breakdowns easily heal with topical care. As stated at the beginning scars are the main concern for both patients and doctors. Unfortunately for all of us scarring is mainly controlled by our own bodies. We can predict who will scar less but we can not exactly know the end result.
Most of patients usually are very happy with breast reduction. They often regret they didn't do this long time ago. They feel more energetic, more social, they want to be more active. Scars are always something that worries patients but most of the times with intensive scar care (silicone sheets, moisturizers) fade over time. Minor scar revisions are performed under local anesthetic to improve looks if necessary.