What does breast reduction consist of?
This is a surgical operation that decreases the exaggerated volume of some breasts. Outsize breasts can cause the patient physical problems like backache or the appearance of rashes under the breasts due to sweating or rubbing, or their weight can make bra straps show. They can also cause the patient psychological problems, manifested in wearing loose clothing to dissimulate them, walking with the shoulders hunched forward so that they aren’t so noticeable, or hiding them behind bags or folders.
Are the scars visible?
In most cases, to perform this operation it’s enough to make a circular incision around the areola, then a long vertical incision from the edge of the areola to the submammary crease. This type of incision has very favourable scarring features, with very fast maturing of the scars, which tends to be from six to nine months. But in some cases, due to the patient’s age or the degree of descent of the breast, an extra horizontal incision has to be made along the submammary crease: although this incision tends to be more visible than the others, it’s generally concealed by the fall of the breast over the crease.
Is this operation painful?
The post-operative pain of breast reduction tends to be slight to moderate. It tends to last from two to four days and may only require gentle analgesia or a combination of two analgesics for seven to ten days. The sutures are usually removed from the tenth day onwards.
When can the patient lead a normal life?
This operation requires a minimum of between three to five days’ sick leave, which can extend to ten or fourteen days in patients who perform work involving physical effort.
What other specific care measures does this operation require?
The patient must wear a sport bra day and night for around four weeks. Once the sutures have been removed, a minimum post-operative check-up programme of six to twelve months must be followed. We must also point out that in the case of using the ‘short scar’ technique, in the first few days after the operation the breasts will have a strange shape, with a lot of filling in the upper quadrants, while below the nipple they will be very empty, with wrinkles and bruising. The breasts will suffer moderate swelling for the first two weeks, gradually normalising their shape from the third week on, and normalising totally some three or four months after the operation. Bruising is also common. In some cases there may be a reduction or loss of sensitivity in one or both areolas, which is usually cured with the passing of time.