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Patients with large breasts often cite back pain, neck pain, inability to run or play tennis, social embarrassment and poor clothing fit as their reasons for choosing breast reduction. Women, as well as men who suffer from gynecomastia, typically report a sense of freedom, lightness and improved confidence after having breast reduction surgery with Dr. Donaldson or Dr. Sieffert.
Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure for reducing the size of large breasts. It removes excess breast fat, skin and glandular tissue to create a breast size that is in proportion with the body and alleviates the discomfort often associated with overly large breasts. Breast reductions can also be performed in conjunction with a breast lift or as a surgical solution for gynecomastia.
Breast reduction can help heal patients physically and psychologically, as the procedure tends to decrease pain, improve mobility and enhance self-esteem. Several scientific papers report overall improvement in quality of life among large-breasted individuals who undertake breast reduction. You may be a good candidate for the procedure if:
If you can identify with any combination of these descriptors, your next step may be scheduling a consultation for breast reduction surgery.
Dr. Donaldson or Dr. Sieffert will ask about your aspirations, lifestyle and health. Together, you will decide your optimal breast size as well as any other improvements that can be made during your breast reduction surgery. Come into your consultation prepared to discuss:
Dr. Donaldson or Dr. Sieffert may also talk to you about any emotional issues you have dealt with relating to your breasts and whether your breasts physically limit you. They will take measurements and photographs, and discuss how much tissue, fat and skin will need to be removed to achieve your goal. He will describe the surgical technique and typical scars. Lastly, they will provide you with specific information about how to prepare for your surgery, which may include referrals for imaging, or stopping certain medications or habits.
The consultation also provides the perfect opportunity to discuss your fears and concerns with Dr. Donaldson or Dr. Sieffert, and to ask any questions you may have related to the surgery.
It is important for you to actively participate in your surgical plan. Here are some questions that should hopefully be answered during your consultation:
This list is incomplete, and not necessarily specific to your individual needs. After some research, you will identify the informational categories that seem most important. Some patients come prepared with a list of topics or questions so they don’t forget anything!
Many patients want to know more about how they can best prepare for breast reduction. Although Dr. Donaldson or Dr. Sieffert will provide you with specific recommendations and instructions, prior to your surgery, you may be asked to:
It is important to prepare for your recovery so that you are not scrambling to make arrangements after surgery. You will need a driver to and from surgery, as well as someone nearby for the first 24-48 hours after surgery.
You will also want to get your home ready for your recovery, and have some of the following things on hand:
Dr. Donaldson or Dr. Sieffert and staff will explain any other specific instructions or materials that may be necessary for your recovery.
Although complications stemming from breast reduction surgery are typically fairly rare, they do exist, as with any major surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Donaldson or Dr. Sieffert will highlight the most common risks which may include:
It is important to consider pregnancy status and planning, tattoo locations, nipple piercings and other breast conditions in advance.
Dr. Donaldson and Dr. Sieffert perform breast reduction surgery under general anesthesia. This means that you will be asleep for the surgery, which usually lasts between two and three hours.
There are three primary options for incisions, all of which involve cutting around the pigmented area or nipple-areolar complex (NAC). Dr. Donaldson or Dr. Sieffert will recommend the best choice for you. Incision options include:
Throughout the surgery, the nipple remains tethered to its original nerve and blood supply. After the incision is made, the nipple is then repositioned. If necessary, the areola is reduced by excising skin at the perimeter.
Underlying breast tissue is then reduced, lifted and shaped. Occasionally, if breasts are extremely large and pendulous, the areola and nipple may need to be removed and replaced to a higher position on the breast. This is known as a free nipple graft.
After this, Dr. Donaldson or Dr. Sieffert will close your incisions. Bringing the incisions together reshapes the new, smaller breast. Sutures are layered deep to superficial in order to create and support the new breasts. All sutures are dissolvable under the skin, and a final layer of skin adhesive (surgical-grade super glue) is used to protect the skin. These incision lines become permanent scars, but they usually fade and improve over time.
Although the steps listed above describe the typical breast reduction procedure, there are exceptions. In some cases, excess fat may also be removed through liposuction – particularly to the sides of the breasts, under the armpits.
After your surgery, your incisions will be covered with light dressings and a supportive sports-style bra that detaches in front. This bra is worn during recovery to minimize swelling, support the breasts as they heal, and hold breasts symmetrically during the healing process without an irritating underwire.
Dr. Donaldson or Dr. Sieffert will prescribe pain medication to minimize discomfort, as well as provide you with specific post-operative instructions. Our staff will assist you in coordinating follow-up appointments. Typically, you can resume your normal activities within 1-2 weeks and rigorous athletics within 4-6 weeks. Scars should fade within 6-12 months.
Patients throughout Ohio and across the country have trusted Dr. Donaldson to help them look and feel their best. In addition to being board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Donaldson has received many accolades and awards. Recent honors include Columbus Business First’s “Forty Under 40”, one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons and one of America’s Most Compassionate Doctors.
Take the first step by scheduling your consultation today and learning how you can change your life with a breast reduction. Columbus, Ohio residents continue to recommend the personalized care and comfort they receive from Dr. Donaldson and Dr. Sieffert.
To learn more about our breast reduction procedures, contact us today.