San Diego Breast Reduction
Many women are born with excessively large breasts that can negatively impact their lives in many ways. Large or ‘hypertrophic’ breasts can result in a number of physical problems such as back and neck pain, shoulder grooving from the weight of bra straps and significant limitations in one’s physical abilities. Women frequently have difficulty in finding attractive clothing that fits and can become very self-conscious about their breast size, purchasing tops to hide their breasts or bras to minimize their size. San Diego surgeon Vince Marin performs breast reduction surgery to address these problems.
Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast reduction surgery has the benefit of not only producing a more attractive breast size and shape, but also improving many of the problems that have resulted from the weight of excessively large breasts. For this reason, many insurance companies will reimburse a patient for this type of surgery providing certain requirements are met.
WHAT TO EXPECT FOR YOUR
2 – 4 hours
General or local with sedation
Temporary swelling, mild bruising, and some pain
Pain, bleeding, infection, asymmetry, recurrence, changes in nipple sensation and incomplete correction
Back to work: 1 – 2 weeks
More strenuous activity: 3 – 4 weeks
2 – 3 months for swelling to completely resolve
Duration of Results:
Permanent reduction in breast size, breast position results depend upon the elasticity and quality of the skin.
Who is a Candidate?
Ideal candidates for breast reduction surgery are patients who are within their ideal body weight with excessively large breasts, often demonstrating a premature “droop” to the breasts as well. The specific techniques are individualized depending upon the size and shape of your breasts as well as your particular aesthetic desires.
All of our San Diego breast reduction patients need to be in good health and must NOT SMOKE. This cannot be emphasized enough, as regular use of cigarette smoke has been well documented to have a higher occurrence of healing problems, poor scarring as well as more frequent infections. Any patient who is a smoker must have quit at least six weeks prior to surgery.
Breast Reduction Procedure
The surgery involves the removal of breast tissue as well as skin. The amount, however, is based upon my exam and what we determined to be your specific goals. This can be accomplished through a number of surgical techniques and I will discuss these fully with you during the in-office consultation.
Breast reduction can be accomplished with liposuction alone in the appropriately selected candidate. Often, younger women who are looking to reduce the size of their breasts one to two cup sizes are the appropriate patients. The key to a successful surgery is a patient who has a relatively good position of the nipple combined with youthful skin that is elastic and will “tighten” after the removal of the excess breast tissue. The scars are very small and easily concealed. You should be back to normal activities and work in less than a week. Your breasts will remain swollen anywhere from two to six weeks with variable degrees of swelling. Final results are seen by three months.
Vertical “Lollipop” Reduction
A “vertical” breast reduction is one of my favorite techniques to approach breast reduction surgery. It allows a great deal of flexibility and ability to manage breasts of nearly any size. The benefit of this approach is that it limits the amount of scarring that is placed on the breast itself. A “Lollipop” reduction allows me to remove excess breast tissue, as well as excess skin. This approach is also useful in patients who may not have skin of appropriate quality that will not contract. I make every effort to use this approach when possible, but some breasts require a more extensive technique. Recovery is somewhat longer than liposuction, but patients are often able to return to work anywhere from one to three weeks. This is largely dependent upon how large the breasts are and the extent of the breast reduction surgery. I usually limit the amount of exercise for patients who have undergone this type of surgery for approximately six weeks. This is based primarily on allowing the scars to adequately heal before they are subjected to physical stresses. Just like any scar, the final results are not seen until one year after surgery and will continue to improve for years to come.
Standard Breast Reduction
For most women considering a breast reduction procedure, they have large, heavy breasts with excess breast tissue in addition to breast skin. Thus, in order to achieve a more youthful size and shaped breast, I have to remove both skin and unwanted breast tissue. The standard breast reduction results in an “anchor” shaped scar and provides the greatest degree of flexibility in dealing with any breast size or shape. Larger breasted women usually have to undergo this technique secondary to the specific needs of their anatomy. Women, almost instantly, have improvement in the weight of their breasts and find themselves able to physically do routine activities more easily, as well as find their clothes fitting better. Despite the slightly larger scar, the results are so dramatic that very few women ever think twice about their life changing decision.
Breast Reduction Recovery – What to Expect
Recovery from a breast reduction procedure is largely dependent upon the type of surgery that you undergo. Obviously, the less surgery you have, the quicker the recovery. For most breast reduction surgeries, the recovery is very well tolerated. The discomfort women experience is well controlled with pain medication, and frequently, women are able to stop taking prescription medication within a few days.
You will wake up with tapes along the incisions and in a postoperative surgical bra. The bra stays in place until you see me the next day in the office to ensure that you are healing properly. Over the next several weeks, we perform routine check up visits with you and eventually change the tapes to keep the incisions protected and minimize and tension at the skin. All of my sutures dissolve, and there is no need for stitch removal, minimizing any discomfort you may experience.
Your breasts will begin to take shape and settle as the scars mature and slowly become less visible fading from a pink color to a thin white line over the course of a year. Many of my patients become even more active after surgery noticing that the lack of the excess breast size and weight serves to make them able to pursue many of the activities they were unable or unwilling to undertake prior to surgery.
San Diego Breast Reduction Consultations
Contact my plastic surgery practice in San Diego to schedule your breast reduction consultation.