Breast reduction, also termed as reduction mammoplasty, is a kind of plastic surgery procedure that is performed to remove extra fat and glandular tissue from the large breasts, reduce breast size, and reshape them. It is a highly common cosmetic surgery since sagging, or disproportionately large breasts can cause a lot of emotional stress and physical pain.
The term ‘pain in the neck’ becomes quite literal for a woman with large breasts. To top it off, women suffer from self-esteem issues when the focus is constantly on their unusual size of breasts.
Naturally, breast reduction surgery has also seen a considerable increase in recent years. In the United States of America alone, an average of over 90,000 breast reduction surgeries are carried out each year.
Though there is no denying that it is an effective and safe procedure, knowing a couple of crucial facts about the surgery will help you ease into the process. So, read on and inform yourself more about breast reduction surgery.
Choosing the right size for the breast reduction surgery
If you are planning to get breast reduction surgery done, you will have to discuss with your surgeon the size that you wish to achieve. Many women want a considerable reduction to avoid any interference with their clothing options and physical activity or to ease out their back pain and maximize comfort. Others might want a slight reduction to prevent drooping and reduce friction without bringing any significant changes to the overall look.
There are a couple of things to be kept in mind when choosing the right size for breast reduction. Give below are the tips to help you choose the right size, and gain the results that you want.
Avoid the follies in cup size
It is hard, though not impossible, to aim for a particular cup size when you are getting the surgery done. The reaction of every individual to plastic surgery is different. So, even though the surgeon can tell you about typical experiences and possible outcomes, they cannot make any promises.
The other reason why it is not a good idea to aim for a particular cup size is that the bra sizes do not have the same measurements for every brand. For example, the B cup of one company can turn out to be a C cup for another company.
You will find it easier to set a surgical target for your breast reduction procedure when you use concrete numbers and not subjective bra sizes.
Two chief measurements to consider
Surgeons usually rely on direct measurements taken in centimeters instead of going for letter grades. The two key measurements are the distance from the base of your breast (inframammary fold) to the nipple and from the nipple to the base of your neck (sternal notch).
In most cases, the recommended fold-to-nipple distance is eleven to fourteen centimeters (4.3 – 5.5 inches), and the distance for the nipple-to-notch should be around nineteen to twenty-one (7.4 – 8.2 inches). Broadly speaking, with these measurements, your bra straps will not dig into your shoulders, and you will find it easier to keep the breasts centered.
Keep in mind that none of these measurements have to hold true for every woman. The informed experience of the surgeon and the body structure of the patient play major roles in determining how much reduction is suitable.
The rule of thumb in determining the size
The rule of thumb that you need to keep in mind for breast reduction surgery is that modest changes are better than extreme ones. The amount of tissue to be removed is directly proportional to the extent of the reduction you want. Your breasts might look too flat if a large reduction is carried out, as there will not be enough tissue present to give fullness to the breasts.
This might not be a concern for many women, because, for them, the benefit of having smaller breasts outweighs these aesthetic changes. Others might consider combining breast reduction with the insertion of implants to get smaller breasts that look shapely and full.
A woman is never too small to undergo breast reduction surgery. However, reducing naturally petite breasts increases the risks of numbness, and it might interfere with breastfeeding in the future. Take some time during your consultation to ask your surgeon about the results of different stages of reduction for your body type.
You can consider looking at the before and after images of the past patients who went through the surgery. It will give you some reference points as to what to expect from the procedure so that your plastic surgeon and you can remain on the same page.
The different types of breast reduction surgery
There are a couple of different ways in which breast reduction can be done. Your plastic surgeon will examine you and decide on the right technique depending on the shape and size of your breasts, and other factors like body structure.
Anchor breast reduction surgery
In the case of anchor breast reduction, the incision gets made along the breast creases, down your breasts, and around the nipples, which forms an anchor-like shape. Thus, the tissue, skin, and fat will get removed right from the lower part of the breasts. After this, your areola and nipple will get shifted higher up, and your incision will be sutured using dissolvable stitches.
Vertical breast reduction surgery
The vertical procedure is comparatively new. It ensures long-lasting effects and involves a much less invasive process compared to the anchor vertical breast reduction surgery. It is also called lollipop surgery in common parlance because the incision gets made down your breast and around your areola, and after this, the tissue and fat get removed. The extra skin is pleated over the incision to close it. This kind of surgery is usually popular among patients who have moderately big breasts.
Scar-less surgery for breast reduction
In the scar-less technique for breast reduction, liposuction helps in removing excess tissue, fat, and skin from your breasts. It involves very minimal scarring as a result because the incisions are not more than a couple of millimeters in width. The technique works well for women who have large breasts because of fat collection and not due to their glandular tissue. Thus, slimmer women with larger breasts are not the right candidates for the surgery.
The breasts need to mainly have fatty tissues for the patient to be a suitable candidate for this type of procedure. Moreover, you need to keep in mind that the technique considerably brings down your breast size by just a few cup sizes. It is better to consider vertical breast reduction surgery when the breasts have an excess of glandular tissue, and the patient wants a major reduction.
Usually, the techniques used vary from one case to another based on the actual breast size, the physical health of the individual, and the overall breast makeup. If you are considering breast reduction, go with the technique suggested by your plastic surgeon.
The six important reasons for breast reduction surgery
Cosmetic surgery for breast reduction can bring a life-changing and revolutionary change in a woman’s life. People might not think about it or realize it, but women with bigger breasts have to face many challenges to their quality of life and health. The regular activities that most people take for granted, like going for a run in the morning or shopping for clothes can become tiresome when one has to carry the metaphorical and literal burden of bigger breasts.
Given below are the major changes that are brought into the world of a woman after she undergoes breast reduction surgery:
1. Exercising and other activities become much easier
Large breasts strain your shoulders, back, and neck, which makes it difficult to go for a simple jog in the morning, forget about participating in sports. Breast size can also make mobility difficult, and it can also turn several activities or exercises embarrassing or impractical
One might think that sports bras can help, but these bras are not suitable to support big breasts. In fact, in a number of situations, sports bras can increase your back and neck strain. Women get the opportunity to happily embrace their new form after breast reduction surgery. It can lead to a remarkable increase in activity levels.
2. Bras become more affordable and accessible
The problem with bras is that they are easier to find in typical sizes. Women who fall outside the usual size boundaries are usually overlooked by the manufacturers. They find it hard to get bras that can offer proper support to their breasts.
Women with larger breasts need to resort to custom sizes. However, it is not easy to find custom sizes. And, even if you do find the right size, it will always be more expensive, and they will probably have just one basic style. You can bid goodbye to these obstacles after your breast reduction surgery.
3. Say goodbye to problematic shoulder indentations
When your bra is unable to support the weight of your breasts, all that weight falls on your upper shoulders. It makes your bra straps constantly dig in the skin. Thus, over the course of time, deep indentations or grooves form on your skin.
Believe it or not, the straps can start to dig deep enough to begin compressing the nerves that go through your arm. The usual sign of this situation is that your small finger becomes numb or pricks like needles and pins. Going through breast reduction will make it easy for the bras to support the breasts. It takes the weight off the shoulders, and finally, puts an end to skin-damaging, nerve-squishing grooves.
4. Shopping for clothes becomes fun once again
There are times when women have larger breasts but a smaller lower body. It creates a disproportionate division that makes it hard to get clothes that can fit you without the need for alterations. There are several clothing items, such as one-piece swimming costumes, backless evening dresses, and buttoned-down shirts that become completely off-limits for women with larger breasts.
Breast reduction surgery can create more appealing proportions in the body. It can make the stressful procedure of finding suitable clothes into a highly enjoyable occasion.
5. Reduces the strain on the back muscles
Heavy, large breasts mean a lot of weight lays in front of your body, which creates pain and pressure. Thus, it is common to see women with bigger breasts get a hunched posture because they unconsciously or consciously try to compensate for this effect.
The ability to stand straight without any discomfort might be a regular thing for most people, but for a woman who has gone through breast reduction surgery, it is a completely new experience.
6. Brings a new boost of confidence to the woman
It is a sad reality that there is so much assumption and focus given to larger breasts. A woman who has considerably larger breasts can suffer from serious self-esteem issues. They might start going out altogether to avoid attention or avoid any kind of public gathering. They can also start choosing only those clothes that minimize or cover up their breast size.
Undergoing breast reduction surgery can be an empowering transformation for a woman. She knows that her breasts no longer capture all the attention, and she is free to be more outgoing and confident.
For anyone considering breast reduction, it is important to know that these kinds of cosmetic surgeries are not cookie-cutter procedures. It’s not like everybody gets the same technique used on them or the same results. The surgery is customized to the needs of each patient and depends on individual factors.
It is the responsibility of the surgeon to customize the treatment plan based on the patient’s needs and breast size. So, if you are considering breast reduction surgery, your first job is to go for a free consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon.