A breast reduction, also known as a reduction mammoplasty is a procedure that remove excess fat, glandular tissue and skin to create a more proportionate breast and reduce neck, shoulder and back pain. It is a functional operation.
How a Breast Reduction is Performed
Breast reduction is performed under a general anaesthetic at the hospital or accredited surgical centre. The incision typically goes around your nipple, down to your chest and along the crease beneath your breast. The breast tissue and fat are removed and the nipple is repositioned. All incisions are closed with invisible sutures. Vancouver plastic surgeon Robin Evans, MD does not typically use drains.
What Should I Know Before Having a Breast Reduction?
Being at your optimal weight does decrease your risk of having difficulties postoperatively and will give you the best possible result. However, often having large breasts prevents you from exercising adequately or comfortably. We often see patient lose additional weight after their reduction because they feel they can now exercise comfortably and without more than one bra.
Who is a Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?
Overly large breasts can cause physical and emotional problems. Neck, shoulder and back pain with bra-strap grooving can be difficult and prevent you from doing the things you want to do. A breast reduction is a good option if you are a non-smoker with a stable weight who has neck, shoulder and back pain for many years.
What Should I Expect at my Consultation?
You should expect Dr. Evans to ask you about your goals and expected outcomes. He will evaluate your general health status and your current use of medications and any drug allergies. He will also ask about your family history of breast cancer and the results of any previous biopsies or mammograms. Through a detailed examination and measurements, a customized surgical plan will be developed with your goals in mind. Risks and expected outcomes with be discussed and any questions you have will be answered. Photographic record for your chart is often performed at the initial visit.
Will Dr. Evans Perform Breast Reduction Surgery on Smokers?
No, Dr. Evans does not perform this operation in smokers. However, he is happy to meet with you and discuss your options, help to facilitate a quit smoking plan and follow-up with you when you have achieved your goals. The problem with smoking is that cigarettes contain nicotine which causes vasoconstriction of the small blood vessels required for healing. Smoking significantly increases the risks of the operation.
How to Prepare for Breast Reduction Surgery
There may be a number of ways that you can prepare for your operation. Quitting smoking, optimizing your weight or adjusting your medications may be necessary before the operation. Healthy eating is always important to optimize outcomes. Dr. Evans and his staff will go over the specific pre and post-operative instructions when you decide to go ahead with the operation.
What Can I Expect For a Recovery?
In the recovery room, your breasts will be numb as Dr. Evans uses local anaesthetic to help with postoperative discomfort. Typically patients take pain medication intermittently over the next weeks. Patients are often tired after their operation as their body works to heal their wounds and recover from the operation. It can take a month to regain your energy. Dr. Evans suggests that you do not lift anything more than 10 lbs over the first 3 weeks after your operation. This helps decrease the risk of bleeding after the operation. Dr. Evans recommends a special garment for the postoperative recovery period that you should wear for about 6 weeks. This helps to maintain your new and improved breast shape without excessive compression.
What are the Possible Additional Components to Breast Reduction Surgery?
The Medical Services Plan (MSP) pays for a functional breast reduction for residents of BC. However, MSP does not cover cosmetic surgery. You may choose to have other procedures added to give an improved cosmetic outcome such as liposuction of your lateral chest wall. This aesthetic contouring takes additional operating time but can drastically improve the overall result for the right patient.