What is reduction mammoplasty?
Extremely large breasts are often associated with obesity. Excessive breast weight is not only an aesthetic issue, but may become over time a health problem. Over time, the skin sags and the degree of mammary ptosis accentuates. Pain at the level of the spine, neck and shoulders and even irreversible deformations of the spine (such as kyphosis or scoliosis) frequently occur. The cutaneous infections present in the submammary area (dermatitis, mycosis, eczema etc.) are not rare either. Also, these women often experience a limitation of the physical activities, caused by the excessive weight of the breasts. Although the most frequent cause of excessive breast augmentation is weight excess, the situations in which young girls, with normal weight, feel complexed by this infirmity are not rare. In all these situations, the surgical reduction mammoplasty is useful and salutary.
The reduction mammoplasty procedure concerns the removal of a part of the mammary gland (a part of variable size, depending on the initial volume of the gland). Therefore, if the procedure is carried out only of aesthethic reasons, it is better to be postponed after birth because it can affect the breast-feeding capacity. In special cases, when the breasts are excessively large, the procedure can also be carried out in the case of young girls who have not got children yet, but it is compulsory to be done after puberty (when breast development is complete). In such cases the patient will take the risk of not being able to breast-feed in the future. Finally, if you have recently given birth, such a procedure will be postponed for at least 6-10 months after ablactation (the cessation of milk secretion), to avoid possible complications.
Therefore, such a procedure addresses to:
- Any woman who wants a reduction and also a breast lift (in the case of the breasts which are large and affected by ptosis).
- Obese, hyperponderal or even normal weight women, with large breasts and who experience problems caused by the volume of the breasts, such as the problems mentioned in the introduction (pain or even shape alterations of the spine, limitation of physical activity, or cutaneous infections present in the submammary area).
- Young women, afer puberty (when the breast development is complete), if the excessive volume of the breasts creates complexes or even health problems (such as the previously mentioned ones).
- In cases of mammary asymmetry (when one of the breasts is larger than the other one).
Such an intervention must be planned a long time in advance because there is a series of treatments which must be interrupted before surgery (examples: birth control pills, anti-inflammatories, anti-depressants etc). Such an intervention is contraindicated during menstruation or immediately after birth. Before such an intervention a series of preoperative blood tests is necessary (on your doctor’s indication).
Having a mammography done is compulsory in order to trace any diseases prior to the surgery. Therefore, any previous or present health problems will be mentioned to your doctor before the surgery.
Surgical intervention and the immediate post-operative period details
The intervention lasts about 3-6 hours and requires general anaesthesia. After surgery, the patient will stay admitted for at least one day. There are several surgical methods to actually remove variable quantities from the mammary gland and its afferent tegument. The resection of the excessive glandular tissue involves the apparition of some scars on the breasts. Also, the partial resection of the mammary gland may alter its function (to produce lactate secretion). To avoid the hematoma formation, some drains will be installed after surgery at the level of the breasts which are maintained on a regular basis during the first 24-48 hours.
The post-operative discomfort is moderate. During the first 24-48 hours after surgery moderate pain may occur where the incisions are, but they can be ameliorated with the help of painkillers. Ecchymoses and a discreet edema may also occur, but they disappear fast, a few days after surgery. The complete recovery requires 45 days, during which periodic check-ups are necessary. During this period great physical efforts, large movements of the arms (tennis, swimming, fitness), weight carrying or sleeping on the front as well as practising any sport at a professional level are contraindicated. Wearing an elastic bustier for approximately one month after surgery is useful.
Complications that may occur after an mammary reduction intervention.
Even if it is a complex and long intervention, there are no considerable complications in the case of such interventions. However, we will have in view the fact that any surgical intervention has certain risks which are directly proportional with the patient’s age and health condition. These risks will be individually assessed for each patient through a rigorous pre-operative check-up.