| | Breast Reduction Surgery - Opinions please!!
I am a Medical Student from Birmingham, UK. I am doing a project on Breast Reduction Surgery in my medical school. I was wondering whether I could have advice/feedback on a leaflet/brochure information I have prepared in relation to breast reduction surgery. Please do specify whether you have had any breast surgery previously or not. Here follows the information related to breast reduction surgery.
What is breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is a procedure to make large breasts smaller and in proportion with your body. It is also called as Reduction Mammaplasty.
What are the indications for this surgery?
Women who have large breasts and suffer from:
a.Physical discomfort i.e. pain in back, neck and shoulder.
b.Rash or infections under the breasts.
c.Low self esteem/embarrassment.
What does the surgery involve?
Breast reduction surgery aims to remove excessive breast tissue. This procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. Different techniques are used for breast reduction. Your surgeon will discuss this with you, which is best in your case.
The excess breast tissue is removed and breast reshaped to the best proportions along with repositioning of the nipples to an ideal position.
How long does the procedure last for?
The procedure normally lasts between 2-4 hours.
PREPARATION & STAY
How long do I have to stay in the hospital?
Normally, you will stay for 2 days in the hospital.
How do I prepare myself for the operation?
a.Inform your surgeon if you intend to lose weight, Ideally this should be done before the procedure.
b.Women of childbearing age should be aware that the procedure can interfere with milk production Hence they will not be able to breastfeed.
c.If you are on an oral contraceptive pill you will be advised to stop the pill at least 6 weeks before the procedure.
d.If you are smoker, it is advised that you stop smoking as it can significantly increase healing problems
e.You will be advised to wear comfortable sports bra for 3-6 weeks after the procedure - You will be advised to bring them during your stay.
What happens immediately after the procedure?
a.After recovery from the anaesthetic you will be advised to sit up in bed.
b.A supportive dressing will be placed around the breast area. A small tube (drain) maybe placed in each breast to drain off blood. These tubes are usually removed the next day.
c.Adequate pain relief will be provided regularly during your stay to keep you comfortable.
d.Before you leave the hospital, you will be given a follow-up appointment to see the surgeon to check your progress.
e.Ideally, there should be someone to look after and stay with you for the first 24-48 hours.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
It depends on the technique used. As far as possible, the scars are planned to lie under the average bra or bikini top.
The scars start fading to paler colour within the next few months. Rarely, they can get inflamed and red or thickened. If so, different methods of treatment will be discussed with you.
Despite use of drains, blood can sometimes collect inside the breast tissue.
Sometimes the wound healing is delayed and the area may look inflamed and ooze blood. Occasionally there is breakdown of wound leading to infection. Eventually, this will heal but may take some weeks.
About 1 in 20 patients require blood transfusion during or after the operation if there is any blood loss.
Many women experience the loss of sensation in and around the areola due to bruising of nerves during the procedure. Usually this is temporary. In some cases it can be permanent.
Some areas of the breast tissue may become deprived of adequate blood supply. This can lead to sore, lumpy areas which usually settle down on its own over 12 months.
Loss of the Nipple
Very rarely the skin of nipple dies which can result in distortion or loss of nipple with scarring. If this occurs, then a corrective procedure can be done. However, it cannot be possible to restore the appearance and function of the normal nipple.
Most women do not have perfectly identical breasts. Therefore, after the procedure the shape will not be perfectly symmetrical. The surgeon will aim to make the breasts in proportion to your body.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
This is due to a blood clot in the leg veins. It is preventable by giving you a blood thinning injection to your tummy during your stay in the hospital. You will also be encouraged to be up and about as soon as practicable after the procedure.
Follow up 7-10 days
Stay in hospital2 days
No exercises till6 weeks
No driving till2-3 weeks
Time off work2-3 weeks
Sexual activityAfter scars have healed
Swimming/Sunbathing After scars have healed