Excessively large breasts can negatively impact a woman both physically and emotionally, causing symptoms such as chronic back pain, rashes, poor posture, low self-esteem and restricted activity. Many women seek treatment to reduce the painful effects of their large breasts, while also improving their self-confidence and overall quality of life. Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery reduces the size of large, disproportionate breasts by removing excess fat, tissue and skin for a more desirable appearance and relief of physical and emotional symptoms. Breast reduction also incorporates a breast lift.
During the breast reduction procedure, the surgeon makes either two concentric circular incisions around the nipple or an anchor incision that circles the nipple and extends down the breast and along the breast crease. Fat and glandular tissue is then removed, while excess skin is tightened to produce a smaller, natural-looking breast. In rare cases, the nipple and areola may need to be removed and then repositioned higher on the breast. The procedure causes remarkably little pain; the average woman is back to normal activity within a week, and exercise in two weeks.
The results of a breast reduction are visible right away and will continue to improve as swelling and bruising subside. Scars will continue to fade over time, becoming less and less noticeable.
A woman's breasts may droop as a result of the natural effects of aging, heredity, gravity, pregnancy, breastfeeding, or weight loss. A breast lift, also called a mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged or lost volume and firmness.
Breast lifts rejuvenate the breasts by trimming excess skin and tightening supporting tissues to achieve an uplifted, youthful contour. After a mastopexy, the breasts are higher on the chest and firmer to the touch. Breast lifts can also reposition and reduce the size of the areola-the dark skin surrounding the nipple - which may have stretched or drooped.
Mastopexy is usually performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia combined with sedation, requiring approximately 1 to 3 hours. Most patients are very satisfied with their new breasts and can typically return to work one week following the procedure.
Gynecomastia is a common condition that affects a significant number of men, resulting in localized fat and/or glandular tissue in the breasts. For most cases of gynecomastia, the cause is unknown, but the condition may be linked to certain medications or diseases. Many men are embarrassed by this condition and seek treatment to achieve a smooth, contoured chest through male breast reduction.
Male breast reduction may be performed using liposuction, open surgery or a combination of the two, depending on the amount and type of tissue found in the breasts. If the breasts consist of mostly fatty tissue, liposuction may be used to suction out fat through small incisions in the underarm areas. For breasts with an excessive amount of glandular tissue, excision surgery may be performed, which requires cutting out the excess fat, tissue and occasionally skin through a larger incision in the nipple. Either way, general anesthesia is not necessary; local anesthesia with sedation provides total comfort with minimal risk. Dr. Lipson will determine which technique is best for you based on your individual goals for surgery.
After breast reduction surgery, patients will be able to return home the very same day. Post-operative symptoms may include swelling and discomfort, which can be managed through pain medication, and compression garments worn for a few weeks after surgery. Patients will be able to return to work once they feel well enough, but should avoid strenuous exercise for a week or two while the chest heals. For most men, breast reduction surgery produces a flatter, more well-defined chest contour that can last for many years, as long as they maintain a stable weight.
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