with very large, pendulous breasts may experience
a variety of medical problems caused by the excessive
weight--from back and neck pain and skin irritation
to skeletal deformities and breathing problems.
Bra straps may leave indentations in their shoulders.
And unusually large breasts can make a woman-or
a teenage girl-feel extremely self-conscious.
reduction, technically known as reduction mammaplasty,
is designed for such women. The procedure removes
fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts,
making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. It can
also reduce the size of the areola, the darker
skin surrounding the nipple. The goal is to give
the woman smaller, better-shaped breasts in proportion
with the rest of her body.
surgery itself takes between 2 and 3 hours under a general
anesthetic. Possible complications, although rare, include
loss of the nipple, infection, severe scarring, loss of
nipple erectile ability and nipple numbness. Nipple numbness
has been known to be permanent and this could hamper future
ability to breast feed.
discomfort is minimal. The sutures dissolve; dressings
are removed in l0 to 14 days. Patients may shower and
bathe in 5 to 7 days, and they may drive in 4 or 5 days.
Physical activity, including lifting, must be restricted
for approximately 2 weeks, and active sports for 2 to
4 weeks. Three to 4 postoperative visits are required.
reduction for gynecomastia allows the surgeon to remove
the excess tissue that may develop in the breast in some
males at puberty is usually done with an incision around
the nipple. If the enlargement is diffuse it is very difficult
to achieve a smooth chest so there may be some ridges
at the edges of the areas resected. The use of suction
lipectomy has lessened this problem. Sometimes enlarged
breasts in males are a result of health or drug problems
and correction of these difficulties may reverse the process.
is performed under local or general anesthesia and takes
about 1 and half hours. The scar is usually made just
at the areolar or in the axilla and is usually not noticeable
even in someone with little hair on the chest. The dressings
and drains are removed in the office after a week. Patients
must be careful to avoid strenuous physical activity for
about a month. Complications may include excessive scarring,
hematoma formation, or infection. Patients may drive after
4 to 5 days, and lifting may be resumed after a month.