If so, you’re not alone. Breast reductions are one of the most common procedures in Australia – with numbers increasing every year. The same is true in the US, where the number of breast reductions performed in 2012 was more than 42,000!
I regularly see women who have physically and emotionally struggled with the size of their breasts. They suffer from back, neck and shoulder pain, a reduced ability to exercise and have difficultly breathing. They also feel uncomfortable in social situations as it affects their self confidence.
Breast reduction is designed to relieve the pain and discomfort of large breasts by creating smaller and firmer breasts that are more in proportion with the rest of your body. It can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin around the nipple.
Breast reduction surgery can be performed at any age but is best when your breasts are fully developed. Things to keep in mind include:
- Your ability to breastfeed following surgery may change
- Changes in breasts during pregnancy or with significant weight loss or gain can alter the outcomes of breast reduction surgery
- Surgery is often covered by health insurance if it is performed to relieve medical symptoms
If you’re unsure about whether breast reduction is right for you, there are some basic questions you can ask yourself:
- Is the size of my breasts affecting my quality of life?
- Have I done any research about the procedure?
- What are my expectations? What do I hope to achieve with breast reduction surgery?
Once you have your thoughts together, it’s time to speak to a plastic surgeon.
What to Expect
The most common surgical technique involves an upside down T-shaped incision that starts at the nipple, extends downwards and then follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast.
In most cases the nipples remain attached to their blood vessels and nerves. However on larger breasts, the nipples may have to be completely removed and reset into a higher position leading to a loss of sensation in the nipple and areolar tissue. Any excess fat can be removed through liposuction.
Though scarring may take up to 18 months to fade into faint lines, satisfaction with your new image should be immediate and will continue to grow. With careful consideration of your reasons for breast reduction surgery and thorough research with the help of your plastic surgeon, previous physical and emotional complaints will disappear as your new, firmer breast size brings a huge boost to your confidence.