The aim for breast reduction surgery is to reduce the breast size for conditions of hypermastia or megalomastia. As a necessity , a breast lift is also performed to give a more pleasing shape to the breasts.
Large breast size causes a number of problems for women including neck and shoulder pain, breast pain, difficulty exercising, and skin conditions all of which can be improved with surgery. There are a two major techniques for breast reduction surgery.
The old technique (Weiss technique) is based on holding breast shape with the tension of the skin. A large anchor shaped scar is needed, and with time the skin stretches and gives a flat look to the breast. The markings for this surgery are based on a template which obviously is not ideal as patients all have different body shapes. There is no attempt to sculpt breast tissue.
My preference is for the “Lejour technique” (Dr. Lejour is a Belgian lady surgeon who developed this procedure in 1990 and with whom I had the privilege of training). This surgery involves making an incision around the areola and down the center of the breast (the scar looks like a lollipop). There is no scar along the bra line. The breast shape is formed by sculpting of breast tissue itself, and is not dependent on skin tension. The markings for each surgery are different and based on the individual patient’s body shape and size.
Breast reduction takes about 3 hours and is performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient surgery. You may need to have someone stay with you the night after reduction surgery and can usually resume your normal activities in 5-7 days. A drain may be placed at the time of surgery which is removed in a few days after surgery. Patients may exercise within 2-3 weeks. Final healing of the breast takes about three months.
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