Female Breast Reduction
Female breast reduction or reduction mammaplasty is an operation designed to give relief to the discomfort of women who suffer from excessively large breasts. Candidates for this procedure are women who:
- Have with breasts out of proportion to their body size,
- Suffer from skin irritation beneath the breasts,
- Experience shoulder indentations from bra straps, and
- Are restricted from activity due to breast size.
This procedure often enables the patient to wear a greater variety of clothing and provides greater freedom with exercise and physical activity. This surgery can be performed at any age provided most breast development is complete.
What to Expect
A personal consultation is the first step for any patient considering breast reduction surgery. During the consultation, your plastic surgeon will assess your physical and emotional health and discuss your specific goals. Your physician will consider the size and shape of your breasts, skin quality and nipple location to determine the appropriate procedure for you.
Your doctor can inform you of the benefits as well as the possible risks and complications of this type of surgery. Be sure to raise any questions or concerns that you may have about the safety of the procedure.
A three-part incision is the most commonly used method in breast reduction. Your surgeon will remove excess tissue from the breast, and the areola may be reduced in size and moved to a higher position. In some cases, liposuction may be used in conjunction with the surgery, or liposuction alone may provide desired results. Breast reduction surgery is usually done under general anesthesia in an accredited hospital or surgery center.
The procedure normally takes from two to five hours. After a couple of weeks, bruising and swelling will begin to subside and sensation will gradually improve. After five to seven days you may return to work with restricted physical activity. Over time, breasts will contour to a more natural shape, scars will fade and the patient will feel relief from previous symptoms of the overly large breasts.
In most cases breast reduction surgery is covered by insurance, provided adequate tissue is to be removed. At times, however, it will not. Whether your procedure will be covered by insurance or considered cosmetic will be determined prior to surgery by sending a pre-determination letter to your insurance carrier.
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Male Breast Reduction
Gynecomastia is a condition that affects 40 to 60 percent of men. It is a term for overdeveloped breasts in men. One or both breasts may be affected. There is no known cause in the majority of cases.
Breast reduction surgery for gynecomastia can help. This procedure involves removal of fat and glandular tissue, and possibly skin, from breasts resulting in better contour of the upper body.
What to Expect
Your initial consultation with a qualified physician will determine if you are a candidate for the surgery. The procedure is discouraged for overweight men who have not attempted to correct the problem through diet and exercise. Alcohol and anabolic steroids may cause this condition, and the patient is directed to stop the use of these to diminish their effects before a determination can be made on surgery. Your surgeon will determine the best surgical approach to suit your needs.
This surgery is usually performed on outpatient basis and can be performed under general or local anesthesia. New liposuction techniques have made it possible to perform the surgery under local anesthesia in 1 to 2 hours. Excess glandular tissue, fat and skin are removed from the breast. If the problem is caused by excessive fatty tissue, liposuction will likely be used to remove excess fat. In some cases skin may be removed and a drain inserted to remove excess fluids.
When this surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and minor. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there are risks. You will be provided an informed consent sheet during your consultation. We strongly encourage each patient to carefully review these risks and discuss them with your surgeon prior to proceeding with surgery.
To reduce swelling, you may be required to wear a compression garment for about a week. You will begin walking around the day of surgery and can return to work in 1 to 2 days following surgery. Stitches will be removed in one to two weeks. Physical activity will be restricted for approximately four weeks to avoid blows to the chest area.
To learn more about male breast reduction:
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