This procedure is commonly performed on patients wishing to uplift and remove excess breast tissue to alleviate symptoms of neck and back pain. Sometimes the excess weight of the breast and with aging causes breast ptosis. Breast ptosis is when the sagging of the breast tissue and skin causes the nipple to droop downwards. Depending on your nipple position, you may require a nipple graft to move your nipple to the appropriate position. With any breast surgery there is always a potential risk of partial or total nipple and areola loss.
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you’ll have to decide if the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks and potential complications of surgery.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your surgeon.
A breast reduction is performed under a general anesthetic. During the procedure, one or a combination of incisions are made in a circular pattern around the areola, in a line extending from the areola to the breast crease, and horizontally along the breast crease (commonly referred to as a lollipop/anchor scar). Dissolvable stitches will be used along the surgical incision. Surgical dressings will be applied and a compression bra will be used on top.
Following general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, it will take 24 to 36 hours for the full effects of the drugs to wear off. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult, who may either drive you home or take a taxi with you. You may feel a little sleepy or nauseous when you get home, you should quietly rest at home for the remainder of the day.
Remove all surgical dressings 48 hours after surgery, leave only the pink paper tape over the surgical incisions. At this time you can shower, but do not directly apply water pressure over any of the pink tape, only let the water run over it and pat gently to dry. Please do not bathe or soak your incisions until all incisions have completely healed. The pink tape is waterproof and will start to peel off over the next 4 weeks, please cut off the portions that are no longer adhering to prevent the rest of the tape from falling off. Swelling and bruising is common following surgery and is to be expected. The bruising should subside within 2-4 weeks after surgery. It is essential to continue wearing the provided compression garment for 3 months for prevention of fluid buildup (even at night if comfortable). Additional garments are available for purchase through the clinic.
Patients are able to get up and walk around right after surgery. However, it is important to reduce tension to the chest and arms during recovery, and this can make tasks like getting up and out of bed and sitting down into a chair particularly difficult. Most patients are able to walk on a treadmill in about a month, and play tennis in about three months. Most patients who have sedentary jobs take about two weeks off work. If your job involves a lot of physical activity be sure to speak with your surgeon during your consultation with regards to how much time off you will need for your specific daily tasks. There should be no heavy lifting for 6 weeks following surgery. Most patients are comfortable driving in about two week's time. However, it is not uncommon for a spot along the base of your surgical incisions to open up during the postoperative stages due to increased tension on the incisions with movement. This is not a serious complication, and can be remedied with daily dressings, but it does mean a delay in your expected recovery time.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give us a call at (403) 800-9157 and leave a message as necessary. If you are unable to reach us, and need medical advice please call 811 to speak to a nurse, the line is free of charge and available 24 hours a day. If it is a medical emergency please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital, or call the Peter Lougheed Centre Switchboard at (403) 943-4555 and ask to speak to the plastic surgeon on-call.
It is important to know that while technically the results of a breast reduction are permanent, any significant fluctuations in weight can greatly diminish the results. It is recommended that individuals who are planning to lose weight or women considering pregnancy postpone the procedure. A breast reduction procedure will also not be able to correct stretch marks, but some may be excised if they are along the surgical incision.
A good candidate for surgery is a patient who is relatively healthy, has reached their weight loss goals and has realistic expectations for post-operative outcomes. The breast shape that you start with determines the shape that you end up with. The shape you have also determines the amount of tissue that can be realistically removed.