Some women have a love-hate relationship with their breasts. Sometimes, we think they are too small and may seek out breast implants. But in other cases, our breasts can be too big for our bodies, making us feel uncomfortable in our skin and, sometimes, causing health problems. For example, having large breasts may make it harder to exercise and sleep. In some cases, they can cause back and neck pain or even headaches. If this sounds familiar, you might be considering a breast reduction. Here’s what you need to know.
Best Candidates for Breast Reduction
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you are a good candidate for a breast reduction if:
- Your breasts are bothersome or cause discomfort due to their size
- You experience physical pain in your neck, back, and shoulders because of the weight of your breasts
- Your breasts limit the physical activities you can do
- Your bra straps cause indentations on your shoulders
- You experience skin irritation at the bottom breast crease
- You are in excellent health to handle recovery
- You have realistic expectations
- You don’t smoke
What Does Breast Reduction Surgery Entail?
Breast-reduction surgery can take place either in-patient at a hospital or in an outpatient surgical facility, depending on your doctor and your specific needs. Either way, you will undergo general anesthesia. The length of the surgery and type of incisions will depend on the size of your breasts, the elasticity of your skin, if your breasts are sagging, and if there is extra skin. Your doctor will go over this before performing the surgery.
The Healing Process
Post-op, you will need to wear a surgical support bra to help reduce swelling. These bras are made of soft fabrics and make it easy to attach draining tubes, if necessary. Don’t worry! They don’t have wires.
Even though you may get to go home right after surgery, you want to make sure you give yourself plenty of time to recover. Typically, you’ll need at least a week off from work or school. Your doctor will provide you with guidelines to follow, such as limiting lifting heavy objects and avoiding any movements that may cause muscle strain. They will likely also prescribe you a painkiller to take, especially during the first 24-48 hours. Your doctor will let you know when you can resume normal activities.
While it might take time to adjust to your new body, in many cases, breast-reduction patients are more satisfied than those who undergo breast augmentation. In fact, breast reductions have some of the highest satisfaction rates out of any plastic surgery procedure.
Have you undergone breast reduction surgery? Share your experience with us in the comments below!