Women come to Charlotte Plastic Surgery looking to change the appearance of their breasts in a number of different ways. Some patients come seeking a breast lift, which alters the shape of the breasts and the position of the nipple. Other women are more interested in a breast augmentation procedure, which adds volume. A lot of patients end up having both of these procedures done in tandem. And still others come asking about breast reduction surgery, which actually decreases the volume of the breasts.
If breast reduction surgery is something you’ve considered, whether on its own or as part of a full mommy makeover, we invite you to learn a little bit more about the process, the recovery, and the ways in which breast reduction can potentially improve your quality of life.
What is a Breast Reduction Surgery?
The best place to begin is with a simple description of the surgery itself. Again, this is a procedure that’s designed to remove some of the volume from your breasts. It is a surgery that comes with a very high level of patient satisfaction; those who have this procedure done are almost uniformly satisfied, even relieved.
Specifically, breast reduction surgery is recommended for women who fall into one or more of these categories:
- You are dissatisfied with your large and heavy breasts.
- The weight of your breasts causes pain or discomfort to your neck or your back.
- The size of your breasts makes it challenging to get a brassiere or clothing to fit.
- You suffer from either under-breast rashes or shoulder indentations from bra straps.
If any of these describe your situation, then a breast reduction surgery may be a good solution. We’d encourage you to meet with one of our surgeons to talk about the procedure in greater detail, and to learn more about whether you qualify as a patient.
Can You Breastfeed After Breast Reduction?
It’s only normal to have some questions about your surgical procedure, and about the various ways in which it might impact your lifestyle. One of the most common questions we get about breast reductions is: Can you still nurse your children after the procedure has been done?
The concern here is that reduction of the breasts can damage nerves and milk-producing ducts, complicating the breastfeeding process or potentially even rendering it impossible.
Thankfully, breastfeeding problems are fairly uncommon for those who’ve had a reduction. A good rule of thumb is that, if the nipple and areola are not removed from the underlying tissue, there shouldn’t be any problem. If the nipple and areola are removed and repositioned, however, that’s when there is a small potential for complication. Another important consideration is that, the longer it’s been since your surgery, the more likely it is for you to have nerve sensation and proper milk production; in other words, this is a condition that will often dissipate over time.
If you have questions about this risk, and about the specific steps that will be taken for your breast reduction surgery, we’d again encourage you to reach out to our providers.
Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery Time
Another common question we receive: How long does it take to recover from a breast reduction surgery?
As with any surgery, you can expect there to be a little downtime. Most patients report some soreness and fatigue for the first few days after their surgery. The length of your recovery will also reflect the amount of tissue removed; the more major your reduction, the longer it will take for you to feel totally back to normal.
It’s extremely important to wait until you’re fully healed before you return to normal exercise or robust physical activity; for most patients, this is anywhere from six to eight weeks. With that said, most patients begin to feel more like themselves, and are capable of getting back to some light activity and around-the-house tasks, within a week or two.
Your surgeon will advise you on the specifics of your recovery, and the activities that may be restricted. You can also expect some post-surgery check-ins to make sure your body is healing appropriately.
What to Expect After Breast Reduction Surgery
Patients will naturally be curious to know what kind of pain they can expect from their breast reduction surgery. While a little discomfort is to be expected, it usually tapers off after the first couple of days. At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, we can provide pain management options like Exparel that allow you to get through the worst of the pain without really feeling it; indeed, most of our clients don’t end up needing further pain medication after those first couple of days.
Also remember that the women who have this procedure tend to have a lot of discomfort from their heavy breasts; a breast reduction provides immediate relief from this pain, which can make the other minor discomforts much easier to endure.
Something else that’s important to clarify: A lot of patients want to know if their reduction will also include a breast lift. The two don’t always go hand in hand, but very frequently they do. If you’d like to have your nipple repositioned or your breasts reshaped while you have their volume reduced, by all means ask your surgeon about it during the consultation.
Planning Your Breast Reduction Surgery
Whether you’re planning a full mommy makeover or just want to have a minor breast reduction surgery, the first step is always meeting with a surgeon for a one-on-one consultation.
This is important for a number of reasons. One, it gives us a chance to answer your questions and alleviate any concerns. Two, it allows us to show you some visualizations of what your breasts will look like post-surgery, setting realistic expectations. And three, it lets us qualify you and make sure you’re a good candidate for breast reduction.
Are you ready to take the first steps toward a full breast reduction surgery? We invite you to reach out to Charlotte Plastic Surgery to schedule your appointment.
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