In Dr. Murphy’s experience there are few patients who are more excited and pleased about their surgical result than those having had a breast reduction. Breast reduction surgery is one of those unique and impressive procedures where not only do patients typically achieve a significant improvement in their self esteem and self image, but also many have an improvement in the physical discomfort they may have been experiencing due to the size and weight of their breasts. Through an extensive breast reduction consultation Dr Murphy will assess the desires of each individual breast reduction patient to help assure that their expectations as far as the size and shape of their breasts are met.
Breast Reduction/ Reduction Mammaplasty Overview
Overly large breasts can be a considerable source of discomfort and a feeling of self-consciousness for many women. Breast reduction surgery or reduction mammaplasty is typically very fulfilling for the patient in these cases.
The goal of the breast reduction procedure is to remove excess tissue and sculpt the breast into a more pleasing and natural shape. The nipple is repositioned to the apex of the breast mound. The ultimate size and shape is balanced with the overall body build of the patient. Clothes are easier to buy and many breast reduction patients feel a great surge in self-confidence when out in public. Dr. Murphy has performed hundreds of breast reduction procedures over the years and he has frequently commented that these are some of the happiest patients he has had.
Dr. Murphy performs breast reduction procedures in his private office surgical suite under sedation with local anesthesia. In the majority of patients a vertical technique is the best choice. This minimizes the incision to around the nipple and down the middle of the breast. This newer vertical breast reduction technique also gives the breast a more natural contour. Larger breast reductions may require more involved procedures, but the goal is always the most natural profile that balances the patients figure.
Recovery time after a breast reduction surgery is typically only a few days to return to daily activities and 7 – 10 days to return to full exercising. Pain usually quickly resolves over the first day or two and is well controlled by the two prescribed pain medications. Drains are rarely used and sutures around the areola are removed after ten days. We recommend various modalities to help optimize the scarring, which typically is minimal though may take 12 -18 months to fully resolve.
Most breast reduction patients recover without complication, but there are some risks which need to be mentioned. Scarring is typically minimal but in rare patients it can be a bit more prominent. Dr. Murphy cannot think of any patient where the scarring was a major issue. The overall improvement in body image most patients experience after a breast reduction more than compensates for any noticeable scarring. Bleeding or infection are rare, although the occasional breast reduction patient may develop a small area of delayed healing along the incision, particularly in an area of high tension. This typically heals with no additional scarring over a week or two. Dr. Murphy advises all patients of the likelihood of the inability to breast feed following the procedure and possibility of nipple numbness. There is a very rare risk of nipple loss, which Dr. Murphy has never experienced in a routine breast reduction.