Limited Scar Breast Reduction
Limited-Scar Breast Reduction
According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, almost 150,000 breast reduction procedures were performed in 2010, making breast reduction the 3rd most common plastic surgical procedure performed for women. This number reflects the high prevalence of large breasts (macromastia) and its associated problems, and the effectiveness of breast reduction surgery to resolve symptoms and improve physical appearance. The presence of macromastia sometimes leads to difficulty with clothing, social embarrassment, and decreased self-esteem. In addition, overly large breasts are often associated with multiple physical symptoms, such as neck and back pain, shoulder grooving, poor posture, and rashes under the breasts from constant skin rubbing.
Limited-scar breast reduction is a method of reducing the size of the breasts while limiting the size of the postoperative scar. Almost all methods for breast reduction leave a scar that circles around the edge of the areola (darkened area around the nipple). Traditional techniques also leave an anchor-shaped scar that extends downward from the areola and across the underside of the breast. Limited-scar breast reduction eliminates the horizontal incision so the resulting scar resembles a lollipop; in selected candidates, there is only a circular scar and the vertical incision is not needed.
What are the benefits of limited-scar breast reduction?
Traditional anchor-shaped scars leave a long, horizontal scar at the bottom of the breast that can extend beyond the boundaries of a bathing suit or bra. susceptible to hypertrophy and widening. This is particularly true among younger women, who may scar more easily, and African-American women, who may be prone to keloid formation. These undesirable scars can often be quite long and extend medially and laterally beyond the boundaries of the brassiere, leading to visible scars. In addition, wound healing complications at the inverted T commonly occur, especially in larger reductions. Finally, over-reliance on the skin envelope leads to pseudoptosis, or a bottoming out of the breast shape over time. The widened, flattened, breast mound, supported only by the redraped skin flaps, is unattractive.
Who is a candidate?
Healthy women from puberty to old age are candidates for limited-scar breast reduction.
How long is the operation?
Breast reduction usually takes 2-4 hours of operating time under general anesthesia. Often, two surgeons will work together to shorten anesthesia time.
What is the recovery time?
Most patients leave the hospital on the same day as their surgery. Some patients stay overnight and leave the following morning. Either way, after surgery patients are encouraged to get out of bed to walk, eat, and drink. Patients should take at least 2 weeks off of work to recuperate, but may not feel normal until 4-6 weeks after the operation. At 6-8 weeks, most patients can return to full activities with no restrictions.