Some women feel that their breasts are too large and uncomfortable. Their large breasts, or “macromastia,” leads to lower and upper back pain, shoulder grooving from their bra straps, headaches, neck aches, arm pain, and even rashes under the breasts, or “intertrigo.” For women who want smaller breasts, the solution is a breast reduction, or “reduction mammoplasty.”
A breast reduction involves removing excess breast tissue and skin, and repositioning the breast tissue and nipple-areola complex higher on the chest wall. The patient will have a lollipop scar that consists of a scar around the areola and a vertical scar from the areola to the inframammary fold. Often, a breast reduction will make a woman look like she has lost weight, even if only a small amount of breast tissue has been resected. It will also make her breasts look younger and perkier.
After a breast reduction, drains are sometimes needed if a large amount of tissue has been moved around. There are dressings on the incisions, which remain in place for at least 48-72 hours. After the dressings are removed, the patient can shower. Many patients can return to work in 1-2 weeks. Patients should avoid heavy lifting for 6-8 weeks. The breasts will be swollen initially, but the swelling subsides and the breasts settle over several months.