Procedure: 1-4 hours in surgery. If breast size is primarily due to fatty tissue, breasts may be reduced through liposuction alone. More often, stretched skin must also be removed, requiring a keyhole- or racquet-shaped incision beginning below the breast and circling the areola. The nipple is repositioned and excess tissue is removed from the lower part of the breast.
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Anesthesia: Usually general anesthesia; sometimes sedation with local anesthesia.
Length of Stay: An overnight stay is most common; however some patients will be able to go home the day of surgery.
What to Expect: Oral medications relieve the initial discomfort. You’ll wear a support bra around the clock for two weeks. Absorbable sutures are used.
Resuming Activities: Mobility is encouraged early post-operatively. Light normal activities, including non-strenuous work, may be resumed in 5-10 days. Heavy lifting and vigorous exercise may be resumed after a few weeks.
Breast reduction may interfere with the ability to breastfeed.
Duration of results: Generally permanent, though breast size and shape can be affected by subsequent pregnancy, significant weight fluctuations and aging.
Risks: Bleeding, infection, changes in sensation, scarring. All surgeries carry risks associated with anesthesia.
Source: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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