Women who are a good fit for breast reduction often have:
Breasts that are large in proportion to overall body size
Feelings of self-consciousness due to breast size
Back, neck and shoulder pain due to weight of breasts
Poor posture due to breast size
Significant drooping of breasts due to weight
Breasts that are asymmetrical
Trouble sleeping due to breast discomfort when lying down
Rashes and/or infection in skin trapped beneath breasts
- Difficulties participating in physical activities due to breast size
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Patients with unrealistic expectations that are not in good health are not a fit for breast lift surgery. Breasts should be fully developed before breast lift is performed. Additionally, anyone whose weight is fluctuating would not be an ideal candidate, as breast size is likely to fluctuate as well, making the results of the procedure last a shorter amount of time.
If any of the following applies to you, you may not be a good candidate for breast surgery:
- A history of irregular mammograms, undiagnosed lumps, or other types of masses
- Severe obesity or weight-related diseases (diabetes, heart disorders)
- Wound healing disorders (difficulty healing, keloid scarring)
- Breastfeeding or have recently stopped breastfeeding
- Clotting disorders or family history of clotting disorders
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Some surgeons require that you have a mammogram before surgery, especially if you are over 40 and have never had a mammogram. This is to make sure that you do not have a preexisting condition that could complicate the procedure. Otherwise, preparations are simple.
Here is an overview (non-exhaustive):
- Do not take any blood thinners for at least 10 days prior to surgery (these include Advil, aspirin and Ibuprofen)
- Stop smoking at least 4 weeks before surgery — smoking causes blood vessels to constrict, which can interfere with healing
- Wear comfortable clothes
- Do not wear nail polish, contact lenses, makeup, or jewelry (or any accessories containing metal)
Breast reduction is a highly successful procedure and patients are usually very pleased with the results. As with any surgery, there is a risk of complications related to infection or adverse reactions to anesthesia. A proper assessment of every patient, along with complete lab work is done after the surgery is complete to help prevent postoperative complications. After healing, scars are handled with special treatments to minimize their appearance.
Risks of breast reduction are similar to other surgical procedures. These include infection, the risks of being under general anesthesia (risk of cardiac arrest or stroke), bleeding (hematoma), and blood clots. Unfavorable scarring at the site of surgery may occur. As with many surgeries, there is a risk of damaging deeper structures such as fatty tissue, nerves, muscles, and blood vessels, though minimal with a skilled surgeon.
Breast-related surgeries share common risks, which include:
- Breast pain
- Breast asymmetry
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
- Changes in nipple/breast sensation
- Fluid accumulation
- Potential loss of skin or tissue where incisions meet
- Potential loss of nipple and areola (partial or total)
- Skin discoloration, hyperpigmentation, swelling and bruising
- Diminished ability to breastfeed
- Possibility of revisional surgery
Breast-reduction specific risks include:
- Excessive firmness of breasts
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