The weight from large breasts can cause a variety of problems including back and neck pain, shoulder grooving from bra straps, skin irritation and restrict exercise activity. Breast reduction surgery is performed to create a smaller, lighter, and perky breast. This procedure provides the highest percentage of satisfaction and the deepest level of satisfaction among all plastic surgery procedures. Breast reduction surgery dramatically improves the quality of a patient's life. Dr. Godat will often combine breast reduction plastic surgery with liposuction to remove excess breast tissue in the lateral breast area and in the armpits. This achieves a better aesthetic outcome for the patient, removes troublesome tissue under the arms, and can also be covered by insurance.
The procedure removes excess fat, breast tissue and skin. The breast becomes smaller, lighter, and firmer. Also, the nipple/areola is downsized in proportion to the new breast size. The technique Dr. Godat provides a superior shape that maintains longer and has a lower rate of "bottoming-out" than older techniques. This procedure, called vertical reduction mammaplasty, was originally developed in France and then modified further in the last decade.
Breast reduction surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. Dr. Godat performs surgery only with an MD anesthesiologist. An RN monitors your recovery until you are ready to go home. Most patients return to work the week of surgery. Incisions are healed at three weeks. For larger reductions, incision healing time may take longer. Swelling may take up to six weeks to resolve at which time final results may be seen. Numbness of the nipple areolar complex may occur in some patients after breast reduction surgery and may be present, but reduced in a larger portion of patients. In most of these patients, numbness resolves after a period of months and may continue to improve up to two years after surgery. Breast reduction may also impair the capacity to breast feed, but in most patients, it does not. If breast feeding is a concern to a patient, she will need to weight this against the benefits of breast reduction.
The activity restrictions after surgery include no heavy lifting for three weeks and no swimming or taking a bath (showering is okay the day of surgery) for three weeks. After surgery, patients must wear a post-operative bra provided by Dr. Godat 24 hours a day for three weeks. Dr. Godat recommends walking the evening of surgery and for the days after surgery to prevent post-operative complications and to facilitate a better recovery. Narcotic pain medication is provided for the patient's post-operative needs, but patients will not normally need narcotic pain medication after three days.
Once the patient no longer requires these, she can resume driving and daily activities. The patient may return to work whenever she feels able as long as she abides by the post-operative activity restrictions, i.e. no heavy lifting. Most patients can return to work within a few days. A patient at the end of three weeks should be fitted for new bras. This will include bras with underwires as well as sports bras for any exercise activity. By the end of three weeks, the patient may resume regular activity and exercise. The patient should start her exercise routine slowly and work up to her previous full level of exercise by the sixth week. Scar care should also begin at three weeks. See Dr. Godat's scar regimen.
Your incision will require no post-operative care and no stitches or drains need to be removed after surgery. Dr. Godat closes the incisions with multiple layers of suture beneath the surface of the skin that dissolve on their own. The outer layer is comprised of surgical glue that peels off by the end of the third week. With use of the glue, the incision requires no post-operative care or dressings.
Other body contouring surgery may be performed in conjunction with breast reduction. Dr. Godat will take the time to discuss options with you at the time of your consultation so that your goals may be achieved.