A breast reduction surgically removes excess fat, tissue, and skin to give you a firmer, smoother chest. Large, heavy breasts can be physically and emotionally taxing. Your back may hurt, you may find it difficult to sleep in certain positions, clothes shopping may be hard, and bra straps may leave deep grooves. Certain exercise, such as running, may be too uncomfortable to even attempt. A breast reduction can help you feel less self-conscious and more proportionate and should alleviate some literal and emotional weight you’ve been carrying.
Gynecomastia, or enlarged male breasts, affects about half of the male population at some point in their lives. This condition has a number of causes but is often due to hormonal changes just after birth or during puberty. Breast reduction surgery can help you feel more masculine and confident about your body.
Breast reduction is appropriate for all genders, and it’s different from other breast surgeries in that it may occasionally be offered to teenagers whose breasts cause significant physical or emotional stress. However, it’s usually better to wait until the breasts have stabilized and stopped growing, age 17 or older. Breast reduction is for generally healthy patients of a stable weight. Male breast reduction is discouraged for patients who excessively consume alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs such as steroids, since these substances may be factors in the condition and may undermine the surgery.
For female patients who intend to breastfeed in the future, it may be better to wait, since a reduction often involves removing some milk ducts.
In most cases, breast reduction is an outpatient surgery that requires general anesthesia. Incision placement varies based on your anatomy, but after the incisions are made, excess tissue will be removed, and your nipples will be repositioned. You’ll need about a week of downtime.
All surgeries carry risks for medical complications, so be aware and call your doctor if anything seems off. A breast reduction may result in temporary or permanent changes in sensation and you may also lose the ability to breastfeed. Your surgeon will discuss the risks with you.
Don’t take aspirin, Advil, fish oil, or other blood thinners for two weeks before and after surgery, to avoid hematomas and excessive bleeding.
Breast reduction may reduce back, neck, and shoulder pain. You may be able to breathe and sleep better and enjoy new-to-you physical activities. You’ll be able to wear a wider range of clothes, and you will generally feel more comfortable and secure in your body. For patients undergoing male breast reduction, your flatter, more masculine shape should be settled in about three to six months.
A 3D Vectra Imaging consultation allows you to preview a photo realistic new you. Available at The Mid Florida Institute of Plastic Surgery in Altamonte Springs. Consultation fee applies.
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