A breast reduction, also known as “reduction mammoplasty,” is a surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon aimed at reducing the size of one or both breasts. There are many reasons why a woman might elect to undergo breast reduction surgery. But whether it’s to restore functionality to the breasts, improve their cosmetic appearance, or regain confidence, noticeable scars will result. Post-operative care and scar management is an important step to ensure the best cosmetic outcome after your breast reduction procedure.
Continue reading to learn all about breast reduction surgeries and what you can do post-operatively to care for your scars.
The enlargement of the breasts is a common problem for a lot of women. There are a number of causes for this condition, many of which aren’t harmful to a woman’s health. Early maturation, weight gain, and a rare condition known as “breast hypertrophy” can contribute to the overgrowth of breast tissue. Other factors that influence bust size include genetics, hormonal changes, and pregnancy. Most women develop large breasts during the pubertal stage of breast development, but later-stage enlargement can occur as a result of a number of other factors.
Women with enlarged breasts often feel that their bust size is disproportionate to their body size and wish to improve symmetry by having a reductive procedure. Sometimes this is done solely to enhance the cosmetic appearance of the breasts, but it may also be a corrective measure for a number of physiological issues. Breast enlargement can induce severe neck, back, and shoulder pain, which can deteriorate a woman’s health and infringe on daily activities. In addition to enhancing one’s physical well-being, breast reductions can restore confidence in one’s self-image.
Many people consider breast reduction surgery a female-only procedure. But more and more men are going under the knife to rectify a condition known as gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is a generally harmless condition characterized by the enlargement of male breasts from excessive glandular and fat tissue growth. A hormonal imbalance resulting from the overproduction of estrogen in men can lead to this disorder. Reductive surgeries for gynecomastia are primarily cosmetic in nature and leave only slight scarring around the areola.
Types of breast reduction incisions
There are several techniques a plastic surgeon might employ when performing a breast reduction procedure. The type of incision made to the breast depends on the woman’s anatomy, her desired shape, and the amount of breast tissue to be removed. Each of the following incision types will produce a different scar shape and size.
Periareolar “donut” mammoplasty – This procedure is minimally invasive and leaves the patient with a small scar around the perimeter of the areola. Younger patients who require minor tissue extraction or a slight breast lift may be good candidates for this procedure. Because the areola is generally darker than the rest of the skin, the scar is usually camouflaged quite nicely. However, significant scarring is still a possibility with some patients.
Vertical “Lollipop” mammoplasty – This is a common procedure that requires a circular incision around the areola and a vertical incision from the areola down to the base of the breast. Vertical incisions allow the surgeon more room to make greater adjustments, in comparison to donut mammoplasties. This procedure is appropriate for patients with mild to moderate breast enlargement. Scarring will form around the areola and down to the base of the breast in the shape of a lollipop, hence the name.
Inverted-T “Anchor” mammoplasty – This is the most common breast reduction procedure that requires three incisions to be made. One incision is made around the perimeter of the areola. A second, vertical incision is made below the areola down to the base of the breast. And a third, horizontal incision connecting the vertical one is made along the crease of the lower breast. Together, these incisions form the shape of an inverted-t or anchor. This technique grants the surgeon the greatest control and versatility in reducing and contouring the size and shape of the breast. More scarring should be expected from this procedure in comparison to others.
The best topical solution for scar therapy
Any form of breast reduction procedure will leave scars, some more noticeable than others. Severe scarring that can form as a result of such procedures include keloid and hypertrophic scar formations. These scar types are characterized by their raised, bumpy textures that look red or purple in appearance. You can learn more about these two scar formations in a previous article.
To prevent irregular scarring, or to flatten and reduce the appearance of current scars, silicone gel sheeting should be worn. With innovations made by Biodermis for the past 30 years, silicone gel sheets in all shapes and sizes can be purchased online. Silicone sheets designed specifically for breast reduction procedures include Epi-Derm Areola Circles, Epi-Derm Areopexy, and Epi-Derm Mastopexy forms.
Biodermis is an innovative market leader with 30 years of expertise in the medical silicone industry. Visit Biodermis.com today to explore a complete range of scar management and post-operative care solutions.
PHYSICIANS AND MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS: REFER OR RESELL?
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