Can breast reduction relieve pain and improve quality of life?

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Women with extremely large breastsa condition known as macromastiaor breasts that are incongruent...

Women with extremely large breastsa condition known as macromastiaor breasts that are incongruent with their body frame may suffer from headaches, neck pain, poor posture and striations caused by the stretching of the skin. In addition to chronic pain, macromastia makes finding clothes that fit properly difficult and inhibits participation in athletic activities.

Reduction mammaplasty, commonly known as breast reduction surgery, provides relief from macromastia by reducing breast size through the removal of fat, tissue and skin from the breasts. This form of cosmetic surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Patients should also be aware of the nature of the procedure and recovery prior to going under the knife.

Choosing a Surgeon

Women interested in reduction mammaplasty need to select a doctor that is licensed, insured and trained to perform the procedure. Prospective patients should ensure that the doctor is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). In addition to ABPS certification, women should ask if the doctor has operating privileges for the same procedure in an accredited hospital in the area, even if the doctor works out of a different facility. This provides further insight into the doctor's qualifications, because hospital committees review a surgeon's educational background and skill set prior to permitting the surgeon to operate out of the hospital.

Reduction mammaplasty candidates in metro-Atlanta can ensure that their doctor is licensed to practice medicine in Georgia and check for any public disciplinary actions by visiting the "Look up a Licensed Provider" sub page of the Georgia Composite Medical Board website.

Good Chemistry

Rapport between doctor and patient is also a factor when selecting a cosmetic surgeon; this can be established during the initial consultation. A thorough doctor should evaluate your medical history, listen to your expectations, provide a detailed explanation about the nature of the procedure and review costs. Doctors may also perform a manual breast exam or mammogram. Patients should also stop taking medication like aspirin or ibuprofen that prevents your blood from clotting. Quality surgeons will also make sure patients have someone to drive them home following the surgery.

The Procedure

Breast reduction surgery lasts two to five hours. During the procedure, the doctor makes three incisions on the breast to remove extra breast tissue, skin and fat. The cuts are closed using stitches that also reshape the breast. Gauzes and bandages are subsequently applied over the operating area and temporary tubes are inserted under each arm for three to five days to drain blood and fluid. Patients also receive pain medication and antibiotics to prevent infection.

Women may wear a special bra designed to help reshape the breast in the months following the surgery. Within a week, pain should begin to subside. The stitches are removed after two weeks. Recipients of reduction mammaplasty generally begin to see the final results after several months when swelling reduces.


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