Get a Breast Reduction & Look Better, Feel Better
Reasons For Breast Reduction
There are several medically valid reasons for a woman to decide to have breast reduction surgery. Women with large or heavy breasts may experience a considerable amount of back, neck or shoulder pain and even have posture issues. Also, having one breast obviously larger than the other and not wanting to increase the size of the smaller one often prompts a woman to want to reduce the size of the larger of the two to create a more even appearance. If the breast reduction is for medical reasons and not cosmetic, you insurance should pay for the procedure. It's a good idea to discuss with your health insurance company whether or not it will be covered before you have the procedure done in case you need to work out another form of payment.
First Step-Finding A Surgeon
Once you have decided to have breast reduction surgery, you need to find a qualified surgeon if you haven't already by this point. There are many highly qualified cosmetic and plastic surgeons available, so do some research and don't hesitate to ask questions. Your surgeon should be happy to provide answers about his or her training and experience as well as answer questions you have about the actual breast reduction.
Types Of Reduction Surgery
There are several different types of breast reduction. Women will either have bilateral breast reduction where both breasts are decreased or unilateral breast reduction where only one breast is reduced. The types of breast reductions are then defined by incision and scar patterns as well as what nerves and blood supply are left in place.
The pedicle method of breast reduction is when the nipple stays attached to the breast and the connecting nerves, blood vessels and milk ducts are not cut. The nipple stays connected throughout the reduction as the excess tissue and skin is removed, then it is repositioned and stitched back in place. This way there is no loss of sensation in the nipple and breast feeding is still possible.
Most breast reductions use variations on the pedicle method and those are categorized by what nerves and blood vessels are left attached during the reduction and also by the scar pattern that is left.
The pedicle methods of breast reduction that are defined by where the blood vessels and nerves that are preserved include the Superior Pedicle where the nerve and blood supply are from the top of the breast. In the Inferior Pedicle method the nerve and blood supply are from the bottom of the breast. The Bi-pedicle maintains the supply from both the top and bottom of the breast.
Central Pedicle is just like it sounds; it maintains the nerve and blood supply from the center of the breast. And the Lateral Pedicle maintains the supply from the side of the breast.
The pedicle method is known by several other names including Anchor method, Robertson, Standard, McKissock, T-Scar, Inverted T, Lollipop, Short Scar and Weiss to list a few. Typically the incisions go around the areola, then in a straight line down the front of the breast and horizontally in the fold beneath the breast. Excess skin is removed both vertically and from side to side and breast tissue is also removed.
Verticle, Short Scar & Lejour Methods
With the Vertical, Short Scar or Lejour breast reduction method, the incision is only made around the nipple and areola and down to the underside of the breast into the fold. No horizontal incision is made. This method is only used on women who are a size DDD or smaller and it's preferred if possible because there is less scarring. Because of the smaller breast size, less tissue has to be removed and no skin is removed.
This is a fairly new technique that is gaining popularity and can only be performed on women who meet certain criteria, one of which is usually pre-operative size of DDD or less.
Liposuction Or Scar-Less Method
Liposuction is also used for breast reduction and is sometimes called the Scar-Less method. No large incisions are needed to insert the liposuction cannula and no excess skin is removed, just allowed to shrink over time. Scarring and recovery time are both reduced and the main drawback to this is that no reshaping of the breasts can be done. As with any liposuction procedure, some dimpling is possible and as well all of the other methods of breast reduction, some swelling, discomfort and bruising will also occur.
Free Nipple Graft
Even with all the different types of pedicle method, for some women it is difficult to use that procedure because the amount of breast tissue and skin to be removed is just too large. In those cases, the nipple has to be severed, along with the nerves and blood supply and then grafted back in place after the reduction is done. The terminates any feeling or functionality of the nipple and is called a Free Nipple Graft.
No matter which breast reduction method your doctor recommends, be sure to ask what the long and short term effects will be and if the nipple sensation and function will be preserved. Except in extreme cases, you should be able to have a reduction and still maintain functionality.