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Breast Reduction: Options

December 7th, 2011

Just as some women may experience a decrease in breast size over time, others will notice an increase in breast size.  When a woman is uncomfortable with having too much breast tissue, there are several options to correct this condition. A  dramatic  increase in size may result of an increase in overall weight gain or a pronounced sagging of the breast tissue.  Increase of breast size may result in physical discomfort, including  symptoms like neck pain, back pain, shoulder grooving and irritation beneath the breasts.  Patients routinely turn  to breast reduction surgery to reduce their symptoms, along with their breast size.

Reducing breast size can be done with direct surgical removal of breast tissue or with liposuction.   Liposuction does not adjust nipple position.   It is effective only when there are significant amounts of fat in the breasts.  Young women may not be candidates for this surgery because of the relatively low amount of breast fat.  Traditional breast reduction surgery reduces breast size through excision of breast tissue, while repositioning the  nipple and areola (pigmented skin around the nipple).  The size of the areola  can also be reduced.   Scars, which are similar to breast lift surgery, are placed around the nipple and beneath the breast as well.  Scars will be less noticeable as they continue to heal.

I recommend that any breast tissue removed be sent for examination by a pathologist.   This includes a   visualization under a microscope after tissue  staining to determine the presence of conditions or abnormalities which might increase chances of breast cancer.   On rare  occasions, breast cancer is diagnosed this way.

My patients choose of their final size, based on decisions made during our office consultation.  A range of implant “sizers” are helpful in this regard.
Time to schedule reduction surgery following pregnancy is determined by normal involution of breast tissue and the end to breast-feeding.   Generally this takes six months to a year after delivery or three months after breast-feeding.  Unfortunately, some women will not be able to breast feed again after breast reduction surgery.  Therefore, if breast-feeding  is an important consideration, I advise my patients to postpone breast reduction surgery until they are finished having children.

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Gina’s Final Blog: Good News

September 25th, 2009

Good news!!   I had my final check-up and I was NOT put on an extended time-out! You might recall reading that I didn’t exactly follow my after-instructions perfectly.  I must admit that I was half expecting to be put on that longer recovery period after my antics with the dog and the zipline at the playground.  But Dr. Bashioum said that I was healing nicely, in spite of my minor transgressions!

I’m around the 3-month mark now during my post-surgery recovery and I am so pleased with the results of the single-sided breast reduction.   My breasts are now about as symmetrical as they can be (nothing on the body can ever be perfectly symmetrical) and I no longer have any pain when working out.   Running is much more enjoyable and I don’t have to wear two sports bras to minimize the movement of the left breast anymore.   I tried doing Jiu Jitsu, but the intense pressure is still too much for the breast that had surgery at this point.   Dr. Bashioum has mentioned that I am clear for any activity that does not cause pain, so I’ll have to wait awhile longer to resume my martial arts training.

Before the surgery, I would loathe seeing my left breast.   I felt that the asymmetry detracted from all of my hard work training and attempts to achieve the body I was happy with.   I definitely feel more confident about my body now.   I am wearing shirts and tank tops without baggy sweatshirts over them, which is what I used to do to hide the asymmetry of my breasts.   I also enjoy looking at myself in the morning when I am getting dressed for the day.    What a nice feeling.

I have been playfully teased by my friends and family with comments like, “What a huge difference the surgery made.” or “All these years I didn’t have the heart to tell you that your boobs didn’t match!” and so on.   Most people denied that they noticed the size discrepancy until I pointed it out, but they are surprised to see what a real difference the reduction has made.   However the cosmetic surgery has not only corrected the asymmetry of my breasts, but it has also changed the way I feel about myself now; how differently I carry myself and how I actually enjoy the way I look both in and out of my clothes.   I have to say that I wasn’t quite expecting this remarkable self-esteem bonus.

This process has been an interesting experience.   Thank you for following my story.   Readers might be surprised that I have only one regret… that I didn’t have the surgery sooner!

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