Friday, April 28, 2006

Breast Reduction Facts & Figures

Breast Reduction Facts & Figures
By Gay Redmile

Breast reduction or reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure which reduces the size of the breasts by reducing fat, skin and glandular tissue. The size of a woman's breasts is partly determined by her genes - the inherited factors that also affect height and size. Weight and hormones also have an influence. Some women develop particularly large breasts from early adolescence. Others develop them later in life, during menopause or following the use of HRT.

Breast reduction is usually undertaken for physical reasons rather than cosmetic reasons. Breast reduction surgery is predominately undertaken by women with large, pendulous breasts, since the weight of their breasts may cause neck, back, shoulder, circulation and/or breathing problems. Or it may be because of inability to exercise or play sport as a result of breast size, or difficulty buying clothes due to being top-heavy. Even if physical discomfort is not a problem, some women feel uncomfortable with the large size of their breasts in proportion to the rest of their bodies or it may be that one breast is much larger than the other. Reduction mammoplasty means the breasts are reshaped to form smaller, lighter and firmer breasts and the nipples are repositioned.

Predominately breast reduction is not undertaken until the breasts are fully developed; however, it can be done earlier if large breasts are causing serious discomfort. Before you decide on breast reduction you should consider what you hope to achieve. Some women initially want a radical reduction in size but this can affect the final shape and appearance of the breasts, so a more moderate reduction may be a better option.

Breast reduction is usually undertaken in a hospital, as an inpatient procedure. This procedure usually takes two to four hours, with a hospital stay of two to three days. After surgery, the patient will be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over gauze dressings. A small tube may be placed in each breast to drain off blood and fluids for the first day or two. There may be some pain for the first couple of days some discomfort for a week or more. The surgeon will prescribe medication to lessen the pain. The bandages will he removed after a couple of days, but the surgical bra will be required for several weeks, until the swelling and bruising reduces. A week or two after surgery, the stitches will either dissolve, or need to be removed.

Although you may be up and about in a day or two, your breasts will probably still ache occasionally for a couple of weeks. You should avoid lifting or pushing anything heavy for three or four weeks. Patients may take a few weeks for initial recovery, however it may take from six months to a year for the body to completely adjust to the new breast size. Some women may experience discomfort during their initial menstruation following the surgery due to the breasts swelling.

Many women find that the benefits of breast reduction far outweigh the side-effects. However you need to consider the risks involved. Breast reduction is not a simple operation, but is normally safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. As with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding, infection, or reaction to the anaesthesia. Some patients develop small sores around their nipples after surgery; which can be treated with antibiotic creams.

The surgical procedure does leave noticeable, permanent scars. Initially these scars are lumpy and red but gradually reduce into smaller sizes as thin white lines. The procedure can also leave you with slightly mismatched breasts or unevenly positioned nipples. If you are overweight, you may be advised to lose weight beforehand. Smokers will be advised to give up because smoking increases the risks of surgery, including delayed healing.

Insurance coverage is sometimes available for breast reduction surgery. Your plastic surgeon should be able to advise you about this. Finance is also available for breast reduction operations.

The cost for breast reduction tends to range between $5,000-$10,000.

Because breast size alters with body weight, it is better if your weight is stable. Breasts won't grow again after surgery, but they may still fluctuate in size if weight is gained or lost. And don't forget - as with breasts that have not been surgically reduced - some drooping will still occur as you get older!

About the Author
Gay Redmile is the webmaster of several health and wellbeing sites. For further important information and resources on breast reduction visit the following websites.

Plastic Surgery Information
Get A Breast Lift
Breast Enhancement Information