Large breasts can cause pain, improper posture, rashes, breathing problems, skeletal deformities and low self-esteem. Many patients have difficulty exercising and losing weight because their large breasts are so cumbersome. Some women find that their breasts enlarged during pregnancy and have not returned to their original size afterwards.
Breast reduction surgery with Dr. Nadia Afridi in New York City is done to provide relief from these symptoms. Performed under general anesthesia, the two- to four-hour procedure removes fat and glandular tissue and tightens skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts that are in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body.
Depending on the patient’s degree and type of breast enlargement, Dr. Afridi offers her patients traditional as well as newer short-scar technique procedures for breast reduction.
For many years, women who had breast reduction or breast lift surgery were left with prominent scars and the risk of the breasts drooping or flattening over time. The recently popularized short-scar techniques improve upon traditional breast reduction methods to avoid these problems.
The vertical short-scar technique involves making a lollipop-shaped incision in the breast. Tissue beneath the nipple and areole are left intact, allowing Dr. Afridi to consistently provide patients with attractively contoured breasts that stay high. The vertical scars are small and tend to heal well. Avoiding the horizontal scar underneath the breasts allows patient to freely wear deep plunging necklines exposing the cleavage without fear of revealing scars. Because there is no scar extending the side of the breasts, halter tops can also be worn without worry.
What happens during the breast reduction procedure?
During the traditional breast reduction procedure, Dr. Afridi makes an anchor-shaped incision from the new location of the nipple down to and around the crease beneath the breast. She removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin, relocates the nipple and areola, and reshapes the breast using skin from around the areola before closing the incisions with stitches. Liposuction may be recommended to remove excess fat from the armpit area. In fact, in some cases when only fat needs to be removed from the breasts, liposuction alone is used for breast reduction.
Breast reduction removes excess tissue in the breasts for a smaller size and more youthful contour. This breast reduction was performed using the vertical scar technique which results in only a "lollipop" incision and scar.
For a few days after surgery, the breasts are bound with an elastic bandage or a surgical bra, and patients may be given surgical drainage tubes for fluid removal. Stitches are usually dissolving and do no need to be removed. The need to wear a surgical bra depends on individual patient parameters, but often with the short scar technique patients can go without a bra after the surgery.
A little pain is normal after surgery, whether it’s mild discomfort, swelling during menstruation, a measure of numbness or sensitivity, or random, shooting pains that may last for a few months. Swelling, bruising, crusting and slight changes in breast size are also common. Most patients return to work in about two weeks, although you should avoid heavy lifting for three to four weeks and only gentle contact with the breasts should occur for six weeks.
Will breast reduction leave scars?
No surgery can be performed without scars and although the most meticulous technique is used to suture the wounds, each person scars differently. Generally, scars fade with time but will not disappear, although they can be hidden with a bra, bathing suit or low-cut top. Short-scar techniques greatly reduce the length and extent of scars on the breasts, allowing patients to freely reveal cleavage and the side of the breast with deep necklines and halter tops respectively.
Risks of Breast Reduction Surgery
Risks are rare and usually minor but may include bleeding, infection, reaction to the anesthesia, small sores around the nipples, slightly mismatched breasts or unevenly positioned nipples, and permanent loss of feeling in the nipple or breast.
Will my insurance cover breast reduction surgery?
In many cases, insurance companies will cover breast reduction surgery. Dr. Afridi's New York City office will be happy to work with your insurance company to gain coverage for you so long as you have out-of-network benefits. If you are limited to in-network doctors but do not have access to a surgeon who can perform vertical breast reduction (short-scar techniques), you may be have a legitimate reason to request coverage for the technique to be performed by Dr. Afridi.
Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)
Enlarged male breasts (gynecomastia) affects nearly 40-60% of men, often with no known cause. This condition can be highly embarrassing as well as physically uncomfortable. Men who feel self-conscious about enlarged breasts may seek breast reduction surgery. The procedure removes fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in some cases excess skin as well. The result is a flatter, firmer chest.
Ultrasonic assisted lipectomy, or UAL, is one of the best techniques for reducing the amount of breast tissue in men while also tightening the skin and minimizing scars. Dr. Afridi has extensive experience and training with the UAL technique.