Breast Reduction in Birmingham AL
Smaller, Lighter and Firmer Breasts with Plastic Surgery
Overly large and heavy breasts can affect women both physically and emotionally, causing pain and discomfort in addition to issues with their self-image. These women may suffer from back, neck and shoulder pain. They may also feel limited in their ability to participate in physical activities, perform daily tasks and lead an active life.
Breast Reduction, or reduction mammaplasty, at Hedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery makes the breasts smaller, lighter and firmer by removing excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin. Achieving physical relief and a more proportionate breast size helps many women better enjoy physical activities and their daily lives.
Enhancing Your Quality of Life
Women pursue breast reduction for various reasons, but all with the goal of enhancing their overall quality of life:
- Improved confidence and self-expression: Many women say they are more confident and more comfortable in their own bodies.
- Easier to shop: Women often report that finding clothes that fit becomes much easier and they can shop at almost any store.
- Back feels better: Women almost always report that smaller breasts significantly reduce back pain and give them more energy.
- Bras don't hurt: Nearly all women experience a significant reduction in bra strap pain.
- Exercise with ease: Women frustrated with overly large breasts can finally exercise in the way they want.
- Skin feels better: Skin irritation under the breasts is significantly reduced.
- Easier to breathe: Women find it easier to breathe with smaller, more proportionate breasts.
Breast Reduction Candidates
Ideal candidates for breast reduction are:
- Bothered by the feeling that their breasts are too large.
- Struggling with physical activity due to the size of their breasts.
- Experiencing back, neck and shoulder pain caused by the weight of their breasts.
- Suffering from shoulder indentations caused by bra straps and/or have skin irritation beneath the breast crease.
- Nonsmokers/non-vapers who are healthy and do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing.
- People with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for breast reduction.
Many women struggle with the decision to have a breast reduction, but afterwards consider it one of the best decisions they ever made for themselves.
Your Breast Reduction Consultation
The success and safety of your breast reduction procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You'll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle. Be prepared to discuss:
- Your surgical goals.
- Your reasons for wanting to have surgery, your expectations and your desired outcome.
- Your medical condition and medical treatments (bring documentation if available).
- Your current medications and drug allergies, any vitamins or herbal supplements you take and any alcohol, tobacco, vaping or drug use.
- Breast cancer in the family, as well as the results of any mammograms or previous biopsies.
- Any questions or concerns you have about breast reduction from your own research.
Your plastic surgeon will also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors.
- Examine and evaluate the appearance of your breasts, including the position of the nipples and areolas, the condition of the skin and the shape of the breasts.
- Take photographs for your medical records.
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment.
- Discuss the likely outcomes of breast reduction and any risks or potential complications.
- Answer any questions you have about breast reduction.
Breast Reduction Risks and Safety
Your surgeon will review with you the relevant risks of breast reduction. You should feel free to ask any questions to help you understand the risks. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. You may be asked to sign a consent form to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.
Important considerations for breast reduction:
- While breast reduction surgery may interfere with sensation, nipple sensation usually improves over time.
- Breast and nipple piercing can cause infection.
- Breast reduction surgery may limit a woman's ability to breastfeed, although most women can still breastfeed after having a breast reduction.
- While a breast reduction can be performed at any age, breasts should ideally be fully developed.
- Changes in the breasts during pregnancy can alter the outcomes of previous breast reduction surgery, as can weight fluctuations.
Breast reduction risks can include:
- Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injectable agents.
- Anesthesia risks.
- Bleeding (hematoma).
- Blood clots.
- Breast asymmetry.
- Breast contour and shape irregularities.
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent.
- Damage to deeper structures — such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles and lungs — can occur and may be temporary or permanent.
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications.
- Excessive firmness of the breast.
- Fat necrosis (fatty tissue deep in the skin could die).
- Fluid accumulation.
- Pain, which may persist.
- Poor wound healing.
- Possibility of revisional surgery.
- Potential inability to breastfeed.
- Potential loss of breast skin/tissue where incisions meet each other.
- Potential, partial or total loss of nipple and areola.
- Skin discoloration, permanent pigmentation changes, swelling and bruising.
- Unfavorable scarring.
Preparing for Breast Reduction
Prior to breast reduction surgery, you may be asked to:
- Have a physical examination, including lab work.
- Obtain breast imaging studies depending on your personal or family history or age.
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
- Stop smoking or vaping. Smoking decreases blood flow, which can impede wound healing and increase the risk of infection.
- Avoid taking aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs, as they can increase bleeding.
Breast reductions are performed at our accredited Outpatient Surgery Facility in Birmingham, Alabama. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you for at least the first night.
Breast Reduction Procedure
Breast reduction involves making incisions on the breast skin to remove the excess breast tissue and skin, followed by reshaping and elevating to create a smaller, more proportionate bust size. In some cases, excess fat may be removed through liposuction in conjunction with the excision techniques. This surgery can also reduce the dark skin around the nipple called the areola.
The technique used to reduce the size of your breasts will be determined by your individual anatomy, breast composition, amount of reduction desired, personal preferences and the surgeon's advice.
Breast reduction surgery is performed using intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your surgeon will recommend the best choice for you.
Breast Reduction Incisions
Breast reduction incision options include the lollipop incision and the keyhole incision.
Tissue Removal and Repositioning
After the incision is made, the nipple is repositioned. The nipple remains tethered to its original blood and nerve supply. If necessary, the areola diameter is reduced by removing skin around the perimeter. Underlying breast tissue is reduced and the remaining breast tissue is lifted and shaped.
With extremely large breasts, the nipple and areola may need to be removed completely and then repositioned to a higher position on the breast (called a free nipple graft). In this case, the nipple and areola will not have sensation after the operation and it will take longer to heal.
Closing the Incisions
The incisions are brought together to reshape the now smaller breast. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts. Sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape close the skin. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade over time.
Breast Reduction Recovery
Following your surgery, gauze or bandages will be applied to your incisions. An elastic bandage or support bra will minimize swelling and support the reconstructed breast. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid. A pain pump may also be used to reduce the need for narcotics.
Following your physician's instructions is key to the success of your surgery. You will be given specific instructions on how to care for yourself. These instructions may include:
- How to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery.
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection.
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health.
- When to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
Postoperative swelling and bruising may initially obscure the final results. Full recovery can take several months.
The surgical incisions should not be subjected to excessive force, motion, swelling or abrasion during the time of healing.
Breast Reduction Recovery Timeline
- Week 1 — Monitor pain, swelling and bruising (medication may be required); significantly limit your activity.
- Week 2-3 — You will start to feel much better; return to work (depending on your job); limit exercise and activities.
- Week 4-5 — Continue to wear a support bra; increase activity; continue to be gentle with your breasts.
- Week 6 and beyond — Continue to perform breast self-examination; schedule routine mammograms; discuss scar optimization and resumption of normal activity with your surgeon.
Breast Reduction Results
The results of breast reduction surgery with Dr. William Hedden, Dr. Stephen Gunn, Dr. Pasha Mostofi or Dr. Joshua Halka will be long-lasting. Your new breast size should help relieve you from the pain and physical limitations experienced prior to breast reduction.
The immediate results of breast reduction surgery can include:
- Reduced breast size and volume.
- Improved breast shape.
- Relief from physical symptoms such as back and neck pain, skin irritation and grooving from bra straps.
- Improved self-esteem and body image.
Over time your breasts can change due to aging, weight fluctuations, hormonal factors and gravity.
Breast Reduction Words to Know
- Areola: Pigmented skin surrounding the nipple.
- Breast reduction: Also known as reduction mammaplasty, the surgical removal of breast tissue to reduce the size of breasts.
- General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
- Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
- Intravenous sedation: Sedatives administered by injection into a vein to help you relax.
- Liposuction: Also called lipoplasty or suction lipectomy, this procedure vacuums out fat from beneath the skin's surface to reduce fullness.
- Local anesthesia: A drug injected directly to the site of an incision during an operation to relieve pain.
- Mammogram: An x-ray image of the breast.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): a painless test to view tissue similar to an x-ray.
- Reduction mammaplasty: The surgical removal of breast tissue to reduce the size of breasts.
- Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.
Procedure Information © American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Results with Breast Reduction are smaller, more convenient and comfortable breasts in better proportion to your body.
Birmingham, AL Office & Surgery SuitesHedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery
140 Village Street
Birmingham, AL 35242
205-980-1744 or 800-HeddenMD * Dr. William Hedden, Dr. Stephen Gunn
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Questions About Breast Enhancement?
Contact Hedden & Gunn Plastic Surgery today to learn more about lighter and better proportioned breasts with Breast Reduction in Birmingham, Alabama.
To schedule your consultation at the earliest possible date, please call 205-980-1744.
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