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Oversized breasts cause more discomfort and loss of confidence than having smaller breasts in women. Apart from large size it is also associated with a host of medical problems like pain in the back, neck and shoulders; shoulder notching due to constant digging in by bra straps; unpleasant smell of sweating under the breasts, sometimes may be accompanied by infection, rashes and dark pigmentation in the folds.

This condition may present itself at any age during puberty, after childbirth, after weight gain or later in life following the menopause, also sometimes because of the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Breast reduction surgery has today evolved to a much safer procedure with predictable and better cosmetic results, as well as fewer complications making it one of the most frequently requested procedures.

Ideal candidates: Women with very large, pendulous breasts are the ideal candidates for breast reduction/mammoplasty.

Procedure: This can be achieved by either Liposuction/Mammoplasty. Liposuction is a minimally invasive alternative when the breast tissue has more fat than the glandular part especially where patient is unmarried and wants to preserve breastfeeding function. Liposuction involves the removal of excess fat, is less expensive, causes lesser trauma to the breast and is generally done under local anaesthesia with sedation and it leaves no visible scarring.

Mammoplasty however is preferred when the gland part is of greater proportion than the fat as in the women with children and those who have completed the family and don’t need the breastfeeding function anymore. Mammoplasty needs to be done under general anaesthesia and involves removal of excess fat, glandular tissue and skin, making the breasts firmer and less wobbly as well as lighter than before. Most of the cases of the breast reduction surgeries, the nipples and areolas remain attached to the blood and nerve supplies, while the excess breast tissues are removed. The areolas are also reduced in size. The nipples and areolas are then repositioned at a higher level and the incisions are closed.

This procedure is combined with a breast lift also known as mastopexy, the breasts also get lifted, with the nipples pointing forwards instead of downwards making them aesthetically more appealing.

How much time does the surgery take?
Breast reduction surgery itself takes take about two to five hours, an overnight stay at hospital is required and the patient can get back to office in 10-15 days. The bruising and swelling takes about 2-3 weeks to subside.

Precautions and postoperative care: After the surgery, rest is advised for about 48 hours. Pressure garment or specialized bra is worn for 4 weeks. Gym exercises are avoided for 4-6 weeks. One should avoid sun exposure on breasts for few months and take special care of the incision sites by applying scar reducing creams and silicone gel sheet.

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