The aim of the procedure is to produce smaller, shapelier breasts, which are in proportion with the rest of the body. The size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple can also be reduced.
During surgery, breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin are removed to make the breasts smaller, lighter, and firmer. An incision is usually made around the nipple and under the surface of the breast, like an upside down T. The nipple and areola are almost always left attached to their blood vessels and nerves. The skin from above the nipples is then pulled down to shape the new breast and a hole is cut the new nipple and areola. If the breasts are particularly large, the nipple may need to be completely removed and grafted to a higher position – this results in a loss of sensation to the nipple and areola.
General anesthesia - discussed with your surgeon
Before surgery, please inform your surgeon of any allergies, all medical conditions, and any medication that you are taking (both prescription and non-prescription).
To eliminate the chance of post op. bleeding, you should avoid aspirin and any medication containing aspirin for 2 weeks prior to surgery. You should also not smoke for 1-2 months prior to surgery as smoking can affect your reaction to the anesthetic and slow down the healing process. Patients who suffer from hypertension must inform the surgeon prior to surgery.
When you wake up after surgery, you will be wrapped in elastic bandages, gauze dressings and a surgical bra. A small tube may be placed in each breast to drain blood and fluids for the first day or two.
The extent of the post-operative swelling and bruising depends on whether you tend to bruise or swell easily. Every person is different. Application of cold compresses or ice packs will reduce swelling and relieve discomfort. A couple of days after surgery the pressure bandages will be removed. The surgical bra must be worn at all times for several weeks until the swelling and bruising subsides, or until your surgeon advises you otherwise. You should only remove the surgical bra to bathe and to wash the garment.
For the first few months, it is important not to place tension on the incisions by performing strenuous activities like lifting or stretching your arms above your head as this may increase scarring by stretching the tissue.
Your surgeon will try to ensure that your incisions are as subtle as possible, however it is important to remember that the scars are extensive and permanent. They may be red for months, and then slowly become fainter, eventually fading to thin white lines. In most cases, the scars are positioned so that they would not be seen when wearing low-cut tops and dresses.
Recovery usually takes about 2 weeks. Most people are back to work within 3 weeks.