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Breast Reduction Surgery

Oct 16, 2007
Breast Reduction, or Reduction Mammoplasty, is the surgical procedure to reduce breast size and weight through the removal of excess breast tissue, fat and skin. The plastic surgeon not only makes the breasts more proportionate to a womans figure, but also lifts them.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 114,250 Breast Reduction surgeries were performed in 2005 on women who had excessively large breasts, a condition also known as Macromastia, Mammary Hypertrophy and Mammary Gigantism. Some girls develop breast overdevelopment (Mammary Hypertrophy) during puberty, while some women develop very large breasts (Gigantomastia) during pregnancy.

All of these women chose the option of Breast Reduction because it was the only way to correct the physical and emotional issues that are caused by excess breast weight. Reasons for undergoing Reduction Mammoplasty include:

Chronic Neck, Back and Shoulder Pain:
A woman with size "F" cup breasts is carrying approximately six pounds more than a woman with a "D" cup. This additional weight is sustained by the neck, back and shoulders, causing chronic pain in these areas. Many women find relief only through strong narcotics and muscle relaxants, leading to physical addiction, and emotional trauma. As such, Mammary Hypertrophy is a physical disability.

Disproportionate Breasts:
Some women develop breasts that are disproportionate to their overall size, such as a petite woman with "D" cup breasts, who would be very "top heavy" and have difficulty finding clothes that fit properly.

Inability to Exercise:
For many women with Mammary Hypertrophy, the mere weight of their breasts makes it impossible to maintain any kind of exercise routine.

Skin Rashes and Chronic Skin Infection:
Excessive Sweating in the folds beneath large and pendulous breasts results in chronic dermatitis (skin irritation) and even fungal and bacterial skin infections in the inframammary fold. Furthermore, the wires in most support bras further irritate this area, resulting in long-term disintegration of the skin, and agonizing pain.

Breast "Ptosis" or Sagging:
Often, women with large breasts have a pendulous breast shape, with nipples and areolas (the colored areas around the nipple) that point downward. Their heavy breasts sag so that they must always wear a bra, and cannot wear revealing clothes.

Painful Shoulder Grooves from Heavy Bra Straps:
Painful and uncomfortable indentations result from the need to wear full support bras with tight straps, even to sleep.

Breast Asymmetry:
Breasts with significant "unevenness" make women feel "lopsided" and make finding clothing difficult.

Many women with excessively large breasts have difficulty breathing during sleep, and often resort to sleeping upright while wearing their bras to bed.

Emotional Trauma:
For many women, the discomfort and self-consciousness from excessive breast size becomes a problem that overshadows all other areas of their life at work, friendship and romance.

Some health plans cover Breast Reduction for chronic medical conditions, taking into consideration factors such as the amount of breast tissue to be removed, and how severe the medical, rather than cosmetic, problems are.

During the most common Breast Reduction surgery, the plastic surgeon makes an "anchor-shaped" incision the circles the areola, through a total of three incisions. One incision is made around the areola the colored area around the nipple. A second incision is made vertically from the bottom of the areola to beneath the breast crease. A third incision curves in the under-breast (Inframammary) fold. The plastic surgeon then removes excess tissue, fat and skin, shifting the nipple and the areola into their new higher position.

The plastic surgeon then brings the skin from both sides of the breast down around the areola, shaping the new contour of the breast. Skin that was above the nipple is lowered to the breast crease, allowing the surgeon to bring skin together and to reshape the breast.

Often, Breast Reduction is performed simultaneously with a Breast Lift or "Mastopexy," because the excess fat and glandular tissue that made breasts large and heavy lead to sagging that can only be corrected by a lifting procedure. Men who develop excessively large breasts, or "woman-like" breasts a condition known as Gynecomastia - can also undergo Breast Reduction.
About the Author
Dave Stringham is the President of LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery procedures. Learn more about breast reduction and other plastic surgery procedures.
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