Weight Off My Shoulders: Breast Reduction Surgery
Chris describes what her life was like before breast reduction surgery, saying just getting dressed every day was pure agony. “Ever since I can remember, I’ve had to wear a minimizer, and typically wore two shirts just to cover up my size. I was always uncomfortable around men. Finally after watching both my sisters go through the surgery, I felt it was time I dealt with it. I booked a consult with Dr. Pranay Parikh at Baystate Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, and I am so happy I did. He answered every question and made me so at ease. The care I received was fabulous.”
Parikh says, “Breast reduction patients are among my happiest patients, as they see the results of the procedure immediately and feel a huge weight off their shoulders. Women who have breast reduction surgery are my most satisfied patients, mainly because they see results immediately. Making the breasts smaller, firmer, lighter, and more evenly proportioned relieves the pain caused by large breasts.”
What to Expect
Before breast reduction surgery, you will meet with your surgeon to talk about your medical history, including whether or not you've had a lump removed or any other medical conditions that affect your breasts. Your surgeon will also ask you about your family's medical history.
Baystate surgeons perform breast reduction surgery using general anesthesia. The surgery usually takes between two to three hours, depending upon the amount of tissue being removed, and may require an overnight stay, although that’s not usually required.
During the surgery, the surgeon makes an incision around the nipple then downward in the form of a keyhole or lollypop. The surgeon removes excess skin, tissue, and fat from the breast; reshapes the breast; and repositions the nipple.
After surgery, the breasts are supported with a special gauze or bra. Some swelling, bruising, and pain for the first few days is normal, but many patients say wearing a surgical bra 24 hours a day helps. In some cases, there may be a small tube inserted to help drain fluid for the first few days. Stitches are removed within a couple weeks, and patients can usually return to their normal activities within three to four weeks.
Parikh says some women wait years before seeking relief from the pain that can be caused by large breasts. “I see patients as young as 16 and as old as 65. Some are referred to me by their primary care provider, but many make their own appointments after months or years of pain or rashes that won’t go away. The deep groves in their shoulders are a daily reminder that there are alternatives for them.”
Chris can relate. “I actually started doing research and thinking about breast reduction 20 years ago,” she says. “I am so glad I finally got it done. My only regret is I wish I hadn’t waited so long.”
For more information or to schedule a consultation, call Baystate Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at 413-794-4715.