More than Enough

More Than I Need or Want

We frequently hear about women who have had breast implants, and occasionally about those for whom the procedure didn't work so well. What we don't hear about too often is breast reduction surgery. Reduction mammoplasty is a surgical procedure done to reduce the size of the breasts and since it is usually the result of a physician recommendation, it is generally considered reconstruction surgery as opposed to cosmetic surgery. Notwithstanding, breast reduction can be done for cosmetic purposes, especially if a woman feels her breasts are out of proportion to her body.

Oh, The Pain

Disproportionately large breasts can be a very challenging issue for women. Sports, exercise and finding clothing that fits are obvious problems. The weight of the breasts can, and most often do, create pain in the back as the back muscles strain to balance the body. Deep marks in the shoulders from bra straps are both unwelcome and painful. Many women have their bras specially made with wide straps in an effort to address the situation. Skin infections and irritations under large breasts can contribute to a general feeling of malaise as well. Oversized breasts draw unwanted attention often and a woman can feel very self-conscious and insecure as a result of it all. In any of these cases, mammoplasty can be a helpful tool to redesign life.

Breast reduction surgery is done frequently, with numbers up 20 percent in 2006 from 2000. It is now the fifth leading reconstructive surgery performed.

It's More Than Cut and Stitch

Overall physical and mental health is a consideration for candidacy for breast surgery. Any pre-existing medical conditions or diseases may put a candidate at risk for surgery and recovery. The healing process can be both lengthy and difficult which can take its toll on the emotional and mental health of a woman. Often depression accompanies the procedure, so a woman must be prepared for this possibility as well.

What About Breastfeeding?

Another consideration is breastfeeding. While there have been cases where a woman had a breast reduction and was able to nurse, often the results are otherwise. This is definitely something to discuss with the surgeon before undergoing the operation. It is far better to plan for inability to breastfeed and be pleased if you can, then to expect that you will be able to nurse only to discover you can't. The reason for the inability to nurse is that in many reduction mammoplasties, when the breast is being reduced, fat, tissue and milk ducts are affected. The milk ducts carry milk to the nipples, and if they are cut during surgery, then the milk doesn't get to the nipple.

Talk It Over

A discussion with the surgeon about your expectations and how you want to look is important to have before you have surgery also. Together you can make some decisions so that when the surgery is underway, the surgeon knows exactly what you're looking for and can do what is necessary to bring it to fruition.

Good communication and good physical and mental health can create the platform for successful reduction surgery.

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