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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Breast Reduction Surgery: Myth vs. Reality

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For women with overly large breasts, breast reduction surgery can seem like an attractive option to find relief from physical and emotional burdens. However, like any major procedure, it’s important to understand the facts behind common myths about breast reduction. 

There are many myths and misconceptions widespread across the internet. Half-truths and falsehoods create confusion for those considering breast reduction surgery. Here we separate truth from fiction on some of the most prevalent misconceptions about this procedure.

Myth: Breast reduction surgery is purely cosmetic

Reality: While an improved breast shape and better-proportioned figure are often benefits of breast reduction, this surgery is much more than a cosmetic procedure. Extremely large breasts can cause a number of health issues. Breast reduction is often performed to alleviate physical symptoms and improve quality of life.

Myth: Breast reduction surgery will leave major visible scars 

Reality: As with any surgery, scarring does occur. But modern surgical techniques result in thin scars that fade over time. Typically, breast reduction scars initially appear as red and raised lines but will progressively become paler and flatter as the recovery takes place. The complete healing process for a breast reduction surgery can take up to a year, and this includes the reduction in the visibility of scars. 

Myth: Breast reduction is an “easy” surgery with a fast recovery

Reality: While the surgery itself may take just 2-4 hours, recovery time is significant. Patients can expect to take 1-2 weeks off from work and normal activities to allow for rest, healing, and restricted activity. Swelling may take months to fully subside. It’s important not to underestimate the recovery requirements after breast reduction surgery. 

Myth: Breast reduction is only for older women

Reality: Breast reduction can be performed at almost any age. But you might be better off postponing breast surgery until you have finished your family to avoid unnecessary surgery. Extreme breast size can cause physical issues for teenagers, college students, young moms, middle-aged women, and seniors alike. There is no specific age requirement for breast reduction surgery.

Myth: Breast reduction surgery will drastically decrease the cup size

Reality: The goal of breast reduction is to create proportionate, better-balanced breasts on a patient’s frame. Removing excess tissue does reduce volume, but your surgeon’s priority will be optimal shape and size for your body, not achieving the smallest cup size possible. Discuss the desired results thoroughly with your surgeon.

Breastfeeding after this surgery is nearly impossible

Truth: Many women successfully breastfeed post-surgery. The surgeon carefully repositions blood vessels, nerves, and milk ducts around the nipple to preserve sensation and milk production. However, some reduction in sensation or milk supply can occur as every woman is different and can respond differently to cosmetic surgery – including their milk supply. Women planning pregnancy after breast reduction should discuss concerns with their doctor beforehand.

Myth: Weight loss can replace the need for breast reduction

Reality: For some overweight women, losing a significant amount of weight reduces breast volume enough to relieve symptoms. However, women within a normal weight range usually cannot lose enough breast mass through diet and exercise alone. Also, the extremely dense breast tissue that causes issues is not diminished with weight loss. For these reasons, breast reduction remains the only effective solution for many patients.

Myth: Breast reduction surgery only lasts a decade or so

Reality: While any surgery can be impacted by significant life changes like pregnancy, weight fluctuations, and aging, results from breast reduction are relatively long-lasting in most cases. As long as your weight remains stable, you can expect a reduced breast size after surgery to be permanent.

Myth: Effects of breast reduction are temporary

Truth: With any surgery, results can be impacted by major weight fluctuations, pregnancy, and aging. However, as long as your weight remains stable, the reduced breast size after surgery is typically permanent.

The Bottom Line
The decision to get breast surgery is highly personal. Separating fact from fiction is key when considering breast reduction. Be wary of the many myths on the internet surrounding this complex, personalised procedure. Talk with a board-certified plastic surgeon to get the real facts on what breast reduction can


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