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Topic: Cosmetic

Improved Quality of Life with Breast Reduction Surgery

Many women feel that oversize breasts prevent them from living a happy and full life. Breast reduction surgery – reduction mammoplasty – can significantly improve a woman’s health and quality of life while allowing her to feel comfortable and secure in her body.

There are many reasons why women choose to undergo breast reduction surgery, including long term effects of neck, back and shoulder pain caused by disproportionately large breasts. The surgery can also reduce future medical costs associated with these health issues including mental health issues and diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle.

Breast reduction surgery can also have long-term physical and psychological benefits for the patient. A BREAST-Q© study led by Andrea Pusic, MD. evaluated the benefits of breast reduction surgery for patients and found a significant correlation between breast reduction surgery and higher happiness measures in patients after their surgeries. The study also found that patient’s satisfaction with breast appearance increased from about 20% to 80% after surgery. Beyond satisfaction with the cosmetic outcome, patient’s psychosocial well-being, sexual well-being, and physical well-being increased from around 40% to 80% in all areas, showing that breast reduction can have positive effects on the patient that extend far beyond physical well-being.

After breast reduction surgery, women are able to more fully engage in physical activities and sports while feeling more at ease in their bodies in social settings.


The Surgery

During the surgery, the patient’s breast size is reduced through the removal of excess tissue. Then, the nipple position is raised and the breast width is narrowed. A surgeon may also alter the shape and size of the areola, the dark skin around the nipple, during the surgery.


The surgery is performed with either a “lollipop” or “anchor” scar incision. Surgery can take between 3-4 hours depending on the size of the breast and patients are put under general anesthesia for the duration of the procedure. Although there are risks associated with the surgery, most have an occurrence rate of less than 1% in patients. You can learn more about these risks and the surgery here.


The Recovery Process

After surgery, gauze is placed over the incisions and the breasts are wrapped with elastic bandage. It is recommended that women take 2-4 weeks off from work after surgery in order to fully recover. It is also recommended that patients not engage in vigorous physical activity for three to four weeks after the surgery. Your plastic surgeon will monitor the recovery and make sure there are no complications after the procedure.

In order to begin the process of determining whether or not you are eligible for the surgery and health coverage, talk to your family doctor or book a consultation with a plastic surgeon. Many women with oversize breasts are candidates for the surgery, however patients that smoke and women with a BMI > 32 are not eligible.


Breastfeeding with Implants: Myths Debunked


One of the most common questions I receive when consulting patients on breast implants is whether or not the surgery will impede their ability to breast feed. Whether you are a new mother or just considering having children in the future, the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your implants could affect how you feed your newborn. In reality, a lot of the negative dialogue surrounding breast implants and breastfeeding has no scientific basis.

The Myths

There are many myths surrounding breast implants and breastfeeding, including the idea that implants can be “toxic” and have materials that “seep out” into breast milk and affect the milk supply. Another common myth is the idea that it is more difficult or impossible to breast feed after augmentation.


The Reality

Myth #1: Breast implant surgery can damage the glands and milk ducts, making it difficult or impossible to breastfeed:

Reality: Breast implants properly placed above or underneath the pectoralis muscle should not affect the breast glands, milk ducts or nipple in any way. Although there may be some scarring within the breast tissue after implants placed via the areolae, in the majority of women the ability to breast feed is maintained.

Myth #2: Toxic implants can seep into the milk supply and harm the newborn baby.

Reality: In Canada, breast implants are highly regulated and pose no risk of toxicity. Canadian government guidelines require all breast implants sold in Canada to be tested for toxicity, and Health Canada ensures medical device safety and effectiveness through comprehensive evidence gathered through pre-market review and post-market surveillance. There is also no difference between the health of babies breastfed with natural breasts or those with silicone implants.

Myth #3: Breastfeeding with implants causes the implant to misshape and the breast to sag.
Reality: There is no difference in the aging of a breast after breastfeeding with or without an implant. A Yale University study found that breastfeeding did not lead to sagging of the breast after augmentation. Rather, the study found that the hormonal changes between pregnancy and after birth were most likely to cause sagging. The breast tissue and glands are affected by hormonal changes, not the implants themselves. If unsatisfied with the look and feel of your breasts after pregnancy, this can be rectified with a breast lift.

Like all surgical procedures, there are risks involved with breast implant surgery, however it is important to understand that your ability to breastfeed will not be impeded by a successful breast implant surgery. Further, a breast implant poses no risk to a newborn infant. Some women are unable to breastfeed their babies for a variety of reasons, regardless of implant surgery. If you’re experiencing difficulties, consult a doctor on alternative options to traditional breastfeeding.

When considering breast augmentation or reconstructive surgery, make sure your surgeon is certified and experienced with a history of successful and safe operations. Some questions to ask include the number of times a surgeon has performed the operation, why the surgeon recommends a certain type of implant, how the surgeon has dealt with complications in the past, and discuss any potential risks. RateMDs and realself are great sites to consult when considering potential surgeons.