For this to be a rewarding experience, it is imperative that the patient has realistic expectations. The purpose of this surgery is to, a) give the woman a more flattering feminine figure and b) reduce or eliminate any symptoms the large breasts may have caused. The woman must also understand that though as a plastic surgeon Dr. Baeke strives to give every patient an inconspicuous scar, there will be scars on your breasts. Most women believe scars for smaller and lifted breasts are a good trade-off. However, if you are the kind of woman intolerant of scars on her breasts, this may not be the proper operation for you.
The scars are typically of an anchor shape. Specifically, the scar first goes around the circumference of the areola, then down to the bottom of the breast and lastly horizontally curved under the lower fold of the breast. In other words, it looks like an anchor.
Women with very large breasts often complain of shoulder pain and grooving from the brassier straps; chronic upper back pain; breast pain (mastodynia) and a chronic sweaty malodorous rash beneath their breasts (intertrigo).
Some women will have been seen by physical therapists for the back discomfort and even been prescribed pain medications. Others will have seen dermatologists for the rash.
In the woman with these symptoms, frequently insurance will cover the operation; however typically there is a minimum weight of breast tissue which must be removed. Dr. Baeke can discuss this with you in more detail.
It has been Dr. Baeke's experience that most breast reduction patients are thrilled with the results.
For any woman considering breast surgery, they should have had a recent screening mammogram. They should not have been recently lactating.
Generally, breast reduction surgery does not prevent future breast feeding. However, in some (especially those with extremely large breasts) there may be an inability to breast feed. Thus, if this would be unacceptable, deferring breast reduction surgery until you are finished bearing children is recommended.
Decreased sensation of the nipples is another rare but possible side-effect of this surgery. Many large breasted women naturally have little sensation of their nipples.
The length of surgery depends somewhat on the size of the breasts, but generally is about 3 hours. It is performed as a same-day surgery procedure in either the hospital or surgery center; and under a general anaesthesia.
The patient will likely awaken with a surgical drain placed in each breast. This is a small flexible tube, about the size of a #2 pencil which evacuates any fluid that may accumulate beneath the skin. Drains are generally removed in a couple days. This does not hurt. In some patients Dr. Baeke will also apply the Prevena device which can speed healing (please read more about this device from 3M•KCI at mykci.com). You will awaken wearing a snug bra. Dr. Baeke recommends Prairie Wear (prairiewear.com).
You should anticipate returning to home or hotel the same day as surgery. You will be given prescriptions for pain meds, but this is really not a very painful recovery. Yes, Dr. Baeke or one of his staff shall make a house call on you the day after surgery.
Complications are fortunately quite rare. Post operative bleeding, infection and delayed or poor wound healing of the breast skin or nipple are possible but happen in less than 2% of patients. Do not worry. Dr. Baeke will be right there with you, quick to handle any problems.
The most frequent question asked is, "What size will I be?"
Be prepared for Dr. Baeke to ask you to search the net or print media looking for a topless model with similar proportions who has breasts close to the size you desire. The bra cup size letter designation is mostly meaningless. Showing Dr. Baeke example photographs, has proven to be a simple but effective way to assure you get close to what you want.