Large breasts can be a burden for many women. Over a lifetime, they can cause mental and emotional stresses (including social and body-image anxieties) and take a physical toll on your body through the strains they put on your neck, back, and posture.

A breast reduction procedure helps to lighten those difficulties, decreasing the size of your breasts to make them firmer and shapelier.

Check out these five things you need to know if you’re thinking about a breast reduction:

1. Consider a Breast Reduction in Combination with Other Cosmetic Procedures

Depending on the outcomes you want to achieve, it might be beneficial to have a breast reduction in combination with other cosmetic procedures including:

  • A breast lift, which elevates sagging skin and gives your breasts a more youthful contour.
  • Liposuction – the removal of isolated fat deposits – in targeted spots (around your underarms, abdomen, etc.).

Your cosmetic surgeon will be able to offer expert guidance on which procedures make the most sense for you.

2. Wait until You’re Finished Developing to Plan for a Breast Reduction

Breast reductions aren’t typically recommended for patients whose breasts are still changing, as future fluctuations can affect the results initially achieved. As a general rule, it’s best to wait until your teen and child-bearing years are behind you to undergo a breast reduction.

If, however, your breasts are causing significant difficulties – whether psychological struggles or physical pains – choosing to undergo a breast augmentation earlier can bring about positive, life changing effects.

3. Understand the Risks Associated with a Breast Reduction

Possible side-effects associated with the procedure could include:

  • A Change in Nipple Sensation: You might find that – compared to what you’re used to – your nipples don’t feel the same after a breast reduction procedure. Some people experience heightened or lowered sensitivity in one or both nipples, while others discover only small changes or don’t notice any difference.

Although your nipple sensation might not return to its pre-procedure norm, keep in mind that these types of side-effects will subside as you continue to heal.

  • Asymmetry: The reality is that no two breasts are exactly alike, making a certain degree of asymmetry a natural feature of the human body. That being said, a breast reduction can help to drastically improve symmetry and give your body a more balanced contour.

Working with a skilled, experienced cosmetic surgeon will reduce risks and maximize your safety and comfort. If you have any questions or concerns before your breast reduction or as you’re recovering, make sure you address them with your cosmetic surgeon.

What are the four realistic expectations you should have for your breast augmentations surgery? Read our blog to find out!

4. Maintain Realistic Expectations about the Recovery Process

A breast reduction is an outpatient procedure. That means you’ll be able to have your surgery and go home in the same day, although the whole recovery process will take roughly six weeks:

  • You can expect to return to work (and have stitches removed) after one to two weeks.
  • Don’t expect to exercise (beyond moderate walks) or lift, stretch, or reach your arms for about six weeks after your breast reduction.
  • You’ll need to wear a bra 24/7 post-surgery in order to maintain your results. To keep them up over the long term, you should wear a bra as often as possible (even finding a comfortable and supportive one for sleeping).

Carefully following your cosmetic surgeon’s instructions will make healing easier and quicker. If you experience any discomfort (pain, itching, etc.), talk with your cosmetic surgeon about how to alleviate it. They might be able to prescribe pain medications or recommend moisturizers formulated for your sensitive, post-procedure skin.

Keep in mind that a breast reduction procedure will leave scarring – the areola and vertical scars being narrower than the one on your breast fold. Scars will become less noticeable after about a year, although they will never disappear completely.

5. Give Your Body Time to Adjust to Its New Shape

A breast reduction isn’t going to deliver instant results. You’ll be in recovery mode for at least a few weeks, and swelling can take up to six months to completely disappear. You need to give yourself (and your body) up to a year for your breasts to settle and let the final results show themselves.

Along the way, you might have moments when you’re unhappy with how you look or feel – and that’s okay. Maintaining realistic expectations about the healing process and discussing any concerns with your cosmetic surgeon will help you overcome those obstacles.

In the end, it’s going to be worth it.

Whatever lifestyle changes a breast reduction means for you (whether it’s being able to shop at that store you’ve always wanted, trying new activities and exercises, or simply not dealing with back and neck pain), the results the procedure brings can help to boost your self-confidence and restore the love and pride you have for your own body.

The Brampton Cosmetic Surgery Center and Medical Spa is committed to safely performing breast reduction procedures that reshape your body and restore your self-confidence, serving the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) since 1994. Book a consultation now to discuss breast reduction options with Dr. Sleightholm and a qualified consultant.

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About Dr. Robert Sleightholm

Dr. Robert Sleightholm is one of the founders of the Brampton Cosmetic Surgery Center and Medical Spa. He is the clinic’s Director of Surgery and, since its opening in 1994, has safely and successfully completed more than 200 cosmetic surgery procedures each year. An Ontario plastic surgery veteran, he is a board-certified Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada (FRCSC).

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