Why Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is performed primarily to improve the problems resulting from enlarged and heavy breasts. It is thus an operation designed to relieve medical problems and considered a medically necessary procedure in most health care systems.
The procedure addresses among other the following issues: upper torso pain syndrome, postural problems, upper extremity nerve compression, skin irritation underneath and between the breasts (skin rubbing on skin), breathing problems, self consciousness, inability to find wardrobe.
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Is Breast Reduction Surgery Cosmetic Surgery?
In breast reduction surgery improvement of medical problems is the main objective. This objective justifies risks, scars and insurance coverage. Breast reduction surgery achieves this objective (absence or significant improvement of medical issues) more than ninety percent of the time together with a very high patient satisfaction rate (also in excess of ninety percent).
But as usual the boundaries between form and function, improvement of appearance versus improvement of medical problems and reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery are fluid. Breast reduction surgery and breast lifting surgery both use the same surgical techniques and principles and share the same risks. Thus, as a general rule breasts will appear lifted and look better after breast reduction surgery. However, this is a (beneficial) side effect of the operation, not its primary objective.
What are the Risks of Breast Reduction Surgery?
General risks of the operation are those of any surgical procedure – infection, bleeding, wound healing complications, unfavorable scarring, asymmetry and fluid collections. Risks specific to breast reduction surgery are quite rare (less than five percent) – (partial) loss of (sensation of) nipple-areola complex, inability to breast feed, loss of erotic sensation in breasts / nipples. Some of these complications may eventually require revision surgery, while others respond to dressing changes, antibiotics and similar measures.