(VIA HealthNewsDigest.com) – For the well endowed woman, her breasts can become her arch enemies. The motivation for having a breast reduction varies considerably with age. For teens and young women, it is primarily an emotional decision. As women get older, it is more likely a practical choice. The decision is as much social and emotional as it is physical. “Among my patients, there are certain age groups of women who have similar concerns,” says Z. Paul Lorenc, MD (www.lorenc.com). “Those in their late teens don’t want to live with such large breasts. Women who have finished breastfeeding just want to look and feel as they did before childbirth. Women in their 50s and up are often referred by their internists because of neck and back pain.”
The physical symptoms that arise can be considerable. Heavy, pendulous breasts can be a source of neck, shoulder and back pain that can turn simple everyday activities into cumbersome chores. Breasts can get in your way and make it difficult to go to a gym, run a marathon, spend a day at the beach, sleep comfortably, and even clean your house. For women who are physically active, big breasts can be a serious limitation to jogging, aerobics, and swimming. Shopping for clothes may be a humbling experience when anything strapless falls to your waist, tank tops do not offer enough coverage, and your shirt buttons look like they’re ready to pop off. Finding suitable support bras may be a lifelong pursuit, as you have to buy your bras in maternity shops, the plus size department, or have them custom made.
Many women need a breast reduction for years but put it off because of the fear, costs, and recovery. Women rarely choose breast reduction surgery only to change the way they look. They have it done because the size of their breasts is affecting their comfort and health. This procedure represents a means to an end to the physical symptoms and discomfort that a woman may have suffered with for decades. There are several surgical designs commonly used to reshape the breasts, all of which involve a scar around the areola or pigmented skin surrounding the nipple. Each method will produce slightly different scars, comes with advantages and disadvantages, and no technique is suited to all breasts.The exciting advances in breast surgery today are the proliferation of smaller scar techniques. Many reduced scar techniques aim to abolish the incision that runs horizontally under the breasts. In some cases the scar can be either limited to a short vertical scar going down from the areola. The way each woman heals will vary and some may form thick, raised and irregular scars that have to be revised. Your options are limited by the amount of fat and glandular tissue to be removed, the quantity of skin to be removed, skin thickness, nipple areolar size, and also by how much smaller you ultimately want to be. Although any woman undergoing a breast reduction is ostensibly a candidate for the vertical technique, some are better candidates than others. Skin quality and skin elasticity are important determining factors. The best candidates are younger with slightly enlarged breasts, are at a normal weight and have good skin elasticity. For women who require very large reductions or who have severely thin skin with a lot of stretch marks, the vertical approach may not be possible. Smokers with very large breasts are also poor candidates for this procedure, because nicotine can delay the healing process. The scars from a breast reduction can be designed to be concealed under a bra or bikini top. You and your plastic surgeon will select the best technique for your particular situation, but don’t be afraid to ask if you are a candidate for a smaller scar procedure. Breast reduction surgery can be a life-improving option for many women, and the resultant scars are quite often a welcome trade-off for the comfort and confidence gained.
Wendy Lewis is President of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd, Global Aesthetics Consultancy, author of 10 beauty books, and Founder /Editor in Chief of BeautyintheBag