Breast reduction is a plastic surgery procedure that addresses issues of of overly large breasts. It results in smaller, shapelier and firmer breasts that creates a more proportioned figure, and removes the physical pain and discomfort associated with large breasts. There are various techniques for breast reduction surgery that can greatly improve shape and proportion. Some of these techniques have been linked to reduced lactation capacity while others are deemed safe in terms of their impact on the milk production function of the breasts.
The three most common breast reduction surgical techniques include the anchor or traditional technique, the vertical incision technique, and the scar-less breast reduction. Which of these techniques will best suit you depends on your breast size and shape and your aesthetic goals and expectations.
The surgical techniques that lead to reduced milk production and supply are mostly those that involve placement of incisions on the areolae and nipples. One of the very common operative techniques of breast reduction used in the United States is the pedicle technique, which involves moving the nipples and areolas to an elevated point while conjoined with a tissue mound known as “pedicle.” This technique is also famous as the “traditional” and “anchor approach.”
The pedicle is made of the still-attached vessels, ducts and nerves. If a large part of the still-connected portion is lower than the areola, the technique is known as the “inferior.” On the other hand, if the attached tissue mound is placed above the areolas, the technique is known as “superior.”
Also known as the Lassus approach, the superior technique has been linked to reduced milk production and supply after the breast reduction surgery. This happens because the incision under this technique is placed at the areola’s lower area. This can lead to injury and damage to the nerves, milk ducts and breast tissue that may restrict flow of milk and reduce sensation.
There is also another technique called the medial-pedicle breast reduction that involves placing the still-attached part of the pedicle on the inner part of the areola. This is usually used to correct ptotic and pendulous breasts. Another technique, known as the lateral pedicle, involves preservation of the major attached portion of the pedicle on the external side of the areola. This has been known to allow breastfeeding and preserves sensation at the nipple-aerolar area but the downside is that it is not ideal for optimal shaping of the breasts.
There are also some specific alternatives of each of these approaches. It is important to understand that while each of these breast reduction operative techniques results in the development of scar about the areola, the nipple and areola will not be severely injured.
When it comes to scarring, it varies from one operative technique to another. However, it can involve scar formation around the areola that may run vertically from the areola to the infra-mammary crease. It can also form a tiny, flat scar at the base of the breast. The scar-less breast reduction technique involves the use of liposuction for the removal of breast tissue via tiny incisions.
Be that as it may, it is important to understand that you must choose a Board-Certified plastic surgeon to perform your breast reduction surgery, irrespective of the breast reduction technique to be used. Make sure to discuss the different surgical techniques with your surgeon and ask him or her for the pros and cons associated with each available technique.
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