Understanding the Benefits of Short-scar Breast Reduction

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Breast Reconstruction Specialist Dr. Constance M Chen Provides Tips for Women Considering Breast Reduction Surgery.

Dr. Constance Chen

Short-scar breast reduction minimizes scarring on the breast after surgery.

Many women with large and heavy breasts experience significant discomfort including back, neck, and shoulder pain, challenges finding clothes that fit, and a feeling of self-consciousness about their bodies. Some report rashes under their breasts, stares and unwanted attention, and find that large breasts can also make vigorous physical activity difficult. Breast reduction surgery, or reduction mammoplasty, helps deal with these problems and helps many women feel more comfortable in their own bodies.

“In a reduction mammoplasty, breast tissue and breast skin is removed and the nipple-areola complex is repositioned higher on the chest wall, creating a smaller and more youthful breast.” says plastic surgeon and breast reconstruction specialist Dr. Constance M. Chen.

A traditional reduction mammoplasty is performed with an incision that results in an “anchor scar,” which involves three discrete scars. One incision is made around the border of the areola, the second extends down vertically from the areola to the inframammary fold, and the third is a long horizontal incision along the bottom of the breast at the inframammary fold. Dr. Chen explains that “the horizontal scar sometimes can extend beyond a bathing suit or bra and be visible. This same scar is also susceptible to complications while healing and can become wider or hypertrophic (raised).” This is where a short-scar or limited-scar reduction can be advantageous. That’s because it eliminates the horizontal scar,” adds Dr. Chen.

Short-scar reduction uses what we call a “lollipop incision” – around the areola and down to the inframammary fold. “In this case, the horizontal scar is eliminated,” says Dr. Chen. The best technique for each woman is determined by the breast surgeon depending on the size and shape of the patients’ breasts and by the amount of reduction desired.

In most cases, patients who undergo a breast reduction will leave the hospital the same day, with overnight stays rare. The recommended recovery at home is typically 10-14 days before returning to work and several additional weeks before returning to a fully active lifestyle.

Dr. Chen says that “a breast reduction can be performed on healthy women after the breasts are fully developed. She reiterates that “short-scar breast reduction minimizes scarring on the breast after surgery. With advances in breast reduction surgeries, women today don't have to tolerate the discomfort and emotional distress of large breasts that are out of proportion to their bodies so that they can be more comfortable in their own skin.”

Constance M. Chen, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon with special expertise in the use of innovative natural techniques to optimize medical and cosmetic outcomes for women undergoing breast reconstruction. She is Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery) at Weill Cornell Medical College and Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery) at Tulane University School of Medicine. http://www.constancechenmd.com

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