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Case Study: Healing and Scars From Breast Reduction Surgery

 

Background: The treatment of large breasts has been done for almost one hundred years with a variety of surgical techniques. Despite the many techniques that have been used to create a smaller breast, the one that has stood the test of time is the inferior pedicle method. Also known as the Wise pattern (as the skin excision pattern looks like a W), this method provides a real three-dimensional skin and breast tissue reduction with a significant breast lift.

Wise Pattern Breast Reduction Dr Barry Eppley IndianapolisWhile effective, it is not a perfect operation as it results in substantial scars. Fortunately most of these scars lie in favorable breast locations such as around the areola and across the inframammary fold. Only the vertical limb between the areola and the lower fold is in an unnatural skin location when it comes to resisting the forces of tension on it. But it does lie on the lower pole of the breast which is not a highly visible location from a woman’s perspective of her own breasts.

Case Study: This 35 year-old female had DD cup breasts that were problematic from both a clothes and musculoskeletal standpoint. She had back, shoulder and neck pain with shoulder grooving. She had always wanted smaller breasts since she was a teenager but waited until she was done with having children.

Breast Reduction early result front view Dr Barry Eppley IndianapolisBreast Reduction early result oblique view Dr Barry Eppley IndianapolisUnder general anesthesia, an inferior pedicle breast reduction was performed removing 655 grams of tissue from each breast. All sutures were placed under the skin and no drains were used. This was a three hour operation done as an outpatient.

Breast Reduction early result side view Dr Barry Eppley IndianapolisHer recovery took about ten days to remove to work but her incisions took much longer to heal. She developed about three weeks after surgery small opening at the inverted T areas (junction of vertical and horizontal incisions) that spread open to about the size of a dime on one breast and a nickel on the other. These openings took almost one month thereafter to granulate in and heal.

There are two expected events that occur in breast reduction, extensive scars and time to heal them. One has to certain that the benefits of making breasts smaller are worth the scar trade-off to do so. There is also the time needed to reach optimal scar appearance which is at least six months and could be as long as a year after surgery. Also such extensive incisions will result in wound healing problems, albeit often minor, that will take longer to completely heal than most women anticipate.

Case Highlights:

1) Breast reduction is a highly effective breast reshaping procedure but does so at the expense of scars.

2) Significant breast reduction requires the classic anchor or invert T pattern scars that enables a complete three-dimensional beast change.

3) The scars from breast reduction will often take up to 8 weeks after surgery to completely heal and up to one year for complete scar maturation.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana

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Dr. Barry EppleyDr. Barry Eppley

Dr. Barry Eppley is an extensively trained plastic and cosmetic surgeon with more than 20 years of surgical experience. He is both a licensed physician and dentist as well as double board-certified in both Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. This training allows him to perform the most complex surgical procedures from cosmetic changes to the face and body to craniofacial surgery. Dr. Eppley has made extensive contributions to plastic surgery starting with the development of several advanced surgical techniques. He is a revered author, lecturer and educator in the field of plastic and cosmetic surgery.

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