Breast Reduction

What Is Breast Reduction?

Breast reduction surgery is the solution to decrease the size and weight of the breasts and create a more normal and attractive shape and appearance.

Patients with large breasts are often plagued by neck pain, back pain, or shoulder pain. There are patients who do not wish to have large breasts and make a personal choice that smaller breasts will enhance their body contour. Patients often experience limitations in their activity and lifestyle secondary to the size of their breasts. Patients with uneven breasts will often benefit from a breast reduction to create a more symmetric appearance.


Will You Be Able to Breast Feed After a Breast Reduction?

It depends on the extent of the reduction and whether a free nipple graft is performed, as this can affect the ability to breast feed.


Can Liposuction Alone Be Used for a Breast Reduction?

Yes, liposuction alone can be used for a breast reduction. Typically it is used in patients who have very tight skin with good elasticity and the ability to snap back. Liposuction can be used to take the breast down as much as a cup size.


Who Is a Good Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction can be performed on women of all ages who are experiencing the pain and discomfort of heavy, pendulous breasts. It is recommended that women wait until their breasts have finished developing before undergoing surgery, although the procedure can be performed for teenage girls if they are experiencing serious back, neck or shoulder pain.

An initial consultation with surgeon will help to determine if male breast reduction is right for you.


How Should You Prepare for Breast Reduction Surgery?

The initial consultation with your surgeon will require your complete medical history, so you will want to be prepared to provide the necessary information. Your surgeon will examine your breasts and discuss lifestyle issues which may be causing your condition. You must be completely open and honest with your surgeon. If there is any medical problem, you will be referred to a specialist.

The surgeon will assess your individual needs and decide what course of treatment presents the best way forward and will help you formulate a realistic and achievable goal.

Your doctor will be able to tell you how to adequately prepare for the procedure by giving you guidelines on what you can eat/drink, as well as what medications and vitamins to take.


How Is Breast Reduction Surgery Performed?

Breast Reduction is performed under light general anesthesia so that patients will not experience pain or discomfort. Using carefully placed incisions, surgeon will remove excess skin, fat, and tissue to reduce carefully closed with layers of sutures and a compression dressing is applied.

There are several different types of breast reduction. The general principle is the removal of breast tissue and skin, moving the nipple to a higher position on the chest wall, and reshaping the breast to a more youthful appearance, with the shortest scars possible. Liposuction is useful to bring the breast down a cup size in a breast with good skin elasticity.

In cases of extremely large breasts, the nipple may be removed completely and reattached as a graft; this is termed a free nipple graft. All breast reductions procedures are not the same. The technique of breast reduction will be chosen based on the distance the nipple is to be moved up on the chest wall, the size of the breast, the extent of the reduction, and the shape of the breast to be created.


What Is Recovery Like After Breast Reduction Surgery?

After the surgery, your breasts will be covered and protected by gauze dressings and either an elastic bandage or a surgical bra. These dressings and the drainage tubes will be removed during the first week after surgery, but you’ll continue to wear a support bra for several weeks.

Your breasts will be swollen and bruised for a few weeks after surgery. During the first few days you’ll probably have some pain, and for a week or more you may feel discomfort when you move around. Medicines will control this.

Your stitches will be removed within one to three weeks, and you should be able to return to non-physical work about two weeks after surgery, though it will be several weeks before you feel completely up to speed and you’ll need to limit your exercise and activities during this time. You’ll also want to avoid sex for a week or so because arousal can cause your breasts to hurt.

Your first menstruation after surgery may create pain in your breasts. And you may find your breasts and nipples are less sensitive, or have no feeling at all. Sensation usually returns after several weeks or months.

Healing is slow and gradual and sometimes the final results of the surgery aren’t apparent for many months or more. But remember why you chose to have the surgery. If you’ve met your goals, then your surgery is a success.

You can improve your results by closely following your physician’s advice both before and after surgery. While rates of healing vary widely and can sometimes be a source of worry, the final result is what matters most.


Will the Results of Breast Reduction Surgery Be Permanent?

The results of breast reduction surgery are considered permanent. But the breasts may become larger or their shape may change as a result of pregnancy, weight gain, or weight loss.
What Are Possible Complications From Breast Reduction Surgery?

When the procedure is performed by a highly qualified cosmetic surgeon complications are rare and usually minor. However, as with any surgery, there are potential complications and risks. Your physician will spend time discussing these with you during your scheduled consultation. Be sure to bring a list of questions or concerns with you. All patients are instructed to discuss the general surgical risks with their surgeon.

Women who have breast reduction surgery are often extremely satisfied. It can make the breasts smaller, firmer, lighter, and more evenly proportioned. It usually relieves the physical discomfort and pain caused by large breasts.