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Breast Reduction / Reduction Mammoplasty

Breast reduction surgery, formally referred to as reduction mammaplasty, works to restore proper proportions to your breast size by removing excess breast fat and glandular tissues from the breast. This will improve your body shape while also addressing discomfort related to breast size.

Am I the Right Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?

Emotional Considerations: If the size of your breasts makes you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable, you may be an ideal candidate for surgical breast reduction surgery. Reducing the size of your breasts may help improve your overall self-image. Bear in mind that you may need additional procedures, such as a breast lift or an implant, to enhance the shape, volume, and “perkiness” of your breasts.

Physical Considerations: It is not uncommon for those with large breasts to experience physical discomfort and pain associated with their disproportionate size. The extra weight your breasts carry may cause back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain that can only be alleviated through surgery. Large breasts can also cause skin irritation to occur beneath the breast crease and may interfere with your ability to participate in physical activities. For example, something as simple as running can cause a great deal of discomfort for those with large breasts because the weight of the breasts causes them to pull down, bounce, and possibly even tear. You may find, too, that sports bras provide little support. Similarly, the weight of heavy breasts can cause regular bra straps to cut into the skin necessitating surgery to improve physical comfort.


Who Would Not Be an Ideal Breast Reduction Candidate?

Breast reduction surgery is not recommended for those who are under the age of 18 as your body may still be developing. It is also not recommended for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or who plan to breastfeed in the future.


What Can I Expect During My Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery focuses on removing excess fatty tissue in heavy breasts by using one of three incision methods deemed most appropriate for the specific needs of each patient. These incision methods include the peri-areolar, vertical, and inverted T methods.

The Peri-areolar Incision Method: The peri-areolar or “donut” lift is ideal for those who only require mild reduction and lifting. This surgery creates a circular, donut-shaped incision around the areola and a larger concentric circle around the breast itself. The apex of the second circle will be the new location of the nipple once the surgery is complete. The skin and excess fat found between the two circles will be removed before closing the incision. Once complete, you will have a smaller areola and smaller, perkier breasts. The scar will be hidden along the areola border.

The Vertical Incision Method: The vertical incision, or “lollipop”, method is ideal for those whose sagging and breast shape concerns are moderate. During this method, the above-mentioned peri-areolar incision is joined by an incision that goes from the bottom of the areola to the breast fold. The skin will be removed from this area, resulting in a keyhole shape. Once the incisions have been closed, excess tissues and fats will be removed as well. The lines from this incision method leave behind a visible lollipop scar.

The Inverted T Incision Method: The inverted T incision method, also referred to as the “anchor” incision method is likely to provide the best results for those experiencing severely sagging, large breasts. This method utilizes the vertical incision technique with the addition of a horizontal incision along the breast fold. This incision creates an anchor-like scar that will remain visible even after the breast tissues are removed and the incisions are closed.

Breast Reduction by Liposuction: Another method of breast reduction that you may want to consider is the option of breast reduction by liposuction. This option is ideal for older or overweight women who hold a large amount of fat in their breasts, and who are more concerned with the size of the breast rather than the shape. While this method offers a shorter recovery time, little pain, and minimal (if any) scarring, it will not give you the same advantages as a surgical method. For example, you may notice a lift in your breasts due to their smaller size, but they will not be reshaped or enhanced. Instead, they will be a smaller version of your current breasts. If that will work for your overall goals, liposuction may be a great option for you.


The Takehome Message

Whether you are leaning towards a surgical breast reduction or a reduction via liposuction, whom you choose to perform your reduction will impact your experience. It is highly important that you seek out a certified surgeon with significant exposure to breast reduction.

With both breast reduction surgery and liposuction for breast reduction, you will need to have realistic expectations. You may deal with scarring or have long-term issues related to the look or shape of your breasts. Overall, though, reducing your breast size will enhance your confidence and decrease physical issues such as back, neck, and shoulder pain.

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