What Is Breast Reduction?
Women with large breasts who are unhappy with their appearance or have medical complications due to their breasts may benefit from breast reduction surgery. This procedure, also known as a reduction mammoplasty, removes fat and glandular tissue from the breast while tightening skin to produce smaller breasts that are more comfortable and in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body.
In addition to physical pain and other symptoms, large breasts may also draw unwanted attention that can affect a woman’s self-esteem and make her uncomfortable with her appearance. Breast reduction can help patients regain confidence and enjoy a renewed self-image by creating a body contour they are proud of.
Candidates for Breast Reduction
Ideal candidates for breast reduction surgery are women with oversized breasts that cause medical problems, low self-esteem, and physical or social discomfort. Women cannot be pregnant or breastfeeding while undergoing this procedure. Men can also receive a breast reduction, typically using liposuction, when they have enlarged breasts.
Preparing for Breast Reduction
Prior to your procedure, Dr. Hunsaker will meet with you to discuss your goals and expectations for surgery, as well as to inform you of the details of your chosen procedure. This discussion is important in helping patients achieve the precise results they desire. Each procedure is fully customized for each individual patient.
Breast Reduction Procedure
The breast reduction procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes about two to four hours, depending on the techniques used and each patient’s individual case. There are several different types of incisions that may be used for this procedure. Your doctor will determine the best type for you after evaluating your breasts.
- Traditional Breast Reduction Surgery is a technique that involves an anchor-shaped incision and is ideal for women with extremely large breasts, although scarring is usually more apparent. Skin, fat, and tissue can be removed from the lower breast and the nipples and areolas may be repositioned as well.
- Vertical Incision Breast Reduction is also known as short-scar, this technique involves incisions that extend around the areola and down to the breast crease for a lollipop shape. A vertical incision is ideal for women with moderately large breasts and creates shapelier results with less scarring for women who do not require extensive tissue removal.
- Scarless Breast Reduction uses liposuction techniques to reduce the size of the breast with little to no scarring. Since liposuction only removes fatty tissue in the breast, patients should have more fatty tissue than glandular tissue. This technique is commonly used on men with enlarged breasts.
Breast Reduction Risks
It is important for patients to understand the details and risks associated with the breast reduction procedure, and to have realistic expectations in order to be satisfied with the results of their surgery. These risks, depending on the chosen technique, can include the following:
- Asymmetry of breasts
- Excessive firmness
- Inability to breastfeed
- Loss of sensation
- Loss of skin/tissue where incisions meet
- Partial or total loss of areola and nipple
Results of Breast Reduction Surgery
The results of the breast reduction procedure are noticeable immediately after surgery and will continue to improve as swelling and bruising subside. Scars will continue to fade with time and can usually be concealed by a bra, bathing suit or low-cut top. A breast reduction provides long-lasting results, however, breasts are subject to the effects of aging, gravity and weight fluctuation.