Are you thinking about a cosmetic treatment that will alleviate symptoms relating to breast weight and give you an aesthetically-pleasing outcome? You are not alone! In 2020, at least 33,574 women in the United States benefited from breast reduction surgery.
Unfortunately, many patients are unfamiliar with all the benefits, potential risks, post-surgery complications, recovery time, and different surgical techniques in breast reduction surgery. However, this breast reduction guide covers the necessary information to help better prepare for an informed and detailed consultation with your board-certified plastic surgeon.
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Breast Reduction Surgery
Plastic surgeons often interchange the term reduction mammoplasty with breast reduction surgery to refer to the cosmetic surgical procedure for reducing the overall breast volume of large breasts. While many patients choose this surgery for medical reasons, such as reducing associated physical symptoms, others prefer it for aesthetic reasons. Regardless of the goal, your cosmetic surgeon will remove fat, stretched skin, and natural breast tissue to reduce large breast size or weight.
Common Reasons for Breast Reduction
Most women inquire about cosmetic procedures, such as breast reduction, for physical and psychological reasons. Relief from physical discomfort and pain is the most common motive behind most breast reduction surgeries.
Heavy, cumbersome breasts have been known to cause the following symptoms and problems:
- Chronic pain in the back, neck, and shoulder area
- Inflamed reddened skin and rashes beneath both breasts
- Deep bra-strap grooves
- Chronically painful breasts
- Upper extremity neuropathy
- Postural changes
- Dermatologic manifestations such as intertrigo, maceration, irritation, rashes beneath both breasts
- Difficulty with many forms of exercises due to the discomfort of moving heavy breasts in activities that require body movement
- Inability to find fitting outfits forcing a person to wear large tops compared to bottoms
Besides these negative physical implications, excessively large breasts have a significant psychological impact. Many women (of all ages) have lost their self-confidence because of their large breasts.
Breast Reduction Techniques
Cosmetic surgeons can use different surgical techniques to perform breast reduction surgery. However, the selected technique depends on important factors, such as the patient’s physical characteristics, the type and amount of tissue the surgeon will remove, the patient’s aesthetic expectations, and the surgeon’s judgment or experience. The most common breast reduction options include:
Liposuction for Breast Reduction
The best candidates for liposuction are those whose large breasts are mainly due to excess fatty tissues. This option is available for those that require slight to moderate breast reduction. Liposuction for breast reduction is a minimally invasive technique that can achieve the desired result with virtually undetectable scars and shorter recovery times. The problem with this technique is that liposuction does not tighten or remove loose skin. Therefore, it is not often chosen (at least alone).
Vertical Breast Reduction
The vertical breast reduction (lollipop reduction) is effective for moderate breast size reduction. Although it leaves some scarring, the incisions are primarily on the area below the nipples (the lower pole of the breast). Your cosmetic surgeon will remove excess fat, breast tissue and sagging skin in a procedure that involves two incision sites: one around the areola and the other one extending vertically down the lower pole of the breast.
Inverted-T Breast Reduction
Unlike vertical breast reduction, which requires two incisions, surgeons use three incision sites in the inverted-T breast reduction techniques (one around the areola, one down the lower pole of the breast, and one across the inframammary fold). It is ideal for breast reduction surgery candidates that require extensive breast size reduction.
This technique allows maximum reshaping and removal of considerable sagging for the desired aesthetically pleasing outcome.
FAQs About Breast Reduction
Who Is a Good Breast Reduction Surgery Candidate?
Breast reduction surgery is ideal for a physically healthy woman (at least 18 years old) who is dissatisfied with their excessively large breasts. Mostly, these breasts are large enough to cause symptoms such as back, neck, or shoulder pain.
What Is the Recovery Time for Breast Reduction Surgery?
After your two-to-three hours’ procedure, you can go home after a few hours of observation or the following day, depending on the amount of correction in the surgery. Patients that follow the aftercare instructions return to work after about two to three weeks.
What Is Life After Breast Reduction Like?
This surgery is among the most rewarding cosmetic procedures that will alleviate the emotional and physical discomfort you experienced before. Although most patients experience immediate relief, the final result may take about 2 to 3 months.
Will Breast Reduction Results Last?
You can enjoy lighter, smaller, and aesthetically appealing breasts for a lifetime after your breast reduction surgery. However, the positive result will last if you can maintain a stable weight and avoid future pregnancies.