Breast reduction is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
Breast reduction is a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy
- You have realistic expectations
- You don’t smoke
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too large
- Your breasts limit your physical activity
- You experience back, neck and shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts
- You have skin irritation beneath the breast crease
- Your breasts hang low and have stretched skin
- Your nipples rest below the breast crease when your breasts are unsupported
- You have enlarged areolas caused by stretched skin
What to Expect During Your Consultation
The success and safety of your breast reduction procedure depends very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle. Be prepared to discuss the following:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
- Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Previous surgeries
- Family history of breast cancer and results of any mammograms or previous biopsies
What Happens During Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction is usually performed through incisions on your breasts with surgical removal of the excess fat, glandular tissue and skin. In some cases, excess fat may be removed through liposuction in conjunction with excision techniques. If breast size is largely due to fatty tissue and excess skin is not a factor, liposuction alone may be used for breast reduction. The technique used to reduce the size of your breasts will be determined by your individual condition, breast composition, amount of reduction desired, your personal preferences and the surgeon’s advice.
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Breast Reduction Incision
Incision options include:
- A circular pattern around the areola
- A keyhole or racquet-shaped pattern with an incision around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease
- An inverted T or anchor-shaped incision pattern
Removing tissue and repositioning
After the incision is made, the nipple, which remains tethered to its original blood and nerve supply, is then repositioned. The areola is reduced by excising skin at the perimeter, if necessary.
Underlying breast tissue is reduced, lifted and shaped. Occasionally, for extremely large pendulous breasts, the nipple and areola may need to be removed and transplanted to a higher position on the breast (free nipple graft).
Closing the Incisions
The incisions are brought together to reshape the now smaller breast. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts; sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape close the skin. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time.
Breast Reduction Results
The results of your breast reduction surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover.