Breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) is a popular and deeply rewarding plastic surgery option for women who are unhappy with and struggle physically and emotionally due to their large breasts. This surgery is designed to reduce and reshape large breasts that are disproportionate to a woman’s body and can cause physical pain.
Having sizable, disproportionate breasts may negatively affect your confidence and prevent you from enjoying certain activities. Breast reduction surgery can improve the overall appearance of your breasts and liberate you from the limitations that come from having cumbersome breasts. Breast reduction can be performed unilaterally (on one breast) or bilaterally (on both breasts).
What Are the Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery?
- Relieves Shoulder and Back Pain
- Improves Body Proportions
- Repositions the Nipples and Areolas
- Lessens Skin Irritations Beneath Breasts
Breast Reduction Options
Donut (Concentric) Incision
This technique involves two concentric circular incisions around the areola.
- The donut-shaped area of tissue is removed between the two incisions, and the nipple is elevated as the breast skin is tightened and the incisions are closed.
- This breast reduction surgery requires less skin removal and is ideal for smaller breast reductions.
Keyhole (Racquet-Shaped) Incision
This technique involves a keyhole incision that runs around the areola and vertically down the lower pole of the breast.
- This breast reduction surgery offers more dramatic results and is most suitable for moderate breast reductions.
- The best candidates for this procedure desire firmer, perkier breasts but do not require a substantial breast lift.
This technique involves an inverted-T incision that encircles the nipple, extends vertically down the breast tissue, and runs horizontally along the crease beneath the breast.
- Most patients will benefit from this technique. It targets larger breasts or breasts with moderate to severe ptosis or droop.
- Patients with poor nipple-areola placement can receive a remarkable improvement with the anchor technique because the nipples and areolas are elevated and repositioned.
How much is breast reduction?
The cost of breast reduction surgery varies based on the geographical location of the surgery, the procedural techniques, and the surgeon who performs the operation.
Breast reduction is generally considered a reconstructive procedure and may partly be covered by health insurance when it is performed to relieve medical symptoms. Many insurers define breast reduction surgery as breast reconstruction based on the amount of tissue that will be removed. However, pre-certification is often required for reimbursement or insurance coverage.
Dr. Doezie will determine your exact quote at the time of your consultation or assist you with insurance verification.
What is discussed during my breast reduction consultation?
After meeting and discussing the procedure with you, Dr. Doezie will do a breast exam while his assistant takes notes of breast measurements and size. A price quote will be given to you at the end of your appointment once your surgical needs have been determined.
Am I a candidate for breast reduction?
Women with excessively large breasts often have a poor body image and may even experience physical pain and discomfort. The weight of excess breast tissue can cause back and shoulder pain and may inhibit certain physical activity. Poor self esteem and self-consciousness are often associated with having large breasts and is an important issue to many women.
Good breast lift surgery candidates:
- Are in good health overall
- Have large pendulous breasts
- Have breasts that are fully developed
- Have realistic expectation for their outcome
- Do not have a life-threatening conditions or illnesses that impair healing
- Are non-smokers
Breast reduction surgery can be performed at any age; however, Dr. Doezie recommends that women wait until their breasts are fully developed (and at least 16 years old) before considering surgery.
What type of anesthesia is used for breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia for comfort and safety.
Are my nipples detached during breast reduction?
The nipple remains connected to the nerve and blood supply. It is simply repositioned into the appropriate place.
Will I have visible scarring?
The amount of visible scarring will depend on where your incisions are placed and how well your body heals. Patients typically develop the least noticeable scarring with a donut incision and the most with an anchor incision; however, the scars will likely fade over time and can be covered by bras and bathing suits.
Are there risks with breast reduction?
Breast reduction surgery can limit the ability to breastfeed because significant amounts of tissue are removed during surgery. However, most women are still able to breastfeed.
Possible risks of breast augmentation procedures include:
- Hematoma, blood pooling beneath the skin
- Infection, blood clots, improper healing at the incisions site
- Temporary changes in nipple or breast sensation (there can be permanent loss in rare cases)
How long does it take to recover from breast reduction surgery?
You will likely experience swelling and discomfort at the incision sites and in breast tissue overall. This is normal and any discomfort can be controlled with medications. Dr. Doezie may recommend you wear a support bra continuously for the first two months. It is important to clean the incision sites and apply any medication as directed. It is essential to the success of your outcome to follow all instructions.
You may be ready to engage in light, normal activity after two days of recovery. Most patients can return to work seven days after surgery, but you will need to limit your physical activities for three to four weeks. It will take several weeks for the swelling to go down before you can see the final results.
What kind of results can I expect?
Most patients are highly satisfied with their breast reduction because of the significant change they experience in their quality of life now that their symptoms of back, shoulder, and neck pain are relieved.
Is breast reduction permanent?
Breast reduction is considered permanent, but changes in the breasts during pregnancy can affect the outcomes of previous breast reduction surgery, as can significant weight fluctuations.