Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure that allows for the removal of excess breast tissue resulting from macromastia, or excessively large breasts.
Patients with overly large breasts may experience self-confidence issues, have a negative self-image, and suffer from physical limitations that can affect their overall health. Breast reduction surgery offers many benefits to patients, including:
• Improved self-image and self-confidence
• Eased neck, shoulder and back pain
• Increased ability to exercise and be physically active
• More clothing options
• Reduced bra strap and skin irritation
• More balanced body proportions
If overly large breasts are holding you back from living an active and happy lifestyle, then consider breast reduction surgery. At Millennial Plastic Surgery, Dr. David Shokrian will work with you to achieve results that improve your quality of life.
Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Once the patient has been numbed, the surgeon will make incisions in the designated areas. The method used on each patient will depend on the size of the breasts, type of excess tissue present and the patient’s desired outcome. Some patients may be candidates for liposuction breast reduction if their excess breast tissue comprises of fat. Dr. Shokrian explains all options to patients during an initial consultation to ensure they are well-informed going into their surgery.
After the incisions have been made, the nipple will then be repositioned to place it in a more upright and centered position. The areola will also be trimmed at this point. The surgeon will then remove excess skin and tissue and reshape the remaining tissue, ensuring symmetry between both breasts. After the breasts have been adjusted and reduced in size, the incisions will then be sutured shut to complete the procedure.
Multiple methods or techniques can be utilized when performing breast reduction surgery. Scarring is an inevitable part of the procedure but can be minimized depending on which technique is chosen. While patients prefer an option that provides the least amount of scarring possible, the best choice will always be the one that provides the most effective form of treatment.
The traditional or anchor incision method requires three separate incisions on the breast. Incisions are made around the areola within the natural texture of the skin, extending vertically from the areola to the natural crease beneath the breast, and horizontally underneath the fold of the breast. This method allows for the most amount of tissue removal possible and can treat moderate to severe sagging. While scars will be visible, they can still be easily hidden with normal clothing, including bikini tops.
The vertical or lollipop incision method uses two of the incisions from traditional breast reduction surgery but avoids the inframammary incision beneath the breast. The circular incision around the outer edge of the areola blends in with the skin, while the vertical incision eventually fades to a thin white line around 12 months following surgery. This method is a newer technique that allows for mild-to-moderate tissue removal, meaning it may not be a viable option for all patients.
Finally, liposuction is sometimes an option for breast reduction surgery. Depending on the excess tissue present, liposuction may be used for some or all of the size reduction. If the patient’s excess size can be attributed largely to fat present in the breasts, then liposuction can reduce breast size without overly visible scars. Small incisions are made in either the inframammary fold beneath the breast or hidden within the armpit.
Recovery and Results
Patients recovering from breast reduction surgery should expect to rest for about 48 hours following their procedure. Common side effects include swelling, soreness, bruising, numbness and discomfort that can last two to three weeks. Some patients can return to work in one week, while others may need to wait two weeks before resuming their daily schedules. Patients will need to avoid physical and strenuous activities for one month.
Results will be immediately noticeable, although they will continue to develop. Swelling will distort the size of the breasts at first. The breasts may also appear asymmetrical for a period if the breasts heal at a different rate. Final results are typically visible around two to three months into recovery, although subtle changes in size will continue for up to one year. The scars resulting from the incisions will take about 12 to 18 months before fully maturing.
Patients will be placed in surgical compression dressings to provide support and reduce swelling. Any stitches and surgical drains present will be removed about one week after surgery.
Q&A with Dr.Shokrian
What kind of bra will I need to wear following surgery?
You should plan on wearing a sports bra for at least four weeks after your procedure. Underwire and push-up bras can harm your results and irritate incisions while they heal. You should refrain from purchasing new and expensive bras until most of your swelling has diminished, around two or three months into your recovery.
How long will results last?
You can enjoy your size reduction following surgery well into the future. We only perform breast reduction after the patient’s breasts have stopped developing, so you will not need to worry about returning to your pre-surgery size. Pregnancy and weight gain can affect your results, however, since both can lead to an increase in breast size. We can discuss this in more detail during an initial consultation.
Will I be able to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery can make breastfeeding more difficult later in life. Depending on the method used for the surgery, breastfeeding may not be an option for all patients following breast reduction. We will go over this with you more in-depth prior to your surgery and take every precaution necessary to both provide optimal results and keep your ability to breastfeed if possible.
How long before I can go swimming or take a bath?
Once your surgical bandages have been removed, you are free to shower and get your incisions wet. However, refrain from submerging your breasts until your incisions have fully healed. Avoid swimming or taking a bath for at least three weeks following surgery.
Which incision technique is best for me?
We will discuss this with you after performing an in-person evaluation. Not every option is available to each patient. Sometimes the best method for patients may not correlate with their desires for minimal scarring, but we always emphasize placing priority on results and an improved quality of life, rather than the presence of minor scarring. We will help you make an informed incision during this part of the process so that you can be satisfied with your results.
Am I a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?
Good candidates for breast reduction surgery are women are in good health, do not smoke, are suffering from negative physical and mental effects because of overly large breasts, and whose breasts are finished developing. We can better determine if you are a good candidate after an in-person evaluation.