While the ultimate goal of breast reduction surgery (reduction mammoplasty) is really the same as that of breast augmentation – to achieve a more pleasing body proportion – surgery to reduce breast size is often a matter of medical necessity. Overly large and disproportionate breasts can cause a variety of health and emotional problems.
Back and shoulder problems are common, as well as neck pain, difficulty breathing, and chronic rashes due to overlapping or drooping breasts. In addition to the physical discomfort, many women suffer emotionally from poor self image and a lack of confidence due to disproportionately large breasts. Poor posture and difficulty finding well fitting clothes are other disadvantages.
Many of the women who have come to Dr. Mosser for consultation, and who subsequently have undergone breast reduction, had suffered for years before seeking a surgical solution. Their relief as a result of breast reduction has put them among the most satisfied of Dr. Mosser’s plastic surgery patients.
There are several surgical procedures for reducing breast size, and there are several factors to be weighed in determining the most appropriate procedure for the individual patient. Age, amount of breast tissue to be removed, skin tone and elasticity, and the position of the nipple and areola are just some of those considerations.
A patient’s general health and current body weight are also important. Anyone anticipating an extreme weight loss (or gain) from recent dieting and exercise, or who experiences wide fluctuations in weight, would be well advised to delay breast reduction until a stable weight can be reasonably obtained.
In addition to a thorough physical examination, and obtaining a full medical history, Dr. Mosser always discusses life style and the specific goals patients wish to achieve through breast reduction surgery. In that way, the recommendation he makes for you regarding the best surgical procedure will be the one that best suits your physical conditions and achieves maximum satisfaction of realistic goals.
In the end, the most important aspect of the breast that determines which type of breast reduction procedure is best for you, (traditional breast reduction or breast reduction with liposuction), is the quality of the overlying skin.
Just as in liposuction procedures elsewhere in the body, if the skin has excellent elasticity, then liposuction is likely to achieve a good final contour. However, if excess skin is one of the main issues, then traditional breast reduction is likely the way to go.
Traditional Breast Reduction Surgery
Traditional, or surgical-incision, breast reduction surgery is performed by making incisions, most often around the areola, vertically from the nipple area to the base of the breast and also in the lower crease under the breast. A predetermined amount of fat, glandular tissue and skin is then removed. The nipple and areola area is repositioned and sutured into place.
In rare cases of very large or pendulous breasts, the nipple and areola may have to be removed and grafted into a new position. When nipple grafting is necessary, it usually results in reduction in sensation in the nipple area and the inability to breast feed following surgery. However, most breast reduction procedures preserve nipple sensation and the ability to breast feed.
A general anesthetic may be indicated in breast reduction surgery, with the risks generally associated with general anesthetic for any surgery. In some cases, local anesthetic, either with or without mild sedation, is used. Recovery time varies from person to person, but generally normal daily activities can be resumed within a few days, while limiting strenuous activity or lifting.
The final results of breast reduction are usually seen after a few months or up to a year. The visibility of scarring varies depending on skin types, but, generally speaking, there is more obvious scarring with this procedure than with other breast reduction procedures.
Learn about Breast Reduction Surgery with Liposuction