What is Breast Reduction Surgery?


This type of breast surgery decreases the volume of a woman’s breast who feel that their breast size is too large, or may be experiencing complications from the heavy weight of her breasts.  Good candidates for breast reduction surgery may have one or many of the following symptoms:

  1. Breasts that are too large or not in proportion to their frame
  2. Indentations in the top of the shoulder from bra straps
  3. Breasts that restrict certain physical activities because of their size and/or weight
  4. Skin irritation beneath the breast in the crease area
  5. Back, neck or shoulder pain caused by the weight of breasts
  6. Sagging caused by the weight of large breasts

Although these are some of the signs of a potentially good candidate for breast reduction surgery there are many more.  Each individual is different and therefore may experience different complications due to their breast size.  Discussing with a plastic surgeon your expectations with a breast reduction and your medical history will help to determine if you are a good candidate.

How is Breast Reduction Surgery Performed

In this breast reduction procedure the most common method involves 3 incisions made to breast which are:

  1. Vertically down from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast
  2. Along the natural contour of the breast
  3. Around the areola

The areola most often remains attached to the underlying tissue but is shifted to a higher position as the skin formerly located above the nipple is pulled down and around to reshape the breast. See Diagram below:

By keeping the areola attached to the underlying tissue in a breast reduction surgery doctors are able to preserve the sensation in the nipple and the ability to later breast feed.  Although individuals may notice a sensation loss immediately following their surgery, which can last for up to a year or more, it usually is fully restored.  Most often, sensation returns within a month following breast reduction surgery.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that the scars resulting from breast reduction surgery are permanent, however, in most cases will fade significantly over time until they are barely, if at all visible. 

As with any surgery, though rare, complications do exist in breast reduction surgery and in order to avoid them you should discuss proper preparation both before and after the procedure and your medical history, with your surgeon.  Be sure to also mention any prescription drugs you may be taking along with known allergies you might have.




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