Breast Reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of large breasts. Typically, Breast Reduction surgery seeks to establish breasts that are proportionate to the woman’s body. Breast Reduction surgery has one of the highest satisfaction rates of any plastic surgery procedure.1 Patients of all ages and backgrounds seek out Breast Reduction surgery for both the physical as well as emotional and psychological pain breasts that are too large may cause.
Breast Reduction Surgery
Every woman is different and may present with varying symptoms and reasons for desiring a Breast Reduction. Our surgeons understand that many women have to deal with the frustration and physical pain associated with breasts that are just too large for their bodies. We are here to be supportive and provide a surgical option that will allow us to reduce the breast volume and elevate the position of the breast on the chest wall to help alleviate symptoms while providing a beautiful and natural-looking aesthetic result.
Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery
While there are many benefits to Breast Reduction surgery, the primary benefits are three-fold—physical, psychological, and aesthetic—the restoration of the breasts, the woman’s mental health, and her self-image.2 Additionally, Breast Reduction surgery can:
- Reduce breast volume
- Elevate position of the breasts for a perkier shape
- Reduce or eliminate pain associated with large breasts
- Remodel stretched or enlarged nipples
- Enhance cleavage
- Improve breast symmetry
- Restore youthful-looking breasts
- Improve self-confidence
What To Expect During Your Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast Reduction is a procedure in which our surgeons remove excess fat, tissue, and skin from breasts. A Breast Reduction is performed under IV sedation or general anesthesia. Our surgeons then make an incision to remove tissue and fat. Sometimes we will use liposuction to additionally remove excess fat.
There are three types of incisions commonly used during Breast Reduction surgery:
Periareolar Incision: The first option is for us to use a circular pattern around the areola called a periareolar incision3 or “Donut Lift.” Using the Donut Lift, our surgeons can reduce the volume of the breast, then reduce the size of the areola and reposition it higher on the breast. Incision lines with this type of reduction are permanent but can be easily concealed with a swimsuit or bra.
Keyhole Incision: For women with moderate to severe excess tissue and sagging, our surgeons may recommend an approach using the keyhole incision, or “Lollipop Lift,” whereas the incision circles the areola and runs vertically down the midline of the breast towards the breast crease.4
Anchor Incision: Other times we may recommend an inverted T or an anchor-shaped incision known as the “Anchor Lift.” This surgical method is indicated for the most severe cases of excess tissue and sagging. While similar to the lollipop incision, this technique also includes an incision along the breast crease in addition to the circular incision at the nipple and the vertical incision extending downward from the nipple to breast crease.
The technique used during your Breast Reduction procedure depends on the extent of breast tissue that needs to be removed, the extent of sagging, and the placement and size of the nipple. Your MHS surgeon will determine the surgical approach indicated based on your cosmetic goals and anatomy.
During surgery, once the incision is made, the nipple (which we keep intact with its original blood and nerve supply) is repositioned higher on the breast. If needed, our surgeons will excise the skin at the perimeter of the areola. Then, they will reduce the underlying breast tissue, lifting and shaping it to an aesthetically pleasing result. The incisions are then closed, using layered sutures deep within the tissue to support the new breasts and their higher position on the chest wall. Incision lines are permanent but will fade over time.
Preparing For Breast Reduction Surgery
We recommend getting a baseline mammogram before your Breast Reduction surgery and then another following your procedure to detect any changes in your breast tissue.6
It’s also imperative that you stop smoking at least six months before your surgery, and avoid alcohol and blood-thinning medications such as anti-inflammatories, aspirin, and herbal supplements in the week leading up to your surgery.
Finally, make sure you arrange for someone to drive you to and from your surgery as well as plan to have someone stay with you the night following your surgery.
Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery
When your Breast Reduction surgery is finished, bandages and/or surgical dressings will be placed on top of your incisions. Additionally, a support bra or elastic bandage may be recommended to support the breasts in their new position and minimize swelling. For some patients, a drainage tube may be placed temporarily under the skin to remove excess fluids or blood that collects.7
You can expect to experience some soreness and swelling following your Breast Reduction surgery. Your MHS surgeon will provide pain medication to ensure your comfort in the days following your surgery, however, most patients can switch to Tylenol after several days.
We recommend resting for at least two days following your Breast Reduction surgery and that you sleep on your back whenever possible for at least several weeks.
Your MHS surgeon will give you detailed instructions on your recovery, but in general, most patients return to work one week after their Breast Reduction surgery. You will receive post-operative care instructions the day of your surgery with detailed instructions about when you can resume a wide range of activities.
Breast Reduction Results
The results of your Breast Reduction will be visible immediately following your surgery. Over several months, your swelling will gradually subside and incision scars will fade. Most women find that their satisfaction with their results increases as they recover.8
For optimal Breast Reduction results, you must follow your surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care. Make sure you don’t subject your surgical incisions to excessive motion, force, or abrasion during the healing process. Your Breast Reduction results will improve gradually over several months as your new breast shape and position settles.9 Your final Breast Reduction results will be visible in approximately six months once all swelling has abated.
Your Breast Reduction incision scars are permanent, however, they will fade over time.10 Your final Breast Reduction results are permanent but are still subject to the natural effects of gravity and aging.
Candidates For Breast Reduction Surgery
Ideal candidates for Breast Reduction surgery are in good general health and have realistic expectations. Candidates for this surgery often have any combination of the following symptoms and/or concerns:
- Breasts that are too large for their body or aesthetic preferences
- Breast asymmetry
- Upper back and/or neck pain
- Difficulty finding comfortable bras
- Skin rashes beneath the breast fold
- Emotional distress and/or embarrassment
Contact My Houston Surgeons in Houston For Breast Reduction Surgery
If you are interested in Breast Reduction surgery in Houston, please call us today. We look forward to answering any questions you have about this procedure and would love to welcome you to our office for your consultation.
FAQs About Breast Reduction Surgery
Is Breast Reduction surgery safe?
Yes. While rare, Breast Reduction is associated with some risks and complications, as with any invasive surgery.
What are the risks of Breast Reduction surgery?
Your MHS will explain any possible complications and risks associated with Breast Reduction surgery during your consultation. While rare, some of the risks associated with Breast Reduction surgery include:
- Risks associated with general anesthesia
- Hematoma and/or bleeding
- Infection and/or sepsis
- Suboptimal wound healing
- Temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the breast and/or the nipple
- Poor cosmetic result
- Asymmetry in breasts
- Tissue necrosis
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac, and pulmonary complications
Will I be able to breastfeed after Breast Reduction surgery?
Your ability to breastfeed after a Breast Reduction surgery is largely dependent on the surgical technique used during your procedure. If your nipple was removed completely and then replaced in a new position, that will factor into your functional ability to breastfeed. The more nipple and milk ducts left attached, the more likely it is that breastfeeding will not be hampered.11
Why Choose My Houston Surgeons For Breast Reduction Surgery?
Our surgeons along with our supporting clinical staff are honored to offer comprehensive care and support for patients from their initial consultation through recovery.
1 Annals of Plastic Surgery. Quality of life after breast reduction surgery: a 10-year retrospective analysis using the Breast Q questionnaire: does breast size matter? Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22964671/. Accessed December 30, 2020.
2 Medscape. Medial Pedicle and Mastopexy Breast Reduction. Available at: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1471350-overview. Accessed December 30, 2020.
3,4,5,8 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What are the steps of a breast reduction procedure? Available at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reduction/procedure. Accessed December 30, 2020.
6 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. How should I prepare for breast reduction surgery? Available at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reduction/preparation. Accessed December 17, 2020.
7 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What should I expect during my breast reduction recovery? Available at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reduction/recovery. Accessed December 30, 2020.
9,10 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. What results should I expect after breast lift surgery? Available at: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reduction/results. Accessed December 17, 2020.
11 PLOS One. The impact of breast reduction surgery on breastfeeding: Systematic review of observational studies. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5648284/. Accessed December 30, 2020.
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