Jefferson K. Kilpatrick, MD | Russell B. Stokes, MD | Hannah Parbst, Esthetician
Breast reduction (or reduction mammaplasty) is a procedure that reshapes the breasts in order to make them smaller, lighter, and firmer. Breast Reduction surgery is typically indicated when a woman’s breasts are disproportionately large for her frame. This can lead to a number of physical impairments including back and shoulder pain, notching of the shoulders from bra straps, and rashes on the undersurface of the breast.
Reduction is accomplished by removing excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin. Large breasts can cause physical pain as well as emotional and social anxiety. Women who take advantage of the breast reduction procedure find that they are able to lead a healthier, more comfortable life in addition to enjoying a beautiful, more proportionate appearance.
Reasons for Considering a Breast Reduction:
- Back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy breasts.
- Sagging breasts produced by their large size.
- Disproportionate body frame attributed to oversized breasts.
- Restriction of physical activity due to the size and weight of the breasts.
- Painful bra strap marks and/or rashes as a result of large breasts.
Techniques for breast reduction vary; however, the most common procedure involves an incision that circles the areola. From the areola, the incision goes down and follows the natural curve under the breast. The surgeon then removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin. Next, the nipple and areola are repositioned to a higher position and held in place by stitches. Occasionally, liposuction alone can be used to reduce breast size. The best procedure can be determined during the initial consultation visit.
Of all plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction results in the quickest body-image changes. Patients are pleased with the elimination of physical pain caused by large breasts as well as a better proportioned body, an enhanced appearance, and better-fitting clothes.
Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time. Bandages are applied immediately following surgery to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts. Once the bandages are removed, a specialized surgical bra will need to be worn for several weeks.
Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery. Any pain can be treated with oral medication. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the instructions given after surgery. Most patients resume most activities in 2-4 weeks and resume full physical activities in 4-6 weeks.