What is a Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, treats breast hypertrophy, or overgrowth of breast tissue, through the removal of excess tissue and skin to improve the overall shape, symmetry, size, and positioning of the breasts. This procedure relieves the chronic discomfort that often develops as a result of this condition.
Am I a good candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?
- The exact cause of breast hypertrophy has not been well defined. It may be due to heightened sensitivity to female sex hormones. There have also been several genetic mutations associated with this condition. Disproportionately large breasts may confer long-term psychological and physical sequelae. Many women experience permanent indentations from their bra straps, headaches, and back and neck pain. Breast size is also affected by weight and lifestyle habits.
- If you believe you are a breast reduction candidate and are seeking coverage from your health insurance carrier, we suggest you contact them prior to your initial consultation. Request written documents from your insurance carrier outlining their specific criteria and indications, and bring this with you to your appointment with us.
- As with any plastic surgery procedure that requires a large incision to remove large amounts of tissue, the patient must exchange tissue removal for the creation of scars. The exception to this would be in the uncommon situation where your plastic surgeon determines that liposuction will provide adequate results and you have large amounts of fatty tissue vs breast or glandular tissue.
Suction assisted liposuction is performed through a thin metal cannula. This technique results in a discrete tiny scar from where the cannula was inserted. This technique does not correct breasts with excess skin.
Vertical or “Lollipop” Breast Reduction
Breast tissue is removed and the breast envelope (the skin envelope that overlies your breasts) is shaped to drape over the newly reduced breasts. The resulting scar resembles a lollipop. A circular incision is made around the areola and a linear incision runs from the bottom of the areola to the inframammary fold, or the bottom of your breasts. This technique is ideal for breasts that require a moderate amount of reduction.
Inverted T Breast Reduction
Breast tissue is removed and the breast envelope is shaped and draped appropriately. The resulting scar is the lollipop scar described above, along with a curvilinear line that hugs the bottom contour of the breast, or the inframammary fold. This technique is ideal for breasts that require moderate to significant reduction.
- Mild to moderate pain is expected. Pain is well controlled with prescription and over the counter medications.
- Your surgeon may opt to use drains, these can stay in for up to 1 week, removal is performed in clinic.
- No sexual activity or participation in any type of activity that may raise your blood pressure for at least 1 week.
- You may return to work 1-2 weeks (desk job) after the surgery. This depends on your comfort level.
- Wear a surgical bra or a front closure sports bra for up to 6 weeks. Your newly reduced breasts need support to heal optimally.
- You may start light physical activity 2 weeks later. No heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks.