Breast Reduction Surgery 101

If you’re considering having breast reduction surgery, it’s likely to have been a subject that’s been on your mind for quite some time.  Many patients think about having this procedure for five or even twenty years before finally plucking up the courage to make an initial consultation. We understand that considering this kind of elective surgery is daunting — so we’ve outlined some key information and considerations to think about before scheduling your first consult with a plastic surgeon.

First of all, what is a breast reduction? Simply put, it’s the removal of excess skin, tissue and fat from the breasts, to obtain a more proportional size of the breasts and eliminate some of the complications that you’re likely experiencing.

Is a Breast Reduction Right for You?

While not every woman with large breasts suffers from back pain or other complications, there are many who do.  Below is a brief summary of some of the most common complications caused by having excessively large breasts.

  1. Aesthetic issues — the appearance of scar-like grooves in the skin (caused from the weight of the breasts in the bra straps), as well as problems finding clothes that are flattering and fit properly.
  2. Continuous pain — this might be experienced in the shoulders, neck and back, as well as headaches.
  3. Unwanted Attention — this needs no explanation and can cause damage to confidence and self-esteem.
  4. Nerve pain — usually experienced as numbness of the hands or arms caused by difficulty keeping good posture.
  5. Physical challenges — exercising, playing sports, or even just doing daily activities.
  6. Skin concerns — like rashes and dermatitis that can develop under the breasts.

What Happens in Surgery?

Your plastic surgeon will be able to advise you on the specifics of breast reduction surgery as it specifically applies to your body shape. There are three main types of incisions that can be used, which can affect your results and recovery time, so it is important to understand which one your plastic surgeon is using and why.

  1. The Anchor incision this incision is made in the crease of the breasts.
  2. The Keyhole incision this is a vertical incision made from the areola of the breast.
  3. The Circle incision as it sounds, this is a full-circle incision made around the areola.

Once your plastic surgeon has made the incisions, he or she repositions your nipple, and minimizes any chance of sensation loss by keeping it attached to your current nerve and blood supply. The excess tissue is removed and the breast is reshaped.

What Is the Recovery Period?

Typical breast reduction patients can go back to work within two to three weeks of surgery, but it can take longer for the reduction of swelling and bruising (which can last up to four months, typically). Vigorous workouts, especially those that use the arms and shoulders, are not advised, for up to six weeks after surgery.

How Quickly Will I See Results?

The answer is: immediately. Not only can a breast reduction make your breasts look more proportional to your body, but they’ll also be lighter, firmer and smaller.

What Are the Possible Complications?

As with any surgery, in rare cases you may have complications, which can include:

  • Sensation loss
  • Uneven nipples
  • Visible scarring
  • Uneven breast shape
  • Inability to breastfeed

Discuss all of your concerns and your questions with your plastic surgeon so that you can both address your individual situation.

How Do I Get Started?

We recommend you start your cosmetic journey with an ISAPS Plastic Surgeon. Our members are educated to the most advanced level of plastic surgery training, have proven experience, and are aesthetic surgery specialists. Visit our website at www.ISAPS.org to find an ISAPS Plastic Surgeon near you to schedule your initial consult.

Posted in: News Archive

ISAPS Is Proudly Sponsored By