Breast reduction also called reduction mammaplasty is a procedure that reduces the size and reshapes the breasts in order to make them smaller. Breast Reduction is performed by removing excess glandular breast tissue and skin.  Large breasts can cause physical pain as well as emotional and social anxiety.  

Reasons for Considering a Breast Reduction:

  • Back, neck and shoulder pain
  • repeated infections of the breast skin called intertrigo
  • ptosis caused by the weight of the breast
  • A mismatch of the upper and lower body attributed to oversized breasts.
  • Reduction of  physical activity due to the size and weight of the breasts.
  • Painful bra strap grooves and dents in shoulders as a result of large breasts.

General Procedure

Multiple techniques exist for breast reduction. The most common technique involves an incision what we call a key hole type of incision/scar. This technique creates a scar that goes around the areola.  It also has an up and down component called the vertical scar and finally a scar underneath the breast at the junction of the natural fold of the breast and the chest wall called the infra mammary crease. Breast is removed from the medial central and lateral parts or the breast.  Next, the nipple and areola are repositioned to a higher position.

The different pedicles used are the inferior, central and superior types. The surgical procedure needs to be modified to fit the individual. The vertical breast reduction does not have the inframammary scar.

Occasionally, liposuction alone can be used to reduce breast size.  The best procedure can be determined during the initial consultation visit.

After a breast reduction, patients are always 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. Smokers are at a higher risk for complications with healing after breast reduction. Lactation and breast feeding is a complicated process. Not all women even those who have not had a breast reduction are able to breast feed. The pedicle allows for breast feeding after surgery, although there is no guarantee of how much milk the breasts will produce. The pedicle also allows for nipple areola sensation to be retained although this is not guaranteed. Breast sensation is complicated and comes from a variety of starting points. Every effort will be made to protect sensation although this can not be guaranteed.

Recovery Process

Post-operative instructions include some rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time. The breast are placed in a bra after surgery. There is some 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.


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