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Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammaplasty)

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A breast reduction is a cosmetic surgery procedure in which fat, tissue, and skin are removed for the purpose of diminishing the size of the breasts. This procedure can relieve the pysical strain caused by overly large breasts. It can also help women feel less self-conscious about their figure and enjoy a more youthful-looking bust line. If you suffer pain and discomfort as a result of large breasts, breast reduction surgery may be for you.

Surgery

Breast reduction surgery can improve your life by alleviating pain in the back, neck, and shoulders. It can allow you to wear a wider variety of clothing styles and help you feel less self-conscious about your breast size. If you are considering reduction mammaplasty, learn more about the steps to take before surgery, what the breast reduction procedure will entail, and what to expect after breast reduction surgery.

Preparing for Surgery

Before your procedure, you will meet with your doctor to discuss your expectations for the surgery. During this consultation, your cosmetic surgeon will help you decide on a surgical technique for breast reduction, educate you about the upcoming surgery, and provide guidelines for preparing for the procedure. He or she should also highlight the benefits and health risks of the procedure, and what you should expect before and after surgery. These pre-operative discussions will help to ensure your surgery goes smoothly.

Initial Consultation

Before the breast reduction surgery, the surgeon and patient will discuss the patient's surgical goals. At this appointment, expect your doctor to:

  • Evaluate which goals are within reach, and present you with a detailed plan for breast reduction surgery
  • Inform you about the risks, possible complications, and long-term effects of undergoing a breast reduction
  • Discuss the cost of breast reduction surgery and any financing options that are available to you

Planning Your Surgical Technique

There are several different surgical techniques for breast reduction that can achieve desired breast reduction results, including:

  • Traditional breast reduction
  • Vertical incision breast reduction
  • "Scarless" breast reduction

Each of these surgical techniques accesses the breast tissue through a different incision site, and thus leaves a different type of scar. Your surgeon will recommend a method based on your body type, your health, and what you hope to achieve through surgery. It is important to ask questions about each of these options so that you fully understand your treatment and the anticipated results.

Pre-Operative Instructions

Before surgery, your doctor will give you guidelines to follow to ensure that your cosmetic surgery experience is successful. Typically, you will be advised to:

  • Avoid aspirin, products containing aspirin, as well as certain vitamins and herbal supplements, as they may increase the risk of serious bleeding.
  • Discontinue smoking and using tobacco well in advance of your procedure. Because nicotine can significantly lengthen your healing time, some doctors may recommend having your last cigarette at least two weeks before breast reduction surgery, while others may request that you quit a month in advance.
  • Do not eat or drink for six to eight hours prior to your breast reduction.
  • On the day of your surgery, avoid using any lotions, creams, or powders and dress in loose, comfortable clothing. 
  • Arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure and stay with you for the first night after surgery. You will not be able to drive yourself home, and some activities may be difficult immediately after the operation.

Anchor Pattern Technique

The traditional anchor pattern breast reduction technique is the most common type of breast reduction surgery performed today and has many advantages for women with extremely large breasts. However, it is also the most invasive method of reducing the size of the breasts. Below, we have provided information on the traditional breast reduction procedure to help you decide if the cosmetic surgery procedure is right for you.

Incision Locations

In the traditional breast reduction surgery technique, incisions are made horizontally under the breast in the crease and extend vertically up to and around the nipple, creating an anchor pattern. Though this method uses the most extensive incisions of any breast reduction technique used today, the resulting scars can often be hidden by bathing suits and even low cut tops.

Advantages

Because anchor pattern breast reduction surgery allows for excess skin removal both vertically and horizontally, it is typically the best method for women with extremely large breasts. The anchor shaped incision also allows surgeons to remove more tissue than other methods, maximizing breast reduction results. Additionally, the removal of excess skin creates a smooth appearance of the breasts within a month after surgery. In comparison, vertical incision breast reductions often result in wrinkles and lumps in the breasts for several months following surgery. This occurs because the excess skin is not removed when a vertical incision is used but must instead tighten over time.

Disadvantages

Although the anchor pattern method can be useful in reducing excessively large breasts, it leads to more scarring than other breast reduction surgery techniques, including the vertical incision method and the “scarless” breast reduction technique. If the nipple is completely detached from blood vessels and milk ducts during surgery, there is also an increased risk for loss of sensation and loss of breast feeding ability after breast reduction surgery.

Some patients find that the traditional breast reduction surgery method produces breasts that appear wider and flatter than breasts resulting from other methods.

Ideal Candidates

Traditional anchor pattern breast reduction surgery may be the best choice for women who have excessively large breasts because it allows for a greater amount of excess skin and breast tissue to be removed than other methods. The traditional method is also more effective for women who have more glandular tissue than fat, which is often the case for very thin women, women with excessively dense breast tissue, and those who have not yet reached menopause.

In general, ideal breast reduction candidates should have a strong desire to undergo breast reduction surgery to alleviate discomfort caused by excessively large breasts. Patients should also have realistic expectations about the surgery and be knowledgeable about surgical options. Women should delay breast reduction surgery until they have reached maturity; they may also want to wait until after having children due to the risk of losing breast feeding ability.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast reduction before and after photos.

Photo credit: Mountcastle Plastic Surgery

Vertical Incision Technique

The vertical incision breast reduction surgery technique, also known as the “short scar” or LeJour breast reduction, typically results in shapelier breasts and less scarring than traditional breast reduction surgery. Vertical incision breast reductions are becoming a popular alternative to the traditional method, especially for women who do not require extensive tissue removal.

In addition to producing less scarring and resulting in a more natural breast shape, vertical incision breast reductions often take less time to perform than standard breast reductions. However, the technique is not for everyone. Below, we have provided information about the vertical incision method to help you decide if this method of breast reduction cosmetic surgery is right for you.

Incision Locations

Incisions extend around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease, making what is sometimes called a “lollipop” pattern. Vertical incision breast reductions eliminate the need for the horizontal incision along the breast crease that is used in traditional breast reduction surgery, resulting in much less scarring. The scarring that results is easily hidden by swimming suits and even low cut tops.

Advantages

Vertical incision breast reduction surgery results in less scarring, is less invasive, and is much less disruptive to the glandular tissue of the breast than the traditional procedure. Surgery and recovery time is shorter as well, and the procedure can usually be performed with less anesthesia than more conventional methods. Vertical incision breast reductions also typically result in breasts that are rounder and fuller than those that have been reduced through traditional breast reduction surgery.

Because vertical incision breast reductions are usually performed on women who require only a moderate amount of volume to be removed, the pedicle method of repositioning the nipple can be used. This method allows the nipple to remain attached to a pedicle, or strip, of tissue, keeping most blood vessels and milk ducts intact. This reduces the risk of permanent sensation loss to the nipple and surrounding skin, and increases the chance that breast feeding ability will be preserved.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast reduction before and after photos.

Photo credit: James P. Wire, MD

Disadvantages

Even though vertical incision breast reductions result in less scarring than traditional methods, it is important to remember that the scars will be permanent. Patients who undergo vertical incision breast reductions should also be prepared for their breasts to appear wrinkled and lumpy for several months following surgery. Excess skin is not removed during the vertical incision procedure; instead, it is pleated up and must shrink, tighten, and smooth out over time. In comparison, traditional breast reduction surgery produces smooth results after only a month because the excess skin is actually removed.

Eliminating the horizontal incision makes vertical incision breast reductions more complex and challenging than traditional breast reductions, and may not allow surgeons to remove an adequate amount of skin and tissue during the procedure. This is one reason why the technique is typically not used for women with extremely large breasts requiring extensive tissue removal. When the vertical incision method is selected for this type of case, the nipple may need to be completely removed during relocation, increasing the risk of sensation loss and interference with breast feeding ability. For many patients, however, the results of breast reduction surgery outweigh these and other potential breast reduction risks.

Ideal Candidates

Women with moderate-to-large breasts are the ideal candidates for vertical incision breast reductions. Vertical incision breast reduction surgery may not be a good choice for women requiring the removal of excessive amounts of fat and breast tissue.

In general, the ideal breast reduction surgery candidate should want to alleviate discomfort caused by excessively large breasts and have realistic expectations about the surgery, regardless of which surgical technique is selected. It is suggested that women wait to have a breast reduction until after the breasts have stopped growing and they are finished having children. Even though the vertical incision method typically preserves breast feeding ability, there is still a slight risk that it will be compromised.

Scarless through Liposuction Technique

Breast reduction using liposuction alone involves removing excess fatty tissue from the breasts in order to reduce overall volume. Following the cosmetic surgery procedure, the remaining skin will shrink naturally over time to fit the new breast volume. When the breasts have more fatty tissue than glandular tissue, breast reduction with liposuction alone can have a very good outcome. Below, we have provided more information about the scarless breast reduction procedure.

Incision Locations

When performing breast reduction with liposuction, the surgeon makes a small incision under the armpit or in the crease beneath the breast. A surgical tube, called a cannula, is inserted into the breast through this incision and is used to break up and remove fatty tissue and reduce breast volume. Breast reduction performed through liposuction alone only affects the fatty tissue and not the connective tissue of the breast. Typically, connective tissue is affected more than fatty tissue in traditional breast reduction surgery and vertical incision breast reductions.

Advantages

Breast reduction surgery generally results in visible scars that may fade over time but will never completely disappear. One of the main advantages of scarless breast reduction surgery is that liposuction leaves so little scarring: only one small, inconspicuously placed incision is needed for each breast. Also, since breast reduction through liposuction only affects the fatty tissue of the breast and the nipple is not removed, there is no risk of sensation loss in the nipple area or breast skin. Additionally, the milk ducts are usually not affected and breast feeding is still possible following the procedure.

Other advantages of scarless breast reduction include faster breast reduction recovery, less trauma to the breast, reduced bleeding, and fewer breast reduction health complications.

Disadvantages

Scarless breast reduction surgery is not the best choice for women with excessively large breasts or those with more glandular tissue than fatty tissue because liposuction only reduces the amount of fatty tissue in the breasts.

Breast reduction through liposuction alone will not affect the shape of the breasts, only the volume. Other types of breast reduction surgery often provide a visible lift because excess skin is removed and the nipple is repositioned to a higher location. A visible lift can be achieved through the liposuction procedure if the breast skin has ample elasticity, however, it is not guaranteed in every case. Therefore, droopy breasts may still appear to droop following the procedure.

Ideal Candidates

Women whose breasts have more fatty tissue than glandular tissue are ideal candidates for scarless breast reduction because liposuction can only reduce the amount of fatty tissue in the breast. Also, men with gynecomastia (excess breast tissue) can often achieve good results with male breast reduction through liposuction. Breast reduction using only liposuction is usually not an option for more slender women with large breasts, women with very pendulous breasts, or women with excessively large or dense breasts, as these women tend to have more glandular tissue than fat.

In general, ideal candidates for any type of breast reduction surgery should be looking to reduce the size of their breasts and should be well-informed about their surgical options. During your consultation, your surgeon can help you determine if you are a good candidate for breast reduction surgery and work with you to select an appropriate surgical technique.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast reduction before and after photos.

Photo credit: Dr. Dina Eliopoulos

The Procedure

Before beginning, your surgeon will conduct a consultation, at which time you will discuss your goals and medical history, and he or she will determine whether you are a good candidate. The entire breast reduction procedure takes on average up to two hours, depending on the specific case. Some patients may opt to have another procedure carried out at the same time, such as a breast lift, which would increase the surgery time. The surgery will go as follows:

Anesthesia: The patient will be placed under general anesthesia in order to be completely asleep during the procedure. The breast reduction is typically considered an outpatient procedure; however, some patients may require an overnight stay.

Incision: The surgeon will make an incision using one of three techniques - an anchor incision (traditional incision that is made around areola, vertical down the breast, and then horizontally along the crease); a vertical incision (around the areola and vertical down the breast for less scarring); or a scarless incision (tiny incisions are made at the crease of the breast or at the armpit and liposuction is administered to remove fat).

Breast reduction: Fat, tissue, and any excess skin are removed from the lower portion of the breast. Women with mostly fat tissue in the breasts could just require liposuction to reduce the breast size, which results in less scarring, less breast tissue trauma, and less chance of health complications occurring.

Nipple placement: The nipple will be repositioned higher up on the breast. The surgeon may or may not need to remove the nipple from the breast and then graft it in the correct place. Usually women with very large breasts require the nipple to be removed to be repositioned. The surgeon will inform the patient whether or not nipple sensation will be lost as a result.

Close incisions: The surgeon will close the incisions using sutures. Various techniques may be used for sealing the incisions that your surgeon will discuss with you prior to the surgery.

Post-Operative Healing

At the time of your breast reduction surgery, your surgeon may place drains in your breasts in order to prevent a build-up of fluid in the breast area and to promote faster healing. Fluid that collects at the end of the drains will need to be emptied about once a day. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions regarding your drains. If the drain fills immediately after it is emptied or you need to empty it more than three times per day, you should contact your doctor.

After breast reduction surgery, your doctor will wrap your chest area in sterile dressings. The dressings will need to be changed one to two days after surgery and will eventually be replaced by a surgical bra, which will need to be worn for several weeks during your breast reduction recovery. You will be required to wear the surgical bra at all times, except when bathing.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast reduction before and after photos.

Photo credit: James P. Wire, MD

Candidates

When performed on the right candidate, breast reduction surgery can lead to extremely positive results. Many women who undergo the procedure report a significant reduction in physical discomfort, as well as an overall improvement in their quality of life. If you have large breasts that restrict your activities and cause neck and back pain, reduction mammaplasty may be for you. Below, you will learn more about who is an ideal candidate for breast reduction surgery.

Who Is a Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?

Patients with large, sagging breasts are ideal candidates for breast reduction surgery. Large breasts can lead to neck and back pain, restrict your lifestyle and activities, cause shoulder pain or indents where bra straps are supported, and result in breathing problems. Both men and women may be candidates for reduction mammaplasty, as both genders may feel burdened by large breasts. After breast reduction surgery, men and women alike often attain a more proportional figure and a renewed sense of confidence in their appearance.

Breast Reduction for Women

Ideal breast reduction surgery candidates include women with large, pendulous breasts that get in the way of their daily activities and cause general discomfort and pain. Most women who decide to undergo breast reduction are concerned with alleviating physical pain and annoyance above all else. However, even if women are not extremely bothered by the physical effects of large breasts, they may undergo the procedure to achieve an improved self-image - one of the many benefits of breast reduction surgery. Women with large breasts may also feel self-conscious about the size of their breasts and would like to fit better into clothing. Although the procedure is only recommended for mature women with fully-developed breasts, it can be performed on younger women if their breasts are causing serious pain and physical discomfort. Breast reduction surgery is not recommended for women who intend to breast feed, because the procedure removes many of the milk ducts that lead to the nipples.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast reduction before and after photos.

Photo credit: James P. Wire, MD

Breast Reduction for Men

Gynecomastia is a medical condition resulting in abnormally large breasts in men. Although not often discussed, it occurs frequently, affecting one or both breasts in an estimated 40 to 60 percent of men. Certain medical conditions and the use of drugs such as steroids have been linked to gynecomastia; however, the cause of the condition is not always known. Often, men experience feelings of shame, emasculation, and embarrassment because of their breast size. Therefore, male patients with gynecomastia should be sure to choose a breast reduction surgeon they feel comfortable with.

Ideal candidates for male breast reduction are those with elastic skin that can be easily reshaped, producing excellent breast reduction results. The surgery is not recommended for men who are overweight or obese. Doctors often encourage these patients to try traditional weight loss methods before undergoing breast reduction surgery.

Men who drink alcohol in excess or smoke marijuana are generally discouraged from undergoing breast reduction surgery since both alcohol and marijuana have been linked to the condition.

 

Risks, Complications, and Benefits

Although reduction mammaplasty is generally a safe procedure, patients should be aware of the potential problems associated with the surgery. Breast reduction risks and complications include the chance of infection, adverse reaction to anesthesia, and uneven nipple height. However, most patients find that the potential benefits of breast reduction- decreased physical pain, a wider variety of clothing options, decreased self-conciousness and boosted confidence - outweigh the risks associated with the surgery.

Benefits

Women with large, heavy breasts may suffer physical pain from the weight of their breasts as well as social uneasiness due to unwanted attention to their breast size. Rather than live with these physical and emotional symptoms, many women turn to breast reduction surgery as a remedy. Breast reduction benefits both the health and appearance of women with large breasts by relieving chronic neck and back pain, and reshaping the breasts to form smaller, more proportionate contours.

Relief from Physical Discomfort

Large, heavy breasts can cause strain on a woman's body. Especially in cases where a woman's breasts are disproportionate to her frame, the extra weight of heavy breasts can:

  • Adversely alter posture
  • Lead to skeletal deformities
  • Cause bra straps to produce painful indentations on a woman's shoulders
  • Irritate the skin beneath the breasts
  • Lead to breathing problems

By reducing the weight of a woman's breasts and making them more proportionate to her frame, breast reduction surgery can provide a woman with a chance to correct her posture while removing strain on the shoulders, back, and neck, and reducing overall pain. For women who found participating in sports or other physical activities difficult as a result of their chest size, the ability to move freely after breast reduction surgery is another major perk. For many women, these breast reduction benefits greatly outweigh the possible health risks.

Because breast reduction benefits a woman's health, the cost of surgery may be covered by the patient's insurance. It is important for women considering breast surgery to consult with both their cosmetic surgeon and insurance provider prior to treatment.

Improved Appearance

Breast reduction surgery improves a woman's appearance by:

  • Creating breast contours that are more proportional to her body
  • Correcting asymmetry, if the breasts are unequal in size
  • Delivering smaller, firmer breast contours, similar to those achieved with a breast lift

Breast reduction also benefits a woman's appearance by allowing her access to a broader range of fashion choices. While women with large breasts may experience difficulty finding shirts and blouses that fit them properly, breast reduction surgery enables women to choose comfortable clothing with ease.

Enhanced Confidence

Because breasts are an important part of a woman's self-image, oversized breasts may negatively impact a woman's self-confidence. If a woman believes she is being stereotyped, or is drawing undesired attention because of her large breasts, she may begin to question her true talents and abilities. By reducing large breasts, breast reduction surgery can help a woman regain her self-confidence and positive self-image.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast reduction before and after photos.

Photo credit: Dr. Dina Eliopoulos

Risks

In addition to possible breast reduction health complications that are common to many surgical procedures, there are specific potential breast reduction cosmetic risks. When deciding whether you are a breast reduction candidate, you should be aware of possible asymmetry, sensation problems, and future breast feeding issues associated with breast reduction surgery.

Asymmetrical Breasts

A possible breast reduction risk is significantly asymmetrical breasts after surgery. This complication is one of the most uncommon breast reduction risks, especially if an experienced surgeon performs the breast reduction. However, it is a possible risk and may need to be corrected by a subsequent cosmetic surgery.

It is important to note that most breasts are not completely symmetrical. A slight difference in size or shape after breast reduction should not prompt additional surgery.

Uneven Nipple Height

Because reduction mammaplasty involves altering the size and shape of the breasts and removing and shifting some skin, there is a possibility that the nipples will not sit at the same height after breast reduction. During some surgeries, the nipple and areola will be removed and grafted back on the breast. In other instances, the nipple will remain intact, but the breast skin will be altered to fit the smaller sized breasts. In both methods of breast reduction, there are risks that the nipples and areolas will become uneven between breasts.

Altered Sensation

One of the most common breast reduction risks is the possible loss of feeling in the breast, especially if the areola has been removed and then grafted. Although grafting the areola places the nipple in the correct position aesthetically, the detachment from the breast tissue may cause a loss of sensation in the nipples.

Usually to a lesser degree than grafting methods, non-grafting breast reduction techniques also hold the risks of loss of sensation in the nipples or breasts as a whole. In some cases, the loss of nipple sensation after breast reduction surgery may be temporary; however, there are occurrences of permanent sensation loss. It is important for women to discuss the extent and possibility of this breast reduction risk with their surgeon when deciding which type of reduction mammaplasty technique will be used.

Breast Reduction and Breastfeeding

There is a chance that breastfeeding may not be possible after breast reduction. The degree of risk varies depending on the surgical technique used for the reduction mammaplasty.

Traditional anchor pattern breast reduction surgery increases risks affecting the ability to breastfeed. During this type of breast reduction, many of the milk ducts are removed during surgery, making it more difficult to breastfeed in the future.

Vertical incision breast reductions may increase the chance that a woman is able to breastfeed since at least a portion of the nipple will remain connected to milk ducts during this mammaplasty procedure.

Breastfeeding breast reduction risks are often avoided if the patient has more fat tissue than glandular tissue and breast reduction through liposuction is utilized. This breast reduction technique leaves the glandular and connective tissue largely untouched.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast reduction before and after photos.

Photo credit: Mountcastle Plastic Surgery

Potential Problems

All surgical procedures, including breast reduction, pose possible health complications and post-recovery cosmetic risks. Although serious breast reduction complications are a rare occurrence, no surgeon can guarantee a breast reduction without problems. In addition to specific breast reduction risks, potential problems include poor reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, and hematoma.

Poor Reaction to Anesthesia

In most cases, breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Because of this, there is the potential for respiratory complications and other serious breast reduction problems caused by a poor reaction to anesthesia. It is important for patients to discuss the possible hazards of general anesthesia with their surgeon and anesthesiologist.

Bleeding

As with all surgeries, breast reduction complications include bleeding in and around the surgical area. Minor bleeding is a normal side effect and should not be a concern. However, there is a chance of excessive bleeding due to blood not properly clotting. During the initial consultation, the surgeon should advise the patient of steps to take to reduce possible blood-related breast reduction problems.

Infection

Common breast reduction complications involve infections and delayed healing. The risk of infections can be minimized by washing the breast area, especially the incision sites, with antibacterial soap. If an infection does develop, a patient should contact the surgeon's practice for medical advice.

Hematoma

Hematomas can be serious breast reduction problems. A collection of blood in a body cavity, a hematoma may cause pain, infections, scar tissue, or other issues. A sudden change in color or contour of your breast is a warning that you may be developing a hematoma. Patients with this possible breast reduction complication should contact their physician immediately.

Scars – Are They Permanent?

The most common breast reduction complications are the scars left behind by the procedure. Depending on the method used during surgery, breast reduction scars can range from a small scar near the underarm for liposuction-only breast reduction procedures to anchor-shaped scars running from the nipple to the bottom of the breast. Healthy, non-smoking patients will usually heal faster than patients with more health complications, but breast reduction scars are more or less permanent either way. Within a year, however, most breast reduction scars will fade until they are barely noticeable, and all scars will be hidden underneath a bra or a bathing suit, even allowing patients to wear low-cut tops.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast reduction before and after photos.

Photo credit: James P. Wire, MD

Results

Having realistic expectations about breast reduction surgery and the results that are possible is important to your overall satisfaction with the cosmetic surgery procedure. Before undergoing breast reduction, read stories about the experiences of previous patients, and discuss possible outcomes with your doctor to be fully prepared for breast reduction.

If you are interested in breast reduction surgery and would like to learn more about what you can expect with breast reduction results, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with a local cosmetic surgeon. A qualified physician can answer any questions you may have regarding the procedure, advise you of the costs, cosmetic risks, and benefits of treatment, and determine your candidacy for breast reduction surgery.

Results Achieved

Breast reduction surgery has immediate and dramatic results, typically alleviating the physical discomfort and chronic pain that is often experienced by women with large, heavy breasts. Breasts will be much smaller after surgery and may appear lifted, even if a breast lift was not performed.

The type of breast reduction surgical method used often determines the outcome. Many patients report that the traditional breast reduction surgery method results in wide, flat breasts, whereas vertical incision breast reductions often result in more shapely breasts. However, wrinkles and lumps in the breasts are common for several months following a vertical incision reduction. In comparison, the traditional method often produces smooth results within a month. A “scarless” breast reduction typically does not reduce breast volume as much as other reduction methods, leading to less dramatic results.

Breast reduction results in permanent scars which may appear lumpy and red for several months following surgery but will fade over time. These breast reduction scars can often be hidden by bras and bathing suits and many women see these scars as a fair trade for the improvement in physical discomfort caused by large breasts. Patients should be aware of the risk of permanent sensation loss in the breast skin or nipple after breast reduction surgery.

Following breast reduction, the breasts will always appear smaller than if the surgery had not been performed. However, the breasts can become larger again due to weight gain, pregnancy, or other events that lead to an increase in breast tissue.

Results: Stories from Previous Patients

A good way to learn more about breast reduction results is to look for stories from previous patients. A number of first-hand accounts can be found in online forums devoted to patients’ experiences with plastic and reconstructive surgery. These breast reduction stories can help you learn what to expect following the procedure and may even be able to direct you to a qualified surgeon in your area.

Patients often report the following when relating their breast reduction stories:

  • Physical comfort increases as a result of smaller breast size
  • Clothing fits better
  • Satisfaction with overall appearance increases
  • Scars begin to fade within six months of surgery
  • Pain and unusual sensitivity subside within a month of surgery

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast reduction before and after photos.

Photo credit: Mountcastle Plastic Surgery

Choosing a Breast Reduction Surgeon

Breast reduction surgery is an excellent procedure for women who have excessively large breasts. Women may choose to undergo breast reduction surgery to alleviate back, shoulder, or neck pain associated with having voluminous breasts. Additionally, women may want breasts that are more in proportion with their bodies or more symmetrical. The surgery can help to improve both cosmetic and health-related concerns. Before deciding to move forward with any plastic surgery, it is important to find a surgeon that can perform the procedure safely, while giving you the results you want. There are a number of qualifications you should look for when considering a plastic surgeon for your breast reduction surgery. Docshop has put together important information that will help in your search for a highly competent and skilled surgeon. We encourage you to continue reading, and then contact a plastic surgeon that specializes in breast reduction surgery in your area for a consultation.

Tips for Selecting a Surgeon

There are several factors you should inquire about when choosing a breast reduction surgeon to meet your needs, including: certification, experience, training, and patient testimonials. Additionally, a surgeon must make you feel comfortable and confident in your decision to undergo a breast reduction.

Board Certification

Choosing a surgeon who is board-certified can improve your chances of obtaining high quality breast reduction results. When evaluating a breast reduction surgeon, check to see whether he or she is certified by a board with stringent membership requirements. One such board is the American Board of Plastic Surgery, which is a member board of the American Board of Medical Specialties. It is important to note that medical societies do not grant board memberships; however, some societies, such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, will invite surgeons to participate under the condition that they continue to meet membership requirements.

Experience and Training

Make sure you select a doctor with a proven track record of success, as well as quality training and experience performing breast reduction surgery. Discuss your doctor's experience and make sure you are comfortable with how long he or she has been practicing. It is not unreasonable to ask where your surgeon attended medical school and completed his or her residency.

Patient Testimonials

Before-and-after photos, as well as written and verbal testimonials from past patients, are great ways to gauge the quality of a breast reduction surgeon. Individuals who have undergone a surgical procedure know the caliber of the doctor first-hand. Ask your surgeon for photos of past patients' results. You can also ask your doctor for patient referrals.

Open Communication

It is important for you and your breast reduction surgeon to talk openly about your procedure. Your doctor should meet with you before your surgery to discuss your goals and expectations, as well as the techniques that would be most appropriate for your individual case. With an adequate amount of time to plan, you can learn more about breast reduction benefits, breast reduction cosmetic risks, and the costs of the breast reduction procedure, as well as potential health complications of breast reduction surgery. If you and your doctor maintain open lines of communication, you will be better informed about what to expect during your breast reduction surgery and after your breast reduction surgery.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast reduction before and after photos.

Photo credit: Dr. Dina Eliopoulos

Find Plastic Surgeons in Your Area

DocShop provides patients considering breast reduction with a listing of surgeons that perform reduction mammaplasty locally. Find a cosmetic surgeon in your area today to learn more about breast reduction surgery.

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