- Introduction to Breast Reduction
- Breast Reduction Candidates
- Breast Reduction Incisions
- Breast Reduction Surgery
- Recovering from Breast Reduction
The understanding plastic surgeons at the Plastic Surgery Group realize that for women with overly enlarged, pendulous breasts, performing even seemingly simple activities such as jogging or shopping for new clothes can be painful or frustrating. To help alleviate the physical and emotional discomfort that having excessively large breasts can cause, the board-certified plastic surgeons at the Plastic Surgery Group offer women in NYC and New Jersey breast reduction surgery.
What Breast Reduction Corrects
Often, women with excessively large breasts feel self-conscious about their figure. They may slouch or wear baggy clothes to conceal their bust line. In addition to feeling embarrassed about their breasts, many women with large, pendulous breasts also experience pain or discomfort when performing certain activities such as high-impact aerobic exercise. They may also suffer from chronic shoulder, neck and back pain due to being constantly pulled forward by the weight of their heavy breasts. The shoulder straps of their bras can dig into their skin, causing indentation marks, rashes or welts.
With breast reduction surgery, the plastic surgeon removes excess skin, fat and breast glandular tissue, providing the patient with smaller breasts that are more comfortable and in proportion to the rest of her body. The surgeon can also reduce the size of the nipple-areola complex and raise it to higher, more central location on the breast, as necessary.
The aesthetic objective of breast reduction surgery is not to reduce the size of the breasts so dramatically that patients no longer resemble themselves. Instead, the goal is to provide each individual with shapely breasts that better fit her unique body type and frame.
Not only is breast reduction surgery a great way to achieve perkier, more attractive breasts that women can feel proud of, it is also an effective way to relieve the pain and discomfort often associated with large, heavy breasts. In fact, after surgery, our breast reduction patients typically remark that they feel a huge sense of relief and only wish they had done this sooner!
Suitable Breast Reduction Candidates
Only a highly experienced plastic surgeon such as the ones at the Plastic Surgery Group can properly establish surgical candidacy. Typically, suitable breast reduction candidates include women who:
- Would like to reduce the overall size of their breasts due to the physical and / or emotional discomfort that their excessively large breasts cause
- Possibly seek to reduce the size of their nipple-areola complex and / or raise the nipple-areola complex to a higher, more central position on the breast
- Are physically and mentally healthy enough to undergo surgery
- Do not smoke or are ready to quit smoking for a number of weeks prior to and after surgery
- Are not presently pregnant or nursing
- Have made an independent decision to undergo the procedure
- Are seeking aesthetic improvement, but do not necessarily expect perfection
- Have realistic expectations for the surgical outcome
- Understand both the possible risks and rewards of breast reduction surgery
Breast Reduction Incision Approaches
If the surgeon needs to remove a substantial amount of glandular tissue, fat and skin as well as significantly raise the nipple-areola complex, he or she typically recommends a traditional incision approach. Sometimes called the “anchor” incision approach, this incision technique involves the use of three incision patterns: the periareolar, vertical and inframammary incisions. The periareolar incision extends along the outer circumference of the areola. The vertical incision runs down the front of the breast, and the inframammary incision runs horizontally underneath the natural breast crease.
Women who require a lesser degree of tissue reduction and nipple and areola elevation may be appropriate candidates for a modified, “short-scar” approach to breast reduction. Sometimes referred to as the “lollipop” incision approach, this modified breast reduction technique only requires the use of periareolar and vertical incisions.
What to Expect During the Breast Reduction Procedure
Breast reduction surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure with the use of general anesthesia.
Once the plastic surgeon has made the incisions, he or she eliminates the excess skin, fat and glandular tissue from the breast. Most of the tissues are removed from the lower breast quadrant to help preserve the tissues in the upper breast quadrant, thereby maintaining an ample degree of cleavage.
The board-certified plastic surgeon also raises the nipple, so it is higher and more centrally located on the breast. In doing so, the surgeon leaves the nipple affixed to the underlying tissue to minimize the risk of affecting nipple sensation.
If necessary, the plastic surgeon can also reduce the size of overly enlarged areolas by excising some of the darkly pigmented skin from the outer perimeter of the areola.
When the procedure is complete, the plastic surgeon closes the incisions with dissolvable stitches and dresses the treatment area with soft bandages and a surgical bra on top.
Recovering From Breast Reduction Surgery
Immediately following the procedure, patients are taken to a room where they can rest for a couple of hours while the effects of the anesthesia wear off. They are then released into the care of a responsible individual, who can take them home to recover comfortably.
Women who have undergone breast reduction surgery should plan to take about a week off from work or their normal schedule. During this time, they should rest as much as possible and abstain from engaging in strenuous activity. However, it is also important to take short walks around the house periodically as soon possible, to minimize the risk of developing blood clots in the legs.
The treatment area may initially feel sore, tender or numb. Patients should take the prescribed pain medications, as needed, to relieve any discomfort. The breasts may also be bruised or swollen, but these normal symptoms should go away over time.
Patients return to the Plastic Surgery Group office for several follow-up appointments, during which the surgeon monitors their recovery progress and ultimately lets them know when it is safe to resume normal activities, including their fitness routine.
To schedule a private consultation with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons to find out more about our breast reduction surgery treatment options, please contact the Plastic Surgery Group by calling (973) 233-1933 or 212-321-0406 for our New York City location.
For additional information on Breast Reduction, visit: www.plasticsurgery.org