Women who are unhappy about having large breasts and/or want to treat symptoms such as back pain, breathing problems and poor posture, may benefit from reduction mammaplasty (breast reduction), during which fat, glandular tissue and skin are removed from the breasts. The resultant smaller breasts increase patient comfort, and look more in proportion to the rest of the body. Ideal candidates for reduction mammaplasty are women with oversized breasts that are causing medical problems, low self-esteem, and/or physical or social discomfort. Breast Reduction can also be performed as part of a larger mommy makeover. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding cannot undergo reduction mammaplasty.
Is Breast Reduction surgery safe?
This surgery is safe and very rewarding for our patients. Of course, it is surgery, so there are the usual risks of excessive bleeding, reaction to anesthesia, poor wound healing, and the like. But these are rare.
When you think about it, there is more risk to your health in not addressing your heavy, sagging breasts. Problems such as back and neck pain, nerve compression, posture issues, and the like will only worsen as you get older. Improving these issues by having this surgery will correct those. Plus, we’ve found this surgery gives patients a new impetus to engage in more exercise and outdoor activities because they don’t have to cart around their heavy breasts, and they no longer worry about undo attention. That’s good for your overall health moving forward.
Will a Breast Reduction make me look thinner?
Most of our patients feel their breast reduction made them feel thinner. While Dr. Austin will remove a few pounds of fatty tissue with this procedure, this isn’t about weight loss; it’s about removing sagging, excess skin, and fatty breast tissue.
Still, not having very large, sagging breasts will make you appear thinner. Part of that could be the clothes you will now be able to wear. Most women with overly large natural breasts seek to hide them, so they wear loose-fitting clothing. They’re tired of the attention their breasts receive and they keep them covered. But after having reduction, you can now buy clothes that compliment your new smaller chest. This will make you appear thinner.
Many of our breast reduction patients are so thrilled to be rid of their outsized breasts that they really change their lives. They join exercise classes and generally become more physically active because now they can…without pain.
All of this contributes to you feeling and looking thinner. How great is that? These are great procedures for women tired of the burden of their overly large natural breasts!
How small can I go with a Breast Reduction?
How much you’d like Dr. Austin to reduce your breasts is completely your decision; there isn’t a limit. Most of our patients opt to keep their breasts proportional with the rest of their figure. They want to reduce the burden and weight of their breasts, rather than focus on a specific size decrease. The goal is to make your breasts proportional, alleviating their negative impact on your life.
Some patients coming to us for this surgery are so sick of their oversized breasts that they talk about radically decreasing their size. They’ve spent a lifetime dealing with their breasts and want to be done with them. But you also don’t want to regret downsizing your breasts too much at a later date. After all, your body shape will change dramatically with this procedure. It’s a welcome change, but it will be an adjustment.
When you meet with Dr. Austin for your consultation, the two of your will discuss your goals and see how much you’d like to decrease your breasts. Most of our patients opt to reduce their breasts by one to two cup sizes.
Can Breast Reduction also address my Breast Asymmetry?
Correcting asymmetry is often a part of Dr. Austin’s breast reductions. That’s because the hormonal messages sent during puberty that initiate the development of very large natural breasts can often begin at slightly different times, creating one breast that is larger than the other. As the breasts sag with age, this asymmetry often is exacerbated.
Because breast reduction is similar to a breast lift in that Dr. Austin brings the breasts up to a higher position on the chest, he can address your asymmetry when doing so.
Who is a good candidate to have Breast Reduction?
Overly large breasts, especially if they are largely due to glandular tissue, can be very heavy. This can lead to a host of serious health problems as listed above.
Beyond the physical impact, overly large natural breasts can impact a woman’s life in many other ways. Her breasts can make a woman avoid certain exercise regimens and sports. They can be a distraction at work, and social situations can be so annoying, due to the unwanted attention, that it’s easier to simply stay home.
When patients come see Dr. Austin for their consultation, there is a universal feeling of wanting to rid themselves of the burden of having overly large natural breasts. This has likely been an issue since the woman exited puberty.
If these characteristics sound like you, this procedure could be a great way to change your life.
The Breast Reduction Procedure
Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty is performed under general anesthesia. Depending on the technique used and the individual case, it takes from 3 to 5 hours to perform. One of the following incisions is often used:
- Two rings, one larger than the other, around the areola
- A keyhole shape, around the areola and down to the breast crease
- An anchor shape, beginning in the breast crease, and extending up to and around the areola
Liposuction alone is sometimes used to reduce breast size. One advantage is that it leaves little-to-no scarring. However, because liposuction removes only fatty tissue, patients must have more fatty than glandular tissue in their breasts. Liposuction is also often used on men whose breasts are enlarged.
Where are the incisions made, and what kind of scarring will they make?
During your consultation with Dr. Austin, the two of you will discuss the degree of sagging and how much excess skin will need to be removed. For most breast reductions, the need to remove excess skin predicates using the keyhole or anchor incisions. As discussed above, the keyhole incision circles the areola and drops straight down to the breast crease. The anchor incision takes the keyhole incision and moves outward in each direction along the breast crease. The anchor incision allows Dr. Austin to remove the most excess sagging skin and fatty breast tissue.
Both incisions will create scarring. If you follow our recovery instructions, especially wearing your strong support bra at all times for at least one month, you won’t place any stress on your incisions, and they will heal more quickly and become less and less noticeable.
Recovery From Breast Reduction Surgery
After reduction mammaplasty, patients typically experience soreness, swelling and bruising for several days. Bandages are removed after 2 days, and replaced with a surgical bra. Physical activity should be limited for 1 to 2 weeks, while exercise and other strenuous activity should be avoided for at least 4 weeks. Stitches are removed after 2 to 3 weeks, at which point most patients return to work and other regular activities.
The results of reduction mammaplasty are noticeable immediately after surgery. As swelling and bruising subside, the breasts’ appearance improves. Scars fade with time, and usually cannot be seen when a patient wears a bathing suit or low-cut top.
"Dear Dr. Austin and Team; Thank you so much for taking such incredible care of me! Embarking on this breast reduction was absolutely terrifying for me at first, but I know I did the right thing for me and I couldn’t have asked for a better surgeon and medical team and staff! Thank you for helping me change my life and the way I feel in my own skin!"
Are the results from Breast Reduction surgery permanent?
The sagging skin and excess fatty tissue removed by Dr. Austin are gone for good. These are permanent changes. A breast reduction is basically a breast lift that involves removing more fatty tissue in addition to the excess skin. Of course, we have sagging across our body as we age, but you’ll have firmer, higher breasts for the rest of your life. These procedures are not meant to ever need repeating.
Breast Reduction Surgery Risks
In addition to the risks associated with any surgery, risks related to reduction mammaplasty, depending on the technique used, include the following:
- Loss of sensation
- Excessive firmness
- Inability to breast-feed
- Loss of skin/tissue where incisions meet
- Partial or total loss of areola and nipple
Although reduction mammaplasty provides long-lasting results, breasts are still subject to the effects of aging and gravity.