What to know about breast reduction

Should I Get a Breast Reduction?

With over 100,000 surgeries performed annually, breast reduction is a common procedure. Breast reduction augmentation surgery is when a plastic surgeon removes excess fat, glandular tissue (including lobules or milk glands) and skin to reduce the size and weight of a woman’s breasts. At Ranch and Coast Plastic Surgery, we have talked to many women who wonder what procedure they need to remedy the aesthetics and even the pain that their bust may cause. A breast lift is recommended when women’s breasts are sagging typically due to age (gravity) or breastfeeding.

What is the difference between a breast reduction and breast lift?

A breast reduction reduces the weight and size of the breast. Most women get a breast reduction when their large breasts cause neck, shoulder, or back  pain and inhibit their ability to exercise. Alternately, a breast lift raises the breasts by eliminating excess skin and reshaping the remaining breast tissue resulting in a more youthful and upright appearance.


Who is a candidate for breast reduction?

Women whose over-sized breasts cause problems (also called symptomatic macromastia) often need surgical interventions to relieve the pain their large breasts cause. Most women we see experience neck, back and shoulder pain as well as chest wall pain, headaches, breast crease rashes and have bad posture all due to the burden of weight on their chest. These women often are unable to be as physically active as they would like, resulting in weight gain which just truncates the problem.

What are the steps of breast reduction?

Breast reduction surgery is commonly done under general anesthesia and takes between 3-5 hours. Like breast implant surgery, breast reduction surgery is typically accomplished through one of three types of incisions.

Breast Lift Techniques Illustrated

  1. Donut – Circular incision around the areola.
  2. Keyhole –Also called “Lollipop” where an incision is made around the areola and then down to the breast crease.
  3. Anchor – Three cuts are made including the circular, line down to breast crease and the in the breast fold. (most common)

From the incision the breast tissue is reduced, lifted and shaped. Occasionally liposuction will also be utilized. The nipple is then moved to a higher position to complete the aesthetics of the newly shaped breasts.

What are the risks when getting a reduction mammoplasty?

Results are long lasting but weight gain, hormonal changes and gravity can change the shape of reduced breasts. Incision lines are also permanent but fade. Due to scar tissue, breast reduction surgery can make getting and interpreting a mammogram more difficult for a radiologist. Women should always let the radiologist know before receiving a mammogram. Often during extreme breast reduction, the plastic surgeon will need to detach the nipple and areola entirely and relocate them higher on the breast. When this occurs, women may lose their ability to breast feed as well as lose sensation in the areola and nipples. For this reason, we recommend breast reduction surgery for women who are no longer expecting to bare children.

Ready to schedule a Consultation?

Most women feel relief right away after having breast reduction surgery. If you are struggling with physical and emotional pain due to overly large breasts, give Del Mar’s Ranch and Coast Plastic Surgery a call. Many insurance companies cover the cost of breast reduction surgery if other methods for relief have already been exhausted. Contact us today so that we can discuss your options and get you on the path to a more comfortable life.

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