What is reduction mammaplasty?
Reduction mammaplasty – commonly referred to as “breast reduction surgery” – is a reconstructive procedure that removes excess skin, fat, and other breast tissue, creating a new breast size that is more in line with your desired appearance. The procedure may be done to help a patient meet her aesthetic desires and/or to relieve physical discomfort and back pain caused by large breasts.
Reduction mammaplasty may:
- Help with emotional stress and body image issues related to overly large breasts.
- Relieve neck, shoulder, and back pain caused by overly large breasts.
- Reduce skin irritation and bra strap indentations caused by overly large breasts.
- Correct low-hanging breasts and stretched skin.
- Raise nipples that are below the breast crease when unsupported.
- Prevent areolas from further enlargement as a result of stretched skin.
Who needs breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery may be performed for aesthetic or medically necessary reasons. If you suffer from any of the issues discussed above, then you may benefit from breast reduction surgery. No one should ever pressure you into deciding to have reduction mammaplasty. The decision to have this procedure is a personal choice that a woman should make for herself – not to meet someone else’s idealized image. Ideal candidates are:
- In good health
- At a stabilized weight
- Realistic with body image expectations
How Reduction Mammaplasty Is Performed
Dr. Faibisoff typically performs reduction mammaplasty under general anesthesia at Mountain Vista Medical Center. During the procedure, excess fat, skin, and glandular tissue may be excised surgically. In some cases, liposuction may also be used to remove fatty tissue. Depending on your anatomy, patient/surgeon preference, and desired outcome, one of the following procedures may be used in your breast reduction surgery:
- A circular incision is made around the areola. Breast tissue is removed, reducing the size of the breast.
- Women who need a greater reduction may have a keyhole or racquet-shaped incision. In this approach, the surgeon makes a circular incision around the areola, as well as two vertical incisions between the areola and lower breast crease.
- Anchor incisions (also known as inverted T incisions) are usually reserved for the most drastic breast reductions. This approach requires a circular incision around the areola, as well as incisions that follow the horizontal curves and a vertical incision above the areola.
Once the incision(s) have been made, the areola is repositioned and excess skin around the areola may be excised (if necessary). Breast tissue beneath the skin may be reduced, reshaped, or lifted. With the resizing complete, Dr. Faibisoff will close the incisions with sutures, and the procedure is finished.
What should I do to prepare for breast reduction surgery?
As with most any cosmetic surgery, it’s important to stop smoking at least several weeks before the procedure and to avoid anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements. Your surgeon may also advise that you have a baseline mammogram performed prior to your surgery. This mammogram will serve as a reference point for comparing future changes in breast tissue.
The medical staff at Four Peaks Plastic Surgery will give you all the information you need to prepare yourself for the procedure during your pre-op appointment. For more information about preparing for plastic surgery, download Your Guide to Cosmetic Surgery: 17 Plastic Surgery FAQs.
What is the recovery process like?
The results of your reduction mammaplasty will be immediately visible. Some swelling is common in the days that follow your procedure. Expect to take one to two weeks off from work for this procedure. Full recovery may take four to six weeks or more. You will receive information at your consultation and pre-op appointment about the recovery process, self-care, scarring, etc.
How long will the results last?
The results of your breast reduction surgery can be long lasting. You can maximize the results of your procedure by maintaining your weight and living a healthy lifestyle – which includes good diet and exercise habits. Over time, natural aging, hormonal factors (e.g. menopause), and gravity may change the breasts’ size, shape, and orientation.