Women with large breasts who are unhappy with their appearance and/or would like relief from symptoms such as back and neck pain, difficulty in finding bras, difficulty with physical exercise, skin rashes around the breast, and poor posture may benefit from breast reduction surgery. This common plastic surgery procedure removes fat and breast tissue from the breast while tightening skin to produce smaller, lifted breasts that are more comfortable, firmer, and in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body. Breast reduction can help patients regain confidence and enjoy a renewed self-image.
What Are My Breast Reduction Options?
Large breasts (gynecomastia) can cause physical pain and other bothersome symptoms, as well large breasts may also draw unwanted attention that can affect a woman’s self-esteem and make her uncomfortable with her appearance. Patients typically are referred to Dr. Trussler by primary care physicians who have exhausted conservative measures including weight loss, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications and topical anti-fungal treatments. Breast reduction can be performed as a medically indicated procedure in the patient with very large, disproportionate breasts who have failed conservative measures. Breast reduction can be performed as a cosmetic procedure for the large breast that would like an approximate cup size reduction. Dr. Trussler does offer multiple types of breast reduction procedures depending on the size and shape of the breast.
- Breast Liposuction
- Vertical Scar Breast Reduction
- Inverted T Breast Reduction
- Breast Reduction With Free Nipple Grafts
Ideal candidates for breast reduction surgery are women with disproportionately large breasts that cause medical problems, low self-esteem, physical or social discomfort, and/or frustration with finding bras and clothing. Women should be at a normal body weight or have attempted weight loss through diet and exercise. Patients with gynecomastia commonly have skin rashes that are difficult to treat in the folds of the breast and these should be treated aggressively prior to any surgical procedure. Women should wait at least 10 months after breastfeeding before considering a breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction surgery is commonly performed on young women who have not had any children but are extremely bothered by their large breasts. These younger women have a good chance of breastfeeding if they become pregnant after the operation.
It is important for patients to understand the details and risks associated with this procedure. Dr. Trussler will discuss your breast problems, your goals and factor in the size and amount of reduction to determine the right breast reduction for you.
Breast reduction patients are commonly some of the most grateful patients after the surgery is performed. Patients have literally had a weight lifted from them and they have a new sense of freedom from the bondage of 2 heavy duty bras, pain medications, and social embarrassment. Realistic expectations are important and Dr. Trussler will take the time to listen to your goals and explain what the breast reduction procedure can do for you.
A breast reduction will reduce the size of the breasts, commonly over 2 cup sizes and in doing so lift the breast. The goal is to make the breasts match the body and make the breasts proportionate to the body. The breast reduction patient should expect scars on the breast which will fade over time. Dr. Trussler does not place breast implants at the time of a breast reduction surgery because this adds weight to the breast that is to be reduced and he can shape the breast with its own tissue to give you fullness and volume in a smaller breast. Breast reduction patients most commonly expect relief from this procedure, and in the right patients, this should be achieved.
Breast Reduction Surgery
The breast reduction procedure is performed under general anesthesia and takes about two to four hours, depending on the techniques used and the amount of breast tissue removed. There are several different types of incisions that may be used for this procedure. Dr. Trussler will determine the best type for you after listening to your goals and evaluating your breasts.
Traditional Breast Reduction Surgery
This technique involves an anchor-shaped incision or inverted T incision. It is ideal for women with very large breasts who need at least a 2 cup sized reduction. Scarring can be more apparent though the techniques enable the safe removal of tissue and extensive shaping of the breast. Skin, fat and breast tissue can be removed from the lower breast and the nipples and areolas are be reduced and repositioned as well.
Vertical Incision Breast Reduction
Also known as short-scar, this technique involves incisions that extend around the areola and down to the breast crease for a lollipop shape. The incision may be extended by Dr. Trussler to a J type pattern if needed. Vertical incision breast reduction is ideal for women with moderately large breasts. The technique allows for shaping of the breasts with less scarring for women who do not require extensive tissue removal.
Breast Reduction with Free Nipple Grafts
This technique is used in the extremely large breast with extensive sagging of the nipples. This breast reduction technique removes a significant amount of breast tissue, sometimes up to 10 lbs with removal and then replacement of the nipple onto the upper breast area.
Scarless Breast Reduction (Breast Liposuction)
Scarless breast reduction uses liposuction techniques to reduce the size of the breast with little to no scarring. Since liposuction only helps remove fatty tissue in the breast, patients should have more fatty tissue than glandular tissue. This technique is commonly used on men with enlarged breasts, but can be applied to the younger woman with little if any sagging of the breast.
After Care & Recovery
- After any type of breast reduction procedure, patients will likely experience mild soreness and swelling for a few days.
- The nipple areola will have a non-adherent gauze placed on them that will be removed in 2 days. Surgical drains are typically not used in this procedure unless in some cases of extensive breast tissue removal.
- The breasts will be supported in a soft surgical bra for about three weeks or until healed. A sports bra can be substituted, but underwire bras are discouraged until the breast is completely healed which is commonly 6 weeks.
- Any stitches will be removed after one or two weeks.
- Most patients will be able to return to work within a week, although exercise and other strenuous activity should be avoided for about a month. Dr. Trussler will provide you with specific instructions for your individual recovery.
The results of a breast reduction are visible immediately after surgery and will continue to improve as swelling subsides and scars fade. The breast shape will evolve over a three month period especially in the cases of vertical type breast reductions. Scar treatment will be initiated at the 3-week visit and may be continued for 3 to 6 months after the operation, or until the scar softens and fade. As previously mentioned a bra must still be used after a breast reduction procedure, but cup size and need for support may decrease in the standard breast reduction patient.
*Disclaimer: Results and patient experience may vary.