Description

Removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts, making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. Breast reduction can also reduce the size of the areola – the darker skin surrounding the nipple. The goal of this procedure is to give patient smaller breasts that are in proportion with the rest of her body. Breast reduction is usually performed for physical relief versus cosmetic improvement.

Learn more about this procedure and share your story in our Breast Reduction discussion forum!

Length

2 to 4 hours.

Side Effects

Possible bleeding, infection or reaction to the anesthesia. Some patients develop small sores around the nipples after the procedure, but can be treated with antibiotic creams.

Recovery

It may take 6 months to a year for breasts to settle into their new shape, but swelling and bruising will disappear in the first few weeks. May ache for a couple of weeks. Should avoid lifting or pushing anything heavy for 3 to 4 weeks. Back to work (if not too strenuous) and social activities: about 2 weeks.

Risks

Noticeable, permanent scars (poor healing and wider scars are more common among smokers). Slightly mismatched breasts, unevenly positioned nipples, and possible loss of feeling in nipples or breasts. Since breast reduction surgery removes most of the milk ducts leading to the nipples, future breast-feeding may not be possible.

Results

Permanent, sensitive to hormonal shifts, weight changes, and pregnancy.

Technology

Although techniques vary, the most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision (similar to some breast augmentation techniques) that circles the areola, which extends downward, and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast. After the surgeon removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin, moving the nipple and areola to their new position, he or she then brings the skin from both sides of the breast down and around the areola, shaping the new contour of the breast. (Liposuction may be used to remove excess fat from the armpit area) Find a breast reduction specialist in your area.

Patient Status

Inpatient -
Outpatient -

Anesthesia

General

 

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