What is Breast Reduction?
Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure to remove excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts.
- LENGTH: 2.5 to 3.5 hours
- ANESTHESIA: General – Outpatient Surgery
- SIDE EFFECTS: Temporary pain or discomfort, swelling, bruising, numbness, dry breast skin. Permanent scars. Possible loss of ability to breast-feed.
- RISK: Asymmetrical breast or unevenly positioned nipples. Infection. Permanent loss of feeling and/or loss of tissue in nipples or breasts. Slow or prolonged healing.
- RECOVERY: Tasks of daily living may be resumed immediately. Back to non-strenuous work (no lifting greater than 10 lbs) in 1 to 2 weeks. No strong pushing, pulling or repetitive upper body movements for 3 weeks.
- EXERCISE: Resume low impact activities at 2 – 3 weeks (1/3 duration of exercise, repetitions, amount of weight and pulse rate). Moderate impact activity @ 4 – 6 weeks. Full intensity including high impact (running, horse back riding, high impact aerobics) @ 8 weeks.
- FADING & SCAR IMPROVEMENT: 6 to 24 months
- SWELLING: Moderate/Significant 4 weeks, Subtle/Mild 2 to 3 months, all of which are dependent upon extent of procedure(s).
- DURATION of RESULTS: Variable. Breast size may fluctuate with hormonal shifts, weight changes and pregnancy.
- OFFICE VISITS: 1st post op visit 5 – 7 days / 2nd Visit 10 – 14 days / Anticipated # of office visits: 4 to 5 the first 3 months then yearly.
- GARMENT WORN: Support as needed for 6 weeks
- PAIN MEDS: Ibuprofen or Narcotics as needed.
- Note: Mammogram required after age 40 or 35 with a family history of breast cancer
A breast reduction procedure, or reduction mammaplasty can be performed for a number of reasons, including reducing neck and back pain while improving firmness, shape, weight, and size of the breast in proportion to the rest of the body.
Many women have breasts that are too large for their bodies. This can be due to genetic predisposition, breast feeding, weight gain or aging. Common symptoms include chronic back, neck or shoulder pain, exercise intolerance, difficulty finding appropriate fitting clotting, and rashes below the breasts or shoulders grooves from bra straps.
The technique used to reduce the size of your breasts will be determined by your individual condition, breast composition, amount of reduction desired, your personal preferences and the surgeon’s advice. Here at Boulder Plastic Surgery, our surgeons have extensive training and experience in breast reduction surgery for removing excess skin, fat, and glandular tissue, as well as tightening the skin for improved firmness and shape.
The most common incision patterns include:
- A keyhole or racquet-shaped pattern with an incision around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease
- An inverted T or anchor-shaped incision pattern