Breast Reduction

A breast reduction, also known as a reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess breast tissue, fat, and skin to reduce the size of the breasts. This procedure is often done to alleviate discomfort or to achieve a breast size that is more proportional with the patient’s body.

Those who receive breast reduction surgery often struggle with chronic back and neck pain, as well as nerve pain due to their large breast size. These individuals may struggle with poor self-image or have difficulty fitting into their clothes. For some, breast reduction surgery can increase confidence, improve self-image, and allow an increase in physical activity.

Who is a candidate?

  • Nonsmokers
  • Physically healthy individuals
  • Those with realistic expectations for results
  • Individuals who experience back, shoulder or neck pain due to their breast size
  • Those whose breast size limits their physical activity

Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery is an outpatient procedure performed by Dr. Jason Nealy in our accredited surgery center at Silk Touch Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa. General anesthesia or IV sedation with local anesthesia is used during the procedure. Breast reduction surgery can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to complete. Incisions are placed around the areola and down each breast. There are different options for incision placement depending on the patient. Incisions options include:

  • Anchor (“Inverted T”): Incisions are placed around the areola, vertically down the breast, and horizontally across the crease
  • Lollipop or Keyhole: Incisions are placed around the areola and vertically down the breast
  • Incisions are placed around the areola

Once the incisions are made excess fat, breast tissue, and skin are removed, allowing the doctor to reshape the breasts and reposition the areola. Dissolvable sutures will be used to close the incisions. The size of the breasts are personalized to each individual in order to make them proportionate and aesthetically pleasing.

Recovery and Post-op Care

You will be able to return home the day of your surgery. Following the procedure, your chest will be bandaged and you will be sent home with a surgical bra. You will experience some soreness within the first few days and it's recommended that you take it easy and rest during this time. Prescription medication will be prescribed to you for the first week to help with the pain. Results are somewhat immediate, though It can take months for swelling to subside and scars to fade.

Most patients feel able to return to normal activities, such as driving or working, within a week. Dr. Nealy recommends patients wait 4-6 weeks before returning to exercising. It is important during this recovery time to not lift anything heavy in order to aid in the healing process. Post-op care instructions will be given to every patient after their surgery. For any additional questions about breast reduction surgery recovery feel free to ask the doctor during your consultation.

Risks Include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Poor wound healing
  • Blood Clots
  • Change or loss in breast and nipple sensation
  • Difficulty or inability to breastfeed

What procedures can be done with breast reduction?

Additional procedures that can be combined with breast reduction surgery include a breast lift, a tummy tuck, and liposuction.

Who Is A Candidate?

Women whose breasts are oversized to the point of being out of proportion with the body may consider breast reduction surgery for many reasons. This procedure can be life-changing for the woman who experiences physical and emotional discomfort on a regular basis due to breast size. A breast reduction can eliminate the many consequences of enlarged breasts, including asymmetry, grooves in the shoulders, poor posture, and lifestyle limitations.

In general, a board-certified surgeon with breast reduction experience can perform this procedure on patients of all ages. While the doctor takes a great deal of time considering and conversing with younger patients, it may be possible to have a reduction procedure before the age of 18, provided that the patient fully understands the potential risks to future breastfeeding and, of course, has parental approval.

To be an ideal candidate for breast reduction surgery, a woman should be in good general health and should not smoke. Patients who smoke must quit at least four weeks before surgery in order to reduce surgical and post-operative risks. The happiest patients have realistic expectations about the anticipated outcome of their procedure as discussed during their consultation.

Breast reduction surgery carries similar risks to most other breast procedures. These include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Visible scarring
  • Poor wound healing
  • Blood Clots
  • Change or loss in breast and nipple sensation
  • Difficulty or inability to breastfeed

The risks of complication during or as a result of breast reduction surgery are low in comparison with more invasive surgical procedures. Patients can feel more confident in risk management by choosing a board-certified surgeon who is very familiar with this procedure. It is advantageous to ask as many questions as possible during the consultation visit. Patients should ask about training, direct experience (how many breast reductions does this doctor perform a year?), patient outcomes, and the anticipated outcome for their case. Knowing how the surgeon manages risks during surgery, and also how to properly care for incisions after surgery, can also promote peace of mind.

How small of a cup size can I go with breast reduction?

Numerous factors contribute to surgical details such as the degree of reduction a patient may have. Examples include current breast size, the composition of the breasts, goals, and the relationship between breast size and body type. Generally, patients can expect to be one to two bra cup sizes smaller after their breast reduction procedure. The doctor can discuss how much tissue reduction can be achieved after conducting a thorough consultation and examination of the breasts.

Is a Breast Reduction Painful?

No. Breast reduction surgery is performed using general anesthesia, a type of sedative that places the patient in a sleep-like state. Under anesthesia, the brain cannot register pain signals from the body. The analgesic effects of general anesthesia can last for a few hours post-operatively. By the time discomfort occurs, patients have usually begun taking the medication they have been prescribed for pain. With rest, medication, and continual wear of the post-operative compression garment, patients usually feel quite comfortable.

How Can I Prepare for a Breast Reduction?

During the intake phase of treatment, patients may need various tests to gain medical clearance to undergo general anesthesia. Depending on age, the doctor may also require a current breast cancer screening (mammogram). Ideally, all required tests should be done no later than 3 weeks before surgery.

Patients should strictly avoid smoking and nicotine use before surgery to maximize the body’s capacity to heal. Smoking inhibits circulation and prevents tissue from receiving adequate oxygen. To support optimal healing, patients should also eat a nutrient-dense diet in the weeks before surgery. Medications and supplements that thin the blood must be stopped 2 weeks prior to surgery. Alcohol must be avoided 24 to 48 hours before surgery.

In addition to pre-filling post-operative medications and purchasing an appropriate compression bra, patients can prepare for breast lift surgery by preparing for recovery. This includes taking a few weeks off work, arranging childcare and pet care, and finishing all important pending projects at work and at home.

What is the Best Way to Maintain My Results?

The results of a breast reduction are permanent. As long as the patient maintains a stable weight, breast growth should not occur. Weight gain of more than 15 pounds could result in breast growth, though this is usually not significant enough to warrant a second reduction. To preserve the shape of the breasts after reduction, patients can wear supportive bras and engage in light strength training of the chest muscles. These steps can help slow the breast sagging that can occur with age.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are interested in breast reduction surgery give us a call today or fill out a form here to schedule your free consultation.

Contact Us Today

  • *All indicated fields must be completed. Please include non-medical correspondence only.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Visit Our Office

Scroll to Top