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Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty)

Palm Harbor Plastic Surgery Centre is here to help you make a confident, informed decision about breast reduction surgery.
Before & After- Dr RossBefore & After- Dr Buck

Reduction Mammaplasty

Plastic surgery doctor draw line patient breast

If you are considering breast reduction….

Patients who undergo breast reduction surgery frequently are seeking relief from physical symptoms caused by the excessive weight of large breasts.  Breast reduction usually can solve these problems as well as improve the size and shape of your breasts.  Following breast reduction, your breasts will be more proportional to the rest of your body, and clothes will fit better.

The best candidates for breast reduction:

You may be a good candidate of breast reduction if you have one or more of the following conditions:

  • breasts that are too large in proportion to your body frame
  • heavy, pendulous breasts with nipples and areolas that point downward.
  • one breast that is much larger than the other 
  • back, neck or shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts
  • skin irritation beneath your breasts
  • indentation in your shoulders from tight bra straps
  • restriction of physical activity due to the size and weight of your breasts
  • dissatisfaction or self-consciousness about the largess of your breasts

Breast reduction can be performed at any age, but we usually recommend waiting until breast development has stopped.  Childbirth and breast-feeding may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts.  Nevertheless, many women decide to undergo breast reduction before having children and feel that they can address any subsequent changes later.  If you plan to breast-feed in the future, your should discuss this with us at your consultation.

All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk:

Fortunately, significant complications from breast reduction are infrequent.  Every year, many thousands of women undergo successful breast reduction surgery, experience no major problems and are pleased with the results.  Anyone considering surgery, however, should be aware of both the benefits and risks. We will discuss on a personal basis during your consultation.  Some of the potential complications that may be discussed with your include bleeding, infection and reactions to anesthesia.  Following reduction, sometimes the breasts may not be perfectly symmetrical or the nipple height may vary slightly.  Permanent loss of sensation in the nipples or breasts may occur rarely.  

Preparing for your surgery

Avoid drinking, smoking and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Always avoid aspirin and other medications (anti-inflammatory drugs) that may cause thinning of the blood two weeks prior to your procedure. To find out more click here.

Types of anesthesia

Breast reduction surgery is best performed under a general anesthetic.  The procedure usually lasts 3-5 hours. It may be performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis.  If you are to stay in the hospital or surgery facility, it will most likely be for only one night.  When surgery is completed, you will then be taken to a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored.  In many instances, small drain tubes will have been placed in your breasts to help avoid the accumulation of fluid.  Gauze dressings will be placed on your breasts and covered with an elastic bandage or surgical bra.

The surgery

Individual factors and personal preferences will determine the specific technique selected to reduce the size of your breasts.  The most common method of reducing the breasts involves three incisions.  One incision is made around the areola.  Another runs vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast.  The third incision is horizontal beneath the breast and follows the natural curve of the breast crease.  After we remove excess breast tissue, fat and skin, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position.  The areola is reduced in size.  Skin that was formerly located above the nipple is brought down and together to reshape the breast.  Liposuction may be used to improve the contour under the arms.

The Results

Breast reduction surgery will make your breasts smaller and firmer.  Without the excessive weight of large breasts, you may find greater enjoyment in playing sports and engaging in other physical activity.  The incisions from your breast reduction surgery will heal and fade over time.  It is important to realize, however, that the incision lines will be permanently visible, more so in some individuals that others.

Breast reduction often makes a dramatic change in your appearance.  for this reason, it may take some time to adjust to your new body image.  Most women, however, eventually become comfortable with their smaller breasts and feel very pleased with the results of surgery.  In fact, the level of patient satisfaction resulting from breast reduction is among the highest of any plastic surgery procedure.