What is a Breast Reduction?
Women with large, cumbersome breasts often suffer from chronic back and neck pain, skin irritation, deep grooves in their shoulders, and limited mobility. Prominent breasts can also draw unwanted attention to a woman’s chest, resulting in self-consciousness. Having excessively large breasts can be both physically and emotionally burdensome, but breast reduction surgery can address these concerns and restore a balanced breast profile. Breast reduction is a procedure that is designed to reduce the size of the breasts and makes them more proportionate to the body. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Constantino Mendieta has performed countless breast reduction procedures that have revitalized his patients’ comfort, appearance, and overall quality of life.
During the initial consultation, Dr. Mendieta assesses his patients’ anatomical and aesthetic needs to develop a customized surgical plan that will result in the most appealing outcome. Breast reduction is appropriate for patients who can relate to the following concerns:
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Deep indentations on the shoulders
- Skin irritation under the breasts
- Difficulty fitting into clothing
- Poor posture
Breast Reduction Options
Undergoing breast reduction surgery to restore the appearance of the breasts and improve one’s confidence is a personal decision. Because every patient has unique expectations of the procedure, breast reduction is entirely customized to their individual goals. This outpatient procedure can take between three and five hours to complete, and it is performed using general anesthesia. Depending on the desired extent of correction, breast reduction surgery will involve removing excess breast tissue through one of three different incisions.
This technique is most appropriate for patients who have breasts that require minimal correction. Two concentric incisions are placed around the areolas, and a donut-shaped portion of tissue is removed. The remaining skin is sutured to the edges of the areolas, resulting in firmer, more proportionate breasts.
This technique is advantageous for patients who have breasts that require moderate correction. An incision is created around the edges of the areolas and down the lower breast to the inframammary crease, through which excess tissue is removed, and the remaining skin is tightened. Additionally, the nipple-areolar complex can be altered and repositioned with this approach.
This technique is beneficial for women who have breasts that require significant correction. Incisions are placed around the areolas, down the lower breast, and along the inframammary fold, resulting in an anchor-shaped incision. Excess tissue is removed, and the skin of the breasts is tightened. Dr. Mendieta prefers the pedicle method, which helps preserve circulation to the nipple-areolar complex.
Recovery from breast reduction surgery can last up to 6 weeks. It is important to sleep in an elevated position for maximum comfort and faster healing. Patients may experience bruising and swelling following breast reduction surgery, but these side effects will resolve within a few weeks. Dr. Mendieta will prescribe pain medication to help manage any discomfort.
It is recommended to refrain from exercising for at least three to four weeks, but patients are encouraged to take short, leisurely walks as soon as they can to promote circulation and minimize swelling. Depending on how extensive the procedure is, physical activity may be limited for as long as 10 weeks.
Patients will notice a significant improvement immediately following breast reduction surgery, but the final results will not be apparent until residual swelling has subsided and the tissue has healed. Most breast reduction patients report feeling confident about their body and leading a more comfortable life after surgery. The outcome of this procedure is considered permanent, but subsequent pregnancies, weight gain, and natural aging may alter the appearance of the breasts.
Breast Reduction FAQs
How much does breast reduction surgery cost?
The price of breast reduction surgery depends on many factors, including the extent of correction required, geographical location, surgical techniques used, surgical fees, and anesthesia fees. An accurate cost estimate of your personalized procedure will be calculated during your initial consultation.
What are the risks associated with breast reduction surgery?
Experiencing complications before or after breast reduction surgery is rare. However, the risks of any surgical procedure may include:
- Bleeding or hematoma
- Loss of sensation at or near the surgical site
- Breast asymmetry
- Abnormal reaction to anesthesia
At what age can a woman choose to undergo breast reduction surgery?
A breast reduction procedure can be performed at any age after a patient’s condition has been thoroughly evaluated by a board-certified plastic surgeon. In some cases, younger patients who suffer from juvenile breast hypertrophy may qualify for surgery in their teens.
How should I prepare for my breast reduction procedure?
After your condition and overall health has been evaluated by a board-certified plastic surgeon, you may also be advised to get a mammogram before your scheduled procedure. Avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications and supplements, and quit using tobacco products at least two weeks before surgery. Inform your surgeon if you are taking prescription medication so that the appropriate precautions can be noted.