Breast reduction is a cosmetic surgery procedure that reduces the size and weight of large, heavy breasts, helping to create a more aesthetically pleasing breast contour that is better proportioned to a patient’s body. By removing excess breast tissue, fat, and sagging, stretched skin, a cosmetic surgeon can not only make the breasts smaller, lighter, and firmer, but also improve breast symmetry and eliminate sagging.
Breast reduction removes 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.
Breast reduction procedure steps
In some cases, excess fat may be removed through liposuction in conjunction with the excision techniques described below. If breast size is largely due to fatty tissue and excess skin is not a factor, liposuction alone may be used in the procedure for breast reduction.
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.
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during breast reduction surgery. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
Step 2 – The incision
Incision options include:
- A circular pattern around the areola
The incision lines that remain are visible and permanent scars, although usually well concealed beneath a swimsuit or bra.
- 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
Step 3 – Removing tissue and repositioning
After the incision is made, the nipple which remains tethered to its original blood and nerve supply is then repositioned. The areola is reduced by excising skin at the perimeter, if necessary.
Underlying breast tissue is reduced, lifted and shaped. Occasionally, for extremely large pendulous breasts, the nipple and areola may need to be removed and transplanted to a higher position on the breast (free nipple graft).
Step 4 – Closing the incisions
The incisions are brought together to reshape the now smaller breast. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts; sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape close the skin. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time.
Step 5 – See the results
The results of your breast reduction surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover.
Stretched areolas or large nipples can be reduced during the same procedure, helping you look better in and out of clothing
Having more beautiful breasts does not always mean having bigger breasts. It’s all about shape and proportion, and a skilled cosmetic surgeon can improve both using breast reduction techniques tailored to a patient’s unique needs.