Breast reduction surgery is a procedure performed to remove excess breast mass, glandular tissue and skin, in order to achieve a smaller, more proportionate breast size. It is also performed to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with overly large breasts that limit physical activity and cause back, neck and shoulder pain. The result is often a smaller, more attractive and youthful appearing breast.
The most common method of breast reduction surgery involves an “anchor” shaped scar on the breast. The nipple is often raised considerably into a new position. There is then a scar extending from the new nipple site to the fold underneath the breast, and for a variable distance along that fold as well. Excessive skin, breast tissue and fat are totally removed. Contrary to popular belief, the nipple is usually not detached from the body, but is simply lifted upwards into the new position.
On some occasions it is appropriate to remove some additional tissue from the sides of the breasts using liposuction techniques.
Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility as an outpatient procedure. It typically takes about 2-4 hours to complete. For the first several weeks, patients will be directed to wear a surgical bra or compression garment. Most patients are able to return to work within 1-2 weeks, and may begin exercising by 4-6 weeks. The visible results of a breast reduction will be immediate. However, it may take 6 months or longer for the final results to become evident.