Breast Reduction – Reduction Mammaplasty
Women with large breasts experience more than dissatisfaction with body image – they may experience physical pain and discomfort. Overly large breasts and the weight of excess breast tissue can cause pain and physical conditions that impair a woman’s ability to lead an active life. The emotional discomfort and self-consciousness often associated with having large pendulous breasts is an important an issue to many women as the physical discomfort and pain.
If you have large breasts that limit your physical activity and cause pain, breast reduction may be right for you. Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with a woman’s body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts. In general, breast reduction surgery will not only correct the functional symptoms associated with large breasts, but will also result in better proportioned breasts, enhancing a woman’s body image and self-confidence.
Breast surgery types:
What is breast reduction?
Breast reduction is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of large pendulous breasts that are disproportionate to a woman’s body and can cause physical pain. Technically called reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction improves breast size, shape and the associated conditions of large breasts that include:
- Back, neck and shoulder pain caused by the weight of excess breast tissue
- Shoulder discomfort and indentation from bra straps that support heavy, pendulous breasts
- Restricted physical activity due to breast size and the associated discomfort
- Skin irritation beneath the breast crease
- Sagging, stretched skin and a low breast profile where, when unsupported, the nipple rests below the breast crease
- An enlarged areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple) caused by stretched skin
Breast reduction can be performed unilaterally (on one breast) or bilaterally (on both breasts). It is generally considered a reconstructive procedure and may be covered by health insurance when it is performed to relieve medical symptoms. Many insurers define breast reduction surgery as reconstructive based on the amount of tissue that will be removed. However, pre-certification is often required for reimbursement or coverage.
Breast reduction surgery can be performed at any age; however it is best performed when the breasts are fully developed. Because significant amounts of breast tissue are removed, breast reduction surgery may impair the ability to breast feed. Changes in the breasts during pregnancy can alter the outcomes of previous breast reduction surgery, as can significant weight fluctuations.
In general, good candidates for breast reduction are women of relatively normal, stable weight whose breast development is complete. Breast reduction is best performed on:
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for improving their physical symptoms, breast size and shape
Your breast reduction Breast reduction is more commonly performed through incisions with surgical removal of the excess fat, glandular tissue and skin that contribute to large, pendulous breasts. The most common approach is a keyhole incision pattern.
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. The vertical incisions are brought together to reshape the now smaller breast. Non-removable 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.