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Breast Reduction


Large breasts are not just a fact of life for some women.  They can negatively affect self-esteem, health and overall quality of life. 

Breast reduction was the fifth most frequent cosmetic procedure performed in the United States and is covered by insurance in most cases.  Breast reduction surgery is geared toward women with large, pendulous breasts, since the weight of their breasts may cause neck, back, shoulder, circulation, and/or breathing problems.


                                         Breast Reduction on

                                         Licensed image for


Women living with large breasts can have the following problems: 

  • Unwanted attention from people

  • Neck, Back and Shoulder Pain

  • Weight of the breasts can make the patient unbalanced with activities

  • Bra Strap digging into the shoulder area

  • Rashes can be a common occurrence due to perspiration getting trapped

  • Breast sensation might be gone due to over-stretched tissue

  • Problems finding appropriate clothing

  • Teasing

  • Emotional Stress

  • Extreme self-consciousness


Breast reduction surgery can be life-changing to the women who have had to endure years of excessive weight and sag from their oversized breasts.  This surgery’s benefits are typically performed to create a more proportional size with your overall body shape.

Breast reduction can help alleviate problems with activities, health and clothing – and give the patient a new lease on life with an overall new body image.  By changing the shape and firmness of the breast the Plastic Surgeons are able to create a much more aesthetic appeal. 



                              Image showing disproportionately large breast and groove from bra strap - breast reduction

                                   2010 Copyright ADAM, Inc. - Used with permission


A breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) is more than removing excess tissue and fat.  The breast itself needs to be sculpted into a smaller shape, and this can only be done through an incisions on the breast. Breast Reduction was in the top five reconstructive surgical procedures done in 2007, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

The surgery itself may take anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the case with the amount of ptosis (sag), mass, etc.  Plastic Surgeons will agree that with breast reduction the most important goal of surgery is to have as few scars as possible, it is not however the single most important factor. Using a minimal scar on the wrong candidate can result in inadequate reduction or poor shape. 






  • Benefits or Advantages of having Breast Reduction Surgery

There are many benefits of having breast reduction surgery with women who have had oversized breasts:

  • Back Pain:  Is greatly reduced, with having the weight of the excess fat removed from her breasts.

  • Skin Rashes:  Are eliminated once the breast is reduced in size.

  • Bra Straps:  Bra Straps no longer dig grooves into the shoulders anymore from holding up the excess weight

  • Confidence Restored:  Women tend to have their self conscious level increased, with finally being able to find clothing that will fit properly.



As with every surgical procedure, there are going to be some risks or disadvantages to having the procedure done. 

  • Scarring is the biggest tradeoff associated with a breast reduction, but an overwhelming majority of patients say the scars are well worth the improved quality of life they experience afterwards. All scars improve over time, and it is possible to help diminish red raised or otherwise irregular scars. 

  • Most important is not to smoke. Smoking deprives the skin of the essential oxygen it needs in order to heal. 

  • Staying out of the sun and tanning beds will help tremendously with scar healing. The UV light can cause pigmentation problems and poor healing. Scar healing is very individual and genetically determined. 

  • Most importantly, follow your surgeon’s post operative instructions – as they are well designed with your best interest in mind. 




                                        Reduction Mammoplasty

                                   2010 Copyright ADAM, Inc. - Used with permission




Incision placement may include all or any combination of these incisions: 

  • Concentric or donut shaped around the areola

  • Vertically down from the areola to the breast crease

  • Horizontally at the breast crease


Breast fat and glandular tissue are removed through these incisions – and most likely the areola might be repositioned. The areola remains attached to the nerve and blood supply – also known as a pedicle flap, and entire breast is reshaped. The overall breast skin is reduced and the size of the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple) will likely be smaller to match the shape, position and proportion of the new breast. The position of the nipple is usually in a vertical level position with the crease on the underside of the breast.  

In some cases if the breasts are not that overly large, liposuction may be used as part of breast reduction to remove fat in and around the breast. Using the method of liposuction doesn’t leave the scars that some of the other techniques might.



                            Reduction Mammoplasty Incision Sites

                                        2010 Copyright ADAM, Inc. - Used with permission






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