Breast Reduction Before and After

Breast Reduction Before and After

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  1. Reduction mammoplasty, commonly known as breast reduction, is a surgical procedure in which extra fat, glandular tissue and skin are removed from the breasts. People are not as familiar with breast reduction as they are with breast augmentation, more often known as breast implants. But plastic surgeons report that their patients who have breast reductions are the most satisfied of all plastic surgery patients.

    Who is a Good Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery

    Women with large drooping breasts that cause chronic back, neck and shoulder pain, and circulation and breathing problems are good candidates for breast reduction surgery. Having large breasts can also cause poor posture, a constant rash under the beasts and deep grooves in the shoulder from bra strap pressure. Women whose breasts are disproportionately large in comparison to their bodies or have breasts of different sizes are candidates for breast reduction surgery.

    This surgery can be performed on patients of any age, but it is recommend that patients wait until their breasts are fully developed or at least until age 18. Women who are breast feeding, pregnant or may become pregnant should wait until their children are born and are done breast feeding because a breast lift affects the mother’s ability to breast feed.

    Breast Reduction Procedures

    Breast reduction is considered major surgery and is performed under general anesthetic in a hospital or outpatient surgery center. The keyhole or inverted-T procedure is the most common type of breast reduction. In this procedure, the surgeon makes an incision around the areola and down the breast. Then a horizontal incision is made in the crease under the breast and the tissue removed.

    In most instances, the areola and nipple remain attached to the skin. But if a woman’s breasts are very large and droopy, it may be necessary to remove them and reposition them higher on the breast as a skin graft.

    Other procedures, like vertical scar and horizontal scar methods reduce the viability of surgical scars and the recovery time. The surgeon selects the procedure that best meets the patient’s needs.


    Breast reduction gives patients smaller, firmer and lighter breasts. It reduces the pain and health complications caused by large, heavy, drooping breasts. In addition, the surgery helps improve the patient’s self confidence. Recovery from surgery will take several weeks, but it takes six months to one year for all the swelling to disappear and for the breasts take on their final shape.


    Risks include the inability to breast feed, scaring, altered nipple sensation, swelling, bleeding, infection and reaction to anesthetic.  At first, the surgery scares will be red and lumpy but eventually reduce to a thin line.

    Selecting a Plastic Surgeon

    For best results, breast reduction surgery should be performed by a certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience with these procedures. Using a plastic surgeon not certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery may be less expensive in the short term, but the results may be problematic. Additional surgeries may be needed to correct problems, like lack of breast symmetry, misaligned areolas or other complications caused by lack of experience.

    Cost of Surgery

    Because of the pain and physical problems women with large breasts experience, the cost of breast reduction surgery is often covered by health insurance. The procedure is considered medically necessary and non-cosmetic.

    Breast reduction costs include surgeon, anesthesia and facility use fees. The surgeon’s fee depends on the procedure to be performed and the surgeon’s qualifications. For example, if it is necessary to reposition the areola and nipple, the surgeon’s fee would be higher than for a procedure where this is not necessary.

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