- What It Is: Removes excess glandular tissue and breast skin to provide a more proportionate bust size
- Reasons Why: Addresses painful symptoms caused by overly large breasts that overpower a woman’s figure
- Procedure: Outpatient
- Anesthesia: General
- Duration of Procedure: 2-5 hours, depending on the extent of tissue removal
- Initial Recovery Phase: 2 weeks
- Results: Immediate with continued improvement through recovery
Many women struggle with back, neck and shoulder pain, grooves in the shoulders from brassier straps, and other symptoms caused by excessively large, heavy breasts. While some young women develop overly large breasts (macromastia) at puberty, others may experience excess growth during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Breast reduction surgery (reduction mammoplasty) removes excess tissue and skin from the breasts and reshapes the remaining tissues for a smaller bust.
Dr. Sean Maguire is a plastic surgeon at Physician’s Center for Beauty in Louisville. He is a skilled and accomplished physician who has helped many women reclaim their bodies with breast reduction.
Why Have Breast Reduction?
Reduction mammoplasty has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates because it can significantly improve the quality of life for those women who have been bothered by the physical symptoms and the cosmetic appearance of their overly large breasts. Many women report a boost in their self-confidence and say that they feel more comfortable in their bodies.
Breast reduction opens your options for clothing and exercise. Before, you may have had to choose between tops that squeezed around your bust but fit well around your midsection and wearing something oversized to accommodate your large breasts. After breast reduction, you may wear any top, dress, or swimsuit without worrying about your breast size. Running and other exercises that may have been uncomfortable or painful before, can now be enjoyed once breast size is reduced.
One of the most common reasons women pursue reduction mammoplasty is for chronic pain in their back, shoulder, or neck caused by the extra weight on their chest pulling their spine forward. Poor posture, bra strap indentions, skin chafing or infection, and even breathing and sleep problems can be linked to macromastia.
Is Breast Reduction Right for Me?
This breast surgery is customized to your needs. Most women have physical or psychological problems stemming from large breasts and qualify for reduction mammoplasty to alleviate their symptoms.
You may qualify for breast reduction if you meet these criteria:
- Your breast size limits your physical activities.
- You experience back, neck, or shoulder pain.
- You have painful skin indentions from bra straps.
- The skin between and under your breasts chafes or develops ongoing rashes or infections.
- Your breasts are fully developed. (Women of all ages may qualify for breast reduction, but children and young women who are still growing are not.)
- You are in good physical health with no health concerns that may affect healing or your safety during surgery.
- You do not smoke or vape nicotine.
What Does the Procedure Entail?
The breast reduction procedure removes redundant tissues and reduces and relocates the nipple and areola. The surgical technique and incision pattern are determined by your anatomy, breast composition, degree of reduction necessary, the surgeon’s advice, and your preference. Some women may have excess fat around the breasts removed with liposuction, combined with excision techniques to remove breast tissue or skin.
Reduction mammoplasty requires general anesthesia. The two main incision types for breast reduction are the lollipop incision and the keyhole incision. The lollipop approach creates incisions around the areola and extends vertically down to the breast crease. The keyhole (also known as the Wise pattern) technique results in incisions around the areola, then vertically down to the crease, and then within that inframammary crease. Lollipop incisions are best for small to moderate excess tissue, and the Wise incision is best for more extensive tissue removal.
Dr. Maguire typically is able to leave the nipples attached to their nerve and blood supply during repositioning while also reducing the diameter of the areolas. In rare cases, he may recommend a free nipple graft. A free nipple graft is reserved for breasts requiring a massive amount of tissue removal and can result in numbness and a flattened appearance of the nipples. This is only done when absolutely necessary. The standard breast reduction technique moves the nipple-areolar complex higher on the chest and the entire breast is lifted higher on the chest wall and reshaped.
The incisions are brought together around the sculpted, smaller breast mound with layered sutures deep within the breast tissue used to support the elevated and reshaped breasts.
What Is the Recovery Like?
You will notice smaller breasts right away, but you will have some swelling, bruising, and discomfort. Dr. Maguire will place bandages and gauze over the incisions and wrap your chest with an elastic support bra or compression garment to support the breasts and minimize swelling. Our team will provide specific instructions for recovery, including how to care for the incisions and surgical site after surgery, medication use, and warning signs of complications.
You will have activity limitations for about six weeks, but light activity may resume after about two weeks. Make sure you take medications as prescribed at the right time intervals to avoid unnecessary discomfort. Most patients feel much better two or three weeks after breast reduction and return to work around that time. Wear your support bra as directed and be gentle with your breasts, avoid heavy lifting, and minimize pressure on the incisions while they’re healing.
Learn More About Breast Reduction
If you struggle with overly large breasts, contact Physician’s Center for Beauty in Louisville, Kentucky. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Maguire by calling (502) 897-7546 or filling out our online contact form.