Choosing to undergo surgery is a major decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you’re considering breast reduction surgery, you might worry that the outcome won’t be worth the time, pain, and money. However, you should know that breast reduction is a safe procedure with high success rates.
What Is a Breast Reduction?
A breast reduction or a reduction mammoplasty is a surgical procedure during which excess breast tissue is removed from the chest to achieve a smaller breast size. This procedure is commonly performed to address symptoms caused by macromastia or excessively large breasts.
Depending on the size of your breasts and your size goals, your surgeon may choose one of three reduction mammoplasty techniques.
- The first technique involves making a circular incision around the areola and is performed mostly in men.
- The second technique involves making a circular incision around the areola and a vertical incision from the areola down to the breast crease.
- The third technique involves making a circular incision around the areola and a longer incision along the breast crease.
Who Should Consider a Breast Reduction?
You may want to consider a breast reduction if you experience any of the following issues:
- You feel that your breasts are too large for your frame
- You feel self-conscious due to the size of your breasts
- You have trouble fitting into clothes due to the size of your breasts
- You frequently deal with neck pain, upper back pain, and shoulder pain due to the size and heaviness of your breasts
- You experience frequent rashes and skin infections in the folds underneath your breasts due to their size
- You have trouble performing physical activities due to the size of your breasts
- You frequently experience skin indentations from bras on your shoulders and back due to the size and heaviness of your breasts
Is a Breast Reduction Safe?
A breast reduction is considered a very safe procedure that is usually performed in an outpatient setting. This is also a very common procedure, with more than 90,000 procedures performed across the country each year.
That being said, it’s important to note that breast reduction surgery is still considered major surgery and comes with some minimal risks.
Potential Complications of a Breast Reduction?
No procedure is without risks, and it’s important to be aware of the potential risks of a breast reduction surgery so that you can weigh the potential risks against the proposed benefits based on your circumstances.
Here are some of the potential complications of a breast reduction:
- Breast asymmetry
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation can be either temporary or permanent
- Damage to deeper structures, including nerves and blood vessels
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- The firmness of the breasts
- Fluid accumulation
- Persistent pain
- Poor wound healing
- Potential inability to breastfeed
- Potential loss of skin and breast tissue at incision sites
- Potential, partial, or total loss of the nipple or areola
- Swelling and bruising
- Skin discoloration can be either temporary or permanent
- Unfavorable scarring which may or may not fade
Breast Reduction Success Rate in Men and Women
According to a study published in 2012, 95 percent of breast reduction patients said they felt satisfied with their postoperative results and would do it again. Many plastic surgeons say that this procedure has some of the highest satisfaction rates out of all the different procedures they do.
The study also looked at whether the amount of breast tissue removed impacted patients’ satisfaction with the procedure. Based on the findings, this factor did not play a role, nor did patient weight or size.
How To Ensure a Successful Outcome?
Even though breast reduction success rates are quite high, there are some things you can do to help ensure a successful outcome.
Step 1: Find a Qualified Plastic Surgeon
The first thing you can do to boost your chances of a successful breast reduction outcome is to find a qualified plastic surgeon to perform the procedure. You should look for a board-certified plastic surgeon who has extensive experience in the field in general and this specific procedure.
Make sure to check out the patient reviews of any and all surgeons you’re considering. Also, ask to see before and after pictures from breast reductions that they’ve done in the past to better understand their technique and results.
Step 2: Book a Consultation
The second thing you can do to boost your chances of a successful breast reduction outcome is to book consultations with a few different plastic surgeons before you actually schedule the procedure. Having a consultation is the best way to discuss your concerns and goals before developing an appropriate treatment plan.
Meeting the actual plastic surgeon during the consultation can also help give you a feel for which surgeon you’re most comfortable with, which is extremely important. You should feel comfortable discussing your goals and concerns with your surgeon so that you can both work together to find a realistic solution.
Step 3: Follow All Post-Operative Instructions
The third and final thing you can do to help ensure a successful breast reduction outcome is to follow all post-operative instructions given to you by your plastic surgeon. The exact instructions vary based on the surgeon and the procedure, but you should plan on taking it easy in the weeks following your surgery.
If you’re now confident in your decision to get a breast reduction, reach out to Dr. Applebaum today to schedule your appointment. However, if you still have questions about the procedure, you can also set up an in-person or virtual consultation.
Breast Reduction Procedure Steps | American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Breast Reduction Surgery | Mayo Clinic
Quality of Life After Breast Reduction Surgery: A 10-Year Retrospective Analysis Using the Breast Q Questionnaire: Does Breast Size Matter? | National Center for Biotechnology Information