Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast reduction is surgery in which fat, tissue, and skin are removed making the breasts smaller. This surgery is often to relieve the following conditions:
- neck pain
- skin irritation
- poor posture
- excessive sweating, rashes and skin infections under the breasts
- grooves on the shoulders from bra straps
- an inability to exercise or take part in sports
It will also help women feel more confident about their figure resulting in a more youthful looking and balanced body profile. Breast Reduction surgery also includes Breast Lift.
There are three main techniques:
Traditional breast reduction (Anchor Method)
Vertical incision breast reduction (Lolly Pop)
“Scar less” breast reduction (Liposuction)
For each of these techniques the surgeon uses a different incision to access the breast tissue leaving a different type of scar. The surgeon will recommend a method based on your body type, the size of your breasts and what you hope to achieve through surgery. You should ask questions about each of these options so that you fully understand your treatment and the anticipated results.
Traditional Anchor Pattern Breast Reduction
The traditional anchor pattern breast reduction technique is the most common type of breast reduction surgery performed today and has many advantages for women with very large breasts.
In the traditional breast reduction surgery incisions are made horizontally under the breast in the crease and extend vertically up to and around the nipple, creating an anchor pattern. This method requires more extensive incisions than the other methods. The horizontal scar will be hidden in the fold of your breasts. The vertical scar will be visible but will gradually fade over several months.
The anchor pattern breast reduction surgery allows for more excess skin and tissue removal and is the best method for women with very large breasts. Removal of excess skin creates a smooth appearance within a few weeks after surgery. This technique reduces and also lifts the breasts.
The traditional method is also more effective for women who have more glandular tissue than fat, which can be the case for slimmer women or those with very pendulous breasts and dense breast tissue.
This surgery can be undertaken to alleviate discomfort caused by excessively large breasts. Patients should also have realistic expectations about the surgery and be knowledgeable about surgical options. Women may want to delay breast reduction surgery until they have reached maturity; they may also want to wait until after having children due to the small risk to the ability to breast feed. There is also a risk of diminished sensation to the breasts and nipple but this usually returns to normal with time.
Vertical Incision Method (Lolly Pop)
Vertical incision breast reduction surgery results in shapelier breasts and less scarring than traditional breast reduction surgery. This is a popular alternative to the traditional method, especially for women who do not require extensive tissue removal.
Results produce a more natural breast shape, and require a shorter simpler surgical procedure than standard breast reductions. However, the technique is not for everyone.
Incisions lines extend around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease. There is no horizontal incision along the breast crease as in the traditional method resulting in less scarring.
The vertical incision breast reductions are usually performed on women who require only a moderate amount of volume to be removed. The technique is less invasive, and less disruptive to the glandular tissue of the breast than the traditional procedure with a shorter recovery time.
A variation is the ‘The Donut Lift’
For this technique the incision is made around the perimeter of the areola only which is why this technique is referred to as the ‘peri-areolar’ incision. This method is only suitable for women with a mild to moderate degree of sagging.
Scar less – Liposuction Breast Reduction
Liposuction only breast reduction can provide women with very good results but not every woman is a suitable candidate. Breast reduction with liposuction cannot effectively treat sagging, poor skin quality and glandular (rather than fat) hypertrophy.
If your breasts are large but not sagging, and if they are primarily fatty tissue, liposuction alone instead of a traditional breast reduction operation can improve breast size and shape. However, it cannot reshape or reduce the skin, and with aging and gravity, you may eventually find you still need traditional breast reduction surgery.
Breast reduction using liposuction alone involves removing excess fatty tissue from the breasts in order to reduce overall volume. Following the liposuction, if your breasts are not to droopy, the remaining skin will shrink naturally over time to fit the new breast volume.
The surgeon makes a small incision under the armpit or in the crease beneath the breast. The cannula is inserted into the breast through this incision to break up and remove fatty tissue and reduce breast volume. This technique only affects the fatty tissue and not the connective tissue of the breast.
Known as scar less breast reduction surgery requiring only small inconspicuous incisions there is almost no scars. The nipple is not removed or shifted so there is no risk of sensation loss in the nipple area or breast skin. Additionally, the milk ducts are usually not affected and breast feeding is still possible following the procedure. Recovery is faster than with the traditional breast reduction method.
Scar less breast reduction surgery is not the best choice for women with excessively large breasts or those with more glandular tissue than fatty tissue because liposuction only reduces the amount of fatty tissue in the breasts. This technique will not affect the shape of the breasts or provide a visible lift especially if the breasts already appear droopy.
At the time of your breast reduction surgery, your surgeon may place drains in your breasts in order to prevent a build-up of fluid in the breast area. These will be removed before you are discharged.
You will have dressing on your incisions and will need to wear a surgical support bra.
All surgical procedures, including breast reduction, pose possible health complications and post recovery cosmetic risks. Breast reduction complications are a rare occurrence but no surgeon can guarantee a breast reduction without problems. In addition to specific breast reduction risks, potential problems for any surgical procedure include poor reaction to anesthesia, bleeding, infection, and hematoma.
Scars The most common breast reduction complications are the scars. Breast reduction scars only fade over time. Within a year most scars will fade until they are barely noticeable, and all scars will be hidden underneath a bra or clothing even low cut tops.
Getting back to normal
Healthy, non-smoking patients will usually heal faster than patients with more health complications.
Once you have returned home, you will need to take it easy for two to six weeks depending on your age and general fitness.
The length of time you need to keep the dressings on will depend on how quickly your wounds heal. After one week your stitches will either dissolve or be removed at a follow up appointment.
You will need to wear a good quality sports bra without under wire or a compression post surgery bra for 4 to 6 weeks while your breasts are healing.
Your surgeon will advise you when you can resume your normal activities and return to work. You may need to take one to four weeks off, depending on what your work involves.
Avoid stretching, strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for up to six weeks after your operation.
You should avoid driving until you no longer experience any pain when wearing a seat-belt.
You should notice the difference in breast volume immediately. If the procedure was due to back pain associated with very large breasts, pain relief is usually immediate. After the swelling subsides, you will begin to notice a difference in the compact and more youthful appearance of your breasts.
If you have a question or would like to find out which of these procedures would be the most suitable for you please fill in an inquiry form or send us an email. We will get back to you within 1 to 2 days with an estimate of the costs including our FULL SERVICE PACKAGE