What is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery in Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to achieve a breast size proportionate with your body. Large, heavy breasts can cause breathing difficulties, back, shoulder and neck pain, poor posture, and chafing. Furthermore, large breasts often result in poor self-esteem and concerns about personal appearance. Many women find that breast reduction surgery is greatly beneficial, whether it is emotionally or physically.
The benefits of a breast reduction are life-changing, as patients not only have relief from their symptoms but also the ability to exercise better, wear fitting clothes, and experience psychological improvements. Although patients of any age can benefit from a breast reduction, it is recommended they wait until the breasts have fully developed before undergoing any invasive surgery. Of all surgeries performed by plastic surgeons, breast reduction ranks among the highest in terms of patient satisfaction.
Am I a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?
Ideal breast reduction candidates are physically and mentally healthy, and non-smokers. Also, women who are bothered by their breasts during physical activity or experience back, neck, or shoulder pain due to the weight of their breasts are typically excellent candidates for this procedure.
Breast Reduction – Patient 156
A nurse in her early 50’s who describes herself as a 38 HH cup and has had problems with back pain, shoulder pain, grooving and irritation of the shoulders, a rash under the breast in the warmer months and difficulty exercising due to the size of her breasts. She did not want to be too small after surgery. She is shown before and again, 8 months after a breast reduction extended to contour the lateral thorax, with the removal of more than 1100 gms of tissue from each breast. She is happy to be proportional now with a full C cup, and her symptoms have all resolved. Scars will typically continue to fade and improve for the first two years.
Breast Reduction – Patient 155
A mother of 3 in her early 50’s who described herself as a 38 D cup bra and has had problems with upper back pain, shoulder grooving and irritation, shoulder pain, neck pain, a rash under the breast in the warmer months and difficulty exercising. She is 5’7” and 194 lbs. She felt that because of the size of her breast and symptoms she was feeling increasingly fatigued at the end of the day and had difficulty exercising.
She is shown before and again, 7 months after bilateral breast reduction with the removal of more than 750 gms of tissue from each breast. She is thrilled with her new shape and size. She is also thrilled to no longer have the symptoms and pain from the weight and size of her breasts. Her energy level is back to normal and her symptoms have all resolved.
Breast Reduction – Patient 154
A woman in her late 60’s who describes herself as a 42DD- DDD cup and is bothered by the size of her breasts. She is 4’10” and 150 lbs. She is also bothered by the severe drooping of her breasts. They feel “heavy” to her and cause back pain. She is shown before and again, 1 year after bilateral reduction mastopexy with the removal of more than 3 lbs of breast tissue. The techniques that we use with patients who have severe drooping of the breasts after weight loss were used with internal suturing and shaping of the remaining breast tissue to give a better breast shape and decrease drooping after surgery. She is thrilled to be a C cup now and has maintained an excellent breast shape despite the decreased elasticity of her skin.
Breast Reduction – Patient 153
A mother of 3 in her early 50’s who had liposuction of her breasts by another plastic surgeon 11 years before. She was a little better at first but her breasts have increased in size ane she is bothered with back and shoulder pain, a rash under the breasts in the warmer months, and difficulty exercising because of the size of her breasts. She currently wears a 36 JJ cup bra. She is 5’5” and 196 lbs and is shown before and again, 8 ½ months after a bilateral breast reduction with the removal of over 960 gms of tissue from her right breast and 690 gms of tissue from her left breast. An inferior pedicle/ Inverted T scar technique was used. Her symptoms have resolved, and she is thrilled with the new shape and size of her breasts.
Discussion: There was initially great enthusiasm about the idea of liposuction of the breasts. I have found however that there are very few patients that are a good candidate. It is difficult to predict how much of a breast is fatty tissue and can be removed with liposuction, because liposuction does not remove breast tissue. And the more youthful breasts that might benefit because they already have a better shape are denser and less fatty. The older breasts tend to be more fat but benefit from a mastopexy ( lift) at the same time to improve the shape. I actually see more discomfort and a longer recovery with liposuction of the breasts, and it is difficult to reduce someone more than a cup size or so. It is not unusual to see these patients coming back for a breast reduction, as we see here.
Breast Reduction – Patient 152
A woman in her early 60’s who wears a 40 DD bra who has lost more than 50 lbs with diet and exercise. She is bothered by irritation and grooving of her shoulders from her bra straps, difficulty exercising and rashes under the breasts in the summer months. She has skin rolls of the lateral chest ) “thorax”) and wished to have this contoured at the same time. (“lateral thoracoplasty”). She did not want to be too small after her surgery, and wanted her new breasts to be in proportion to her frame.
She is shown before and again, 4 ½ months after bilateral breast reduction with the removal of more than 600 gms of tissue from each breast. Internal autogenous suturing was done to improve the shape after her weight loss, as well as a lateral thoracoplasty. She is thrilled with her full C cup and new shape. Her pain and rashes are gone and she no longer has trouble exercising. Scars will typically continue to fade and improve over two years after surgery, but she is already thrilled with her appearance.
How is a breast reduction performed?
During a breast reduction, Dr. Hall typically makes three incisions. One is made around the areola, another vertically from the areola to the crease underneath the breast, and a third following the natural curve of the breast crease. Once the targeted tissue, fat and skin are removed, the breast is reshaped. Sutures are used within the breast tissue to support the breast and other skin adhesives are used to close the skin at the incision. The procedure is performed under a general anesthesia and is designed for the protection of sensation.
What should I expect during recovery?
The majority of patients are overjoyed with their smaller, firmer breasts. Following the surgery, there is some initial discomfort, which can be controlled with oral pain medication. Dressings or bandages will be applied to the surgical incisions that will later be removed. You will be instructed to wear a support bra for a few weeks, usually until the swelling or bruising diminishes. You may also have a drain placed to allow excess fluid or blood to drain from the incision. Patients can typically return to non-physical work in just one week, but should wait six weeks before returning to physical activities such as vigorous exercise. Dr. Hall will give you specific care instructions to follow during recovery and will schedule any follow up appointments necessary.
What Results Will I Experience?
Results from a breast reduction can be noticed immediately after surgery. You will continue to see improvement as swelling decreases and incision scars begin to fade. Results from a breast reduction are long lasting and can help you lead a happier, healthier lifestyle. You can expect to have less back and should pain and skin irritation. You will experience less physical limitations after surgery and a better-proportioned figure that will boost your self-confidence.
“I saw 3 surgeons before meeting with Dr. Hall and by far he and his staff was the most compassionate, thorough, professional and helpful. Can’t say how pleased and comfortable he and his staff made me feel.”
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