While large breasts are often considered a cultural ideal, they can cause significant emotional and physical problems for those who have them. For women frustrated by these dilemmas, breast reduction surgery can be a highly effective solution. Dr. Douglas Steinbrech, a board certified plastic surgeon based in New York City, is proud to offer breast reduction surgery to appropriate patients.
What Is Breast Reduction?
Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin, fat and glandular tissue from the breasts. The goal is to create breasts that are more proportionate in size to the patient’s body. Reducing the size and weight of the breasts can help patients feel better about their appearance, improve their self-esteem and alleviate the physical discomforts that are associated with large breasts.
The Health Impact of Large Breasts
A big bust can have a major impact on a woman’s health. Many women with big, pendulous breasts feel self-conscious about their bodies and the way others perceive them. Large breasts can also interfere with a woman’s ability to participate in physical activities, which can make exercising difficult. Back, neck and shoulder pain, poor posture, skin rashes, and breathing problems are also common.
Breast Reduction Consultation with Dr. Steinbrech
The breast reduction consultation is an important step, so it is crucial that you are open and honest. Be prepared to discuss your medical history, your reasons for seeking breast reduction and your desired outcome. Dr. Steinbrech will examine your breasts, talk with you about reasonable and expected outcomes for your particular situation, and answer questions. All aspects of the procedure will be explained, including how the procedure is performed, the risks associated with it and what to expect during recovery.
What Happens During Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthesia and typically requires two to four hours to complete. During the procedure, incisions are made from the nipple’s new location to the breast crease and along the breast crease. The plastic surgeon carefully removes excess skin, fat and glandular tissue to reduce the size and weight of the breast. Then, the nipple is relocated and the breast is meticulously recontoured to create a natural, smaller shape.
Dr. Steinbrech discusses Breast Reduction
Breast reduction recovery
After the surgery, dressings will be applied to the incisions; surgical drainage tubes may be placed to drain fluid. Patients will need to wear an elastic bandage or surgical bra to support the breasts and minimize swelling while they heal. Some discomfort in the form of pain, sensitivity, numbness or bruising is to be expected after the procedure. These may persist for a few months, but they should subside in time. Slight changes in breast size are also common.
Any contact with the breasts should be gentle for the six weeks immediately following the surgery. While the surgical bra should be worn for a month, the stitches can be removed after one week, and the majority of patients are able to return to work after two weeks.
Breast Reduction Surgery Frequently Asked Questions
What is breast reduction surgery?
Also called reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of the breasts by removing excess skin, glandular tissue and fat.
Why would a woman consider breast reduction surgery?
Big breasts and the preconceived notions many people hold about the women who have them can contribute to body image issues and poor self-esteem. Physically, overly large breasts are linked to skin rashes, breathing issues, and back, neck and shoulder pain.
Who is a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?
Healthy women who do not smoke, have reasonable expectations, and are tired of dealing with the emotional and physical problems associated with overly large breasts are generally good candidates.
What happens during the consultation?
The consultation includes a review of your full heath history, a discussion of your motivations and goals, and an examination of your breasts. You will learn what results are possible and be educated about all aspects of breast reduction surgery.
How long does breast reduction surgery take?
Plastic surgeons generally need between two and four hours for this procedure.
What type of anesthesia is used?
Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthesia.
What happens during the surgery?
Incisions are made from the nipple’s new location to the breast crease and along the breast crease. Excess skin, fat and glandular tissue are removed, and the nipple is relocated. The breast is reformed to create a natural, smaller shape.
What should I expect after the surgery?
After the surgery, incisions will be covered with dressings. Surgical drainage tubes may be present to drain fluid and an elastic bandage or surgical bra will be in place to support the breasts and minimize swelling while you heal.
Does breast reduction surgery hurt?
Some discomfort is to be expected. After breast reduction, pain, sensitivity, numbness, bruising or swelling can occur, but these issues improve with time.
How long will I need to wear a surgical bra after the procedure?
You should expect to wear a surgical bra for one month. During the six weeks following the surgery, any contact with the breasts should be gentle.
How long will I need to be off from work?
The majority of patients can return to work after two weeks.
Are there risks associated with breast reduction surgery?
Every surgery poses certain risks. With breast reduction surgery, these risks include bleeding, infection, a poor reaction to anesthesia, loss of sensation in the nipple or breast, and breasts or nipples that are slightly uneven. Having the procedure performed by an experienced board certified plastic surgeon can help minimize these risks.
Will I have a scar?
Patients who undergo breast reduction surgery will have an anchor-shaped scar on the lower half of the breast. It will fade as time passes and can be easily hidden under a bra or bikini top.
Is breastfeeding possible after breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is not recommended for women who plan to breast-feed. Some milk ducts are removed during the procedure, and this can limit a woman’s ability to breast-feed.
How long do the results of breast reduction surgery last?
The results of breast reduction surgery are permanent. However, it should be noted that pregnancy, aging, hormonal factors and weight fluctuations can trigger changes in breast size and shape.
Are patients generally happy with the results of breast reduction surgery?
The majority of patients are delighted with the results of their breast reduction. In a 2012 study that looked at patient satisfaction six months after surgery, nearly 90 percent of women rated their results as “good” or “very good.” A second study evaluating the satisfaction of breast reduction patients who were seen over the course of a decade had similar findings; more than 95 percent of patients surveyed reported that they were satisfied with the results of their breast reduction and would do it again.
Named one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons by the Consumers’ Research Council of America, Dr. Douglas Steinbrech is an experienced plastic surgeon who has been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. He is widely respected for his commitment to research, and he shares his expertise with aspiring plastic surgeons by serving as an instructor for New York University’s plastic and reconstructive surgery residents. With his office located in New York City in easy reach of several major airports, Dr. Steinbrech welcomes both local patients and those who have traveled from out of town. Call 212-750-0070 or fill out this contact form today to learn more or schedule your breast reduction consultation.