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.
A breast reduction surgery is designed to reduce the size of overly large breasts in order to reduce physical strain, emotional stress, and discomfort. During the breast reduction procedure, Dr. Steinbrech will work to remove breast tissue, fatty tissue, and excess skin in order to reshape smaller breasts that are lighter and more proportional to the patient’s body.
The surgery begins with two anchor-shaped incisions extending down from the nipples and across the natural crease of the breasts. It can be performed as an outpatient procedure so your recovery will be spent at home. The final results of your breast reduction are intended to be very long-lasting, often permanent.
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.
During The 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.
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.
Can Breast Tissue Grow Back?
Unfortunately, it is possible for breast tissue to “grow back” over time but the good news is that you can do something about it. The human body is a delicate system composed of chemicals, organs, and cells that all work together. Factors outside the body can affect it, sometimes with unwanted consequences. Changes in weight, pregnancies, stress and illness, and shifts in the hormone balance can all create reactions in the body. Some of these reactions may include the regrowth of breast tissue.
Even so, breast tissue regrowth is very rarely enough to require a second surgery, if any tissue grows back at all. There are some issues that can cause breast tissue to return:
- Dramatic hormonal shifts, like those caused by menopause
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Significant weight gain
- Certain medications, especially any that may affect the endocrine system
- Physical growth after breast reduction surgery, which is only a concern for young women and teenagers
The vast majority of breast reduction patients will recover and live their lives with smaller, more manageable breasts. Still, staying tuned into your body can help you to stay on top of any unwanted changes. The best way to preserve your breast reduction results is to take proper care of your body. Focus on your own health and wellness by eating a healthy diet, drinking enough water, exercising regularly, and maintaining a consistent weight.
If you are planning pregnancies following your breast reduction, discuss it with Dr. Steinbrech so he can monitor your breast size afterwards if needed. Many of the strategies mentioned above can help to keep your body weight from fluctuating too much during pregnancy, but the shifts in your hormones may cause additional strain. Keeping your hormones balanced is important whether you’re pregnant or not, so discuss your strategy for managing menopause ahead of time as well.
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 health 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 347-983-9560 or fill out this contact form today to learn more or schedule your breast reduction consultation.