Breast Reduction

Side profile of a bare woman's upper body with her arms across her breasts

Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is for a woman experiencing health problems and/or extreme self-consciousness associated with very large, heavy breasts. Medical problems associated with very large breasts include back and neck pain caused by excessive breast weight, skin irritation, skeletal deformities, and breathing problems. Large, heavy breasts also contribute to poor posture and can interfere with normal daily activities including exercise.

The goal of breast reduction surgery is to give a more attractive contour with smaller, better-shaped breasts that are in proportion with the rest of a woman’s body. Patients experience freedom from health problems associated with large breasts and an improved self-image.

The Procedure

Breast reduction is done under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis or in the hospital. The surgery removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts, making the breasts smaller, lighter, and firmer. Surgery can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple.

Incisions are made around the pigmented nipple-areolar area and extend vertically below the nipple and into the fold under the breast. The nipple-areolar area is then moved upward to the desired location. The incisions are covered with a light dressing.

After surgery, the breasts are placed in a surgical bra that will hold the breasts symmetrically during initial healing. Initial discomfort subsides daily and can be controlled with medication. Scars fade in six to twelve months.

Breast reduction surgery may be further enhanced by liposuction of the breast area to reduce excess fat deposits.

Recovery: What to Expect

When performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, breast reduction is a safe procedure. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding, infection, or reaction to the anesthesia.

Reduce your risks by closely following your physician’s advice both before and after surgery.

Post-operative swelling and bruising disappears in the first few weeks following surgery. Breasts may appear slightly mismatched or have unevenly positioned nipples as swelling between breasts may vary. Your new breast shape and size will be apparent within six months to a year, and will depend on hormonal fluctuations, weight changes and pregnancy.

Although Dr. Cimino strives to make your scars as inconspicuous as possible, some permanent scarring is inevitable. Smokers are more likely to experience poor healing and wider scars. The scars will be red and heavy in the months following the surgery, but redness fades with time and the scars will be less obvious.

Ability to Breastfeed

The ability to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery can vary greatly. This – and any other concerns – should be discussed with Dr. Cimino before surgery.

The End Result

Breast reduction can produce the most dramatic results of all plastic surgeries. It ends the physical discomfort of large breasts, and makes your body appear more evenly proportioned, allowing clothes to fit better. Your new image may take some getting used to. Give yourself time to adjust to the new you and, like most women, you will enjoy the benefits and the results of your breast reduction surgery.