What is breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is a reconstructive surgery procedure that reduces the size of your breasts.
Also known as reduction mammoplasty, the breast reduction procedure improves the appearance and reduces discomfort in patients with large breasts.
Some people become active once more in various physical activities after breast reduction. Breast reduction surgery also improves one’s self-image.
Most women who have undergone breast reduction surgery report overall satisfaction with the procedure.
Some male patients who have unusually large breasts (a condition known as gynecomastia) may also consider a breast reduction procedure.
During breast reduction, your surgeon removes excess tissues, skin, and fat from the breasts.
Since breast reduction is a major procedure, it is important that you talk to a certified plastic surgeon about what the procedure entails, its benefits, and the likely risks and complications.
Who needs breast reduction surgery?
You may consider a breast reduction procedure if you are too concerned with your self-image and appearance or if having large breasts leads to:
- Chronic pain in the neck, back and shoulder
- Nerve pain
- Inability to take part in certain physical activities
- A hard time fitting into clothing or bras
- Chronic skin infection under your breasts
- Unproportional breast relative to the rest of your body
A breast reduction procedure reshapes your breast to give a more pleasing appearance. It will also relieve any discomfort caused by having large breasts.
People of all ages, including teenagers, can have breast reduction surgery. However, teenagers whose breasts are not fully grown could undergo another procedure at a later stage in their lives.
You may consider postponing breast reduction surgery under the following circumstances:
- In case you plan to lose weight – When you lose weight, this affects the size of your breasts
- Planning or having more children – If you plan to have more children, you could have a hard time breastfeeding after a breast reduction procedure
Certain surgical techniques let you retain breastfeeding capabilities. Talk to your surgeon about such techniques.
Breast reduction techniques
The breast reduction procedure is administered using three common techniques:
- Vertical (Lollipop) technique
- Inverted T technique
Vertical breast reduction
This method is also known as the lollipop breast reduction. A plastic surgeon who uses the lollipop breast reduction technique makes two incisions.
The first incision is made at the edge of the areola. This is the dark-colored skin that surrounds the nipple.
The second incision starts at the lower edge of your areola. It moves past the crease below your breasts.
The lollipop breast reduction causes more scarring compared to other techniques such as liposuction. However, because the scars are situated beneath your breasts, they are largely hidden by the breast or by clothing.
A lollipop breast reduction is most suitable for individuals who require a mild-to-moderate reduction in breasts. It is also ideal for persons who are seeking a considerable lifting or reshaping of breast tissue.
During the vertical breast reduction. Your plastic surgeon will lift the breast, make it narrower, and restructure its shape. This gives the nipple and areola a natural look.
This is a minimally invasive and quicker breast reduction technique for breast reduction. Scarring after liposuction for breast reduction is minimal.
This procedure is suitable for individuals with fatty breast tissues and who desire a moderate change in breast size. You must also have good skin elasticity.
Liposuction does not change the contours and shape of your breasts. There are also no changes to the nipple and areola position.
In case you desire a modification in the symmetry or shape of your breasts, you need to consider a lollipop breast reduction or the inverted T technique.
Inverted T breast reduction
This technique is also known as anchor breast reduction. Your surgeon makes two incisions as would have been the case with the vertical breast reduction.
The only difference with the inverted T breast reduction is that the plastic surgeon adds another incision along the line of the crease beneath your breasts. This forms the shape of an inverted T.
The technique leads to more scarring but is hardly noticeable because of concealing by the bra or breasts.
With an inverted T breast reduction, the surgeon can achieve more extensive reshaping of your breasts.
It is also possible to remove more tissues with this method.
The inverted T breast reduction is more suitable for people who wish to reduce the size of their breasts or those with pronounced sagging breasts.
However, it takes longer to recover after an inverted T breast reduction.
Preparing for breast reduction surgery
Before breast reduction surgery, your primary healthcare provider will arrange a preoperative consultation. This is to allow for a meeting with your surgeon who will conduct an in-depth medical examination.
During the preoperative consultation. Your surgeon will want to know whether you have any allergies. If you are on any medication, be it prescription or over-the-counter drugs, let your surgeon know about it.
In case you have had past surgeries, this would be a good time to inform your surgeon. They will also ask whether you have a smoking history.
The physical examination will entail taking your history of biopsies or breast problems, including a family history of the same.
If you are pregnant, the surgeon will want to know of this. The surgeon will also need to ensure that you are mentally and physically fit to undergo breast reduction.
You need to be completely honest with your surgeon about why you would want a breast reduction.
Discuss with your surgeon any emotional issues you have encountered because of having large breasts. This will help your surgeon to guide you on the realistic expectations that you can have about the breast reduction procedure.
Your surgeon will take photos of your breasts and measure their size. The surgeon will explore with you how much breast tissue that requires removal.
You will be taken through the steps needed to get ready for the surgery.
The surgeon will also describe the various breast reduction techniques available and the one that is most suitable for you.
Your plastic surgeon will also discuss the benefits and risks of breast reduction surgery.
As part of planning for breast reduction surgery, you may need to do the following:
- If you are a smoker, you will need to stop smoking for several weeks before and after post-surgery
- If you are on anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners, vitamin or herbal supplements, you will be asked to stop taking these to control bleeding during the procedure
- You will be asked to have someone pick you up from the hospital and drive you home after the procedure
During the procedure
Breast reduction surgery can be administered at an outpatient surgical center or in a hospital. It is carried out under general anesthesia. That means you will be asleep during the entire procedure.
Make sure you are accompanied by your spouse, friend, or family member for the procedure for emotional support.
The breast reduction procedure takes between three and five hours.
The surgeon will make an incision around the areola and nipple. Another incision is made down each of your breasts.
The surgeon will remove extra fat, skin, and breast tissues on each breast to help reduce their size.
The surgeon reshapes the breasts. To the desired contour and structure. This includes also resetting the nipple and the areola.
If the breasts are very large, your surgeon may elect to remove the nipple and add a new one.
The surgeon tries as much as possible to ensure both of your breasts look alike. However, there could be variations in the shape and size of your reconstructed breasts.
Scaring from the incision will subside with time but may not go away fully.
The surgeon closes the incision using sutures, and a dressing is applied.
Your surgeon may recommend wearing a surgical bra as they deem it necessary.
Your surgeon may place a tube under each of your arms. This tube helps drain any extra fluid or blood.
Some people take a week or two to recover from breast reduction surgery.
Recovery differs from patient to patient based on one’s age, the type of surgical technique used, and whether there were any post-surgical complications.
Your plastic surgeon will arrange post-surgical appointments to allow for assessing your recovery and to remove the stitches and bandages.
As you continue with your recovery at home, you will be asked not to engage in physical activity for several weeks post-surgery.
It is normal to experience breast pain after surgery. You will also feel tired.
Your surgeon can prescribe oral painkillers to take care of such pain.
Your surgeon will also prescribe medication to control infection.
During the first few days post-surgery, your breasts will be swollen and tender. They may also be bruised.
Wear a surgical bra to support your breasts. This bra minimizes swelling and aids in the healing of your breasts.
Benefits of breast reduction surgery
After breast reduction surgery, you will experience improvements in your overall well-being and quality of life.
Other benefits of breast reduction surgery include:
Large breasts compress the nerves while your shoulders tend to roll forward.
This can cause tingling or numbness sensation. Reducing the size of your breasts helps to correct this problem.
Managing chronic pain
Women with large breasts usually experience pain in the neck, back, and shoulder.
Such pain can be alleviated by reducing the excess weight in your breasts through breast reduction.
Many women with large breasts are very conscious of their state and it can be a source of anxiety and low self-esteem to their perceived negative image.
A breast reduction surgery can improve your self-esteem and hence enhance your overall quality of life.
You are more confident in your body and appearance.
Large breasts can be a hindrance to your participation in various physical activities, including cardiovascular and aerobic exercises.
A breast reduction procedure and the use of a more supportive bra allow you to enjoy such activities once more.
Many women with large breasts have a hard time getting to sleep. This is because they struggle to identify a sleeping position that is comfortable for them.
A breast reduction procedure can alleviate this problem meaning you will be comfortable sleeping in any position.
Breast reduction surgery carries similar risks to other major surgical procedures, including:
- Temporary bruising
- Lack of satisfaction with the outcome
- Inability or difficulty in breastfeeding
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Changes in sensation or loss of feeling in the nipple (this can be a temporary experience)
- Damaged blood vessels or nerves
- Inadequate healing, necessitating another surgery
If you experience the following call your surgeon immediately:
- Tenderness or redness at the site of the incision
- An unusual discharge from the site of the incision
- In case one or both of your breasts enlarge and this is accompanied by pain and pressure
- If the stitches or sutures detach or get released before they are due for removal
Cost of breast reduction surgery in India
The cost of breast reduction surgery in India starts from Rs. Rs. 40000 to Rs. 3,00,000 depending on several factors:
The technique that your surgeon uses in breast reduction surgery will affect the cost of this procedure.
The average cost of a liposuction procedure is Rs. 80,000 but for a lollipop or anchor breast reduction, you would pay Rs. 1,10,000 and Rs. 1,22,500, in that order.
The extent of the surgery
This will determine the time taken by the surgeon to administer the procure and hence affect the overall cost of surgery.
Need for an implant
In case your surgeon establishes that an implant is needed, this will increase the cost of breast reduction surgery.
Type of hospital
Private clinics and hospitals charge more for breast reduction surgery than government hospitals.
The type of insurance
Not all medical insurance can cover breast reduction surgery and you have to cover the expenses.
Talk to your healthcare provider beforehand to establish if the surgery can be covered by health insurance.
Healthcare facilities that have received accreditation for performing breast reduction surgery will usually charge a premium price for the procedure
The more experienced or skilled your surgeon, the more likely he will charge higher for the procedure.
Location of facility
Healthcare facilities that offer breast reduction surgery and are located in metro cities like Bangalore or Mumbai will charge significantly more compared to other facilities in remote parts of the country.
Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.
If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!
Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.
We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click
Help Others Be Fit
- Chymoral Forte
- Meftal Spas