Large breasts can cause pain, improper posture, rashes, breathing problems, skeletal deformities, and low self-esteem. Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is usually done to provide relief from these symptoms. Performed under general anesthesia, this procedure removes fat and glandular tissue and tightens skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts that are in a healthier proportion to the rest of the body.
It is important to consider each aspect of the breast reduction procedure and your life after surgery before deciding upon the procedure. Prior to the procedure, Dr. Pedy Ganchi will meet with you to discuss your expectations for breast reduction surgery. She can then evaluate which goals are within reach and propose a plan for the breast reduction operation. At that time, Dr. Ganchi will inform you about the risks and possible complications of breast reduction surgery and the long-term effects of undergoing a breast reduction.
Benefits of Breast Reduction
Women with large, heavy breasts may suffer physical pain from the weight of their breasts and may experience social discomfort due to unwanted attention to their breast size. Because of this, many women turn to breast reduction as a remedy.
Large, heavy breasts can also cause strain on a woman’s body. The extra weight of heavy breasts can be harmful to posture and may lead to spinal problems. In addition to causing back, neck, and shoulder pain, excessively heavy breasts may also lead to breathing problems and other serious health issues. Breast reduction surgery can help a woman correct her posture and remove strain on the back, neck, and shoulders, reducing overall pain.
In addition to seeking relief from the pain caused by heavy breasts, many women seek breast reduction surgery because they are uncomfortable with the unwanted attention that their breast size draws. This unwanted attention may cause a woman to become uncomfortable with her appearance. Breast reduction surgery can help a woman regain her self-confidence and positive self-image, as well as provide the motivation to participate in a wide range of physical and social activities.
Breast reduction surgery generally takes two to four hours, depending on the patient’s specific case, and is performed under general anesthesia. The size and shape of your breasts, as well as the desired amount of reduction, helps determine which type of incision is right for you. The different types of incisions for a breast reduction include:
- Vertical Incision Breast Reduction Surgery – The vertical incision technique, also known as the short scar or LeJour breast reduction, typically results in shapelier breasts and less scarring than traditional breast reduction surgery. This is Dr. Ganchi’s preferred technique, as it is often the best way to reduce larger breasts while minimizing scarring, resulting in satisfying patient outcomes. Vertical incision breast reductions are a newer, popular alternative to the traditional method, especially for women who do not require extensive tissue removal. Incisions in this technique extend around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease, making a lollipop pattern. Vertical incision breast reductions eliminate the need for the horizontal incision along the breast crease that is used in traditional breast reduction surgery, resulting in much less scarring. Women with moderately large breasts are the ideal candidates for vertical incision breast reductions. Vertical incision breast reduction surgery may not be a good choice for women requiring the removal of excessive amounts of fat and breast tissue.
- Traditional Breast Reduction Surgery – The traditional approach to breast reduction surgery is a very effective method for alleviating discomfort caused by large, heavy breasts. The traditional method, also called an anchor pattern or Wise pattern reduction, may be beneficial for women requiring a large amount of tissue removal. In the traditional breast reduction surgery technique, incisions are made horizontally under the breast in the crease and extend vertically up to and around the nipple, creating an anchor pattern. Because traditional breast reduction surgery allows for excess skin removal both vertically and horizontally, it may be recommended for women with extremely large breasts. The anchor shaped incision also allows surgeons to remove more tissue than other methods, maximizing breast reduction results. Although the anchor pattern method can be useful in reducing excessively large breasts, it leads to more scarring than other breast reduction surgery techniques. These scars can often be hidden by bathing suits and even low cut tops.
- Scar-less Breast Reduction Surgery – Scar-less breast reduction employs liposuction techniques in order to reduce the size of the breasts with minimal or no visible scarring. The scar-less breast reduction technique also leaves the nipples intact so that the patient has a reduced risk of breastfeeding complications and losing sensation in the nipple area. Because liposuction can only reduce the amount of fatty tissue in the breast, ideal candidates for scar-less breast reduction are women whose breasts have more fatty tissue than glandular tissue. Men with gynecomastia (excess breast tissue) can also achieve desired results with male breast reduction through liposuction. Breast reduction using only liposuction is typically not the best option for more slender women with large breasts, women with extensive sagging, or women with excessively large breasts.
Breast reduction surgery generally takes a few hours, depending on the patient’s specific case, and is performed under general anesthesia.
In vertical incision breast reduction, a lollipop-shaped incision is made around the areola and down the breast. After the breast tissue and skin is removed, Dr. Ganchi will stitch up the incision by folding the excess skin over itself on the breast. The nipple can still be moved up in a method similar to that of the traditional procedure, but not more than a few millimeters.
In traditional incision breast reduction, skin, fat, and tissue from the lower breast area are removed to reduce the mass of the breast. In most cases, the nipples are moved to a higher position on the breast, but remain attached to the nerves and blood vessels. For very large breasts, however, the nipples may need to be moved and grafted to a completely new location. In these situations, you will lose sensation in the nipple and areola. After the nipple is moved to its new position, the skin above the nipple is brought down and around the swell of the breast, and then stitched back to close the original incision.
In scar-less breast reduction, only one very small incision will be made in the breast crease. A thin surgical tube, called a cannula, is inserted in order to liposuction out excess fatty breast tissue. This technique is considered a scar-less breast reduction procedure because the scars are minimal and usually invisible due to their inconspicuous location under the breast.
Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia)
Gynecomastia is a common condition that affects nearly half of all men, resulting in localized fat and/or glandular tissue in the breasts. Male breast reduction may be performed using liposuction, surgery or a combination of the two, depending on the amount and type of tissue found in the breasts. If the breasts consist of mostly fatty tissue, liposuction may be used to suction out fat from an incision in the nipple or underarm areas. For breasts with an excessive amount of glandular tissue, excision surgery may be performed, which requires cutting away the excess fat, skin and tissue through a larger incision. Your surgeon will determine which technique is best for you based on your individual goals for surgery. For most patients, breast reduction surgery produces a flatter, more well-defined chest that can last for many years, as long as patients maintain a stable weight.