Some women develop breasts that are too large for their bodies, and these overly large breasts can cause a range of physical and psychological issues. Breast reduction surgery eliminates excess breast tissue and skin to reduce the size of the breasts and alleviate these problems.
When breasts are excessively large, their weight pulls forward on the woman’s body and puts tension on her back muscles. This habitual strain causes pain, especially in the middle and upper back. Breast reduction removes some of the breast tissue and skin to decrease the overall weight of the breasts, which resolves the tension that causes this back pain and allows patients to live a more active life.
The weight of overly large breasts can negatively affect a woman’s posture by pulling her shoulders and chest forward, and she may also slouch forward in attempts to make her breasts appear less prominent. This habitually slouched posture can weaken the neck muscles and cause pain. Breast reduction surgery lifts the burden of heavy breasts to relieve neck pain and increase patient comfort.
Strain on the upper body from overly large breasts can lead to pain in the back of the head, known as occipital headaches. Many women with extremely large breasts get this type of headache. Breast reduction can help alleviate these headaches and improve their overall quality of life.
A bra’s shoulder straps bear the brunt of the weight of the breasts. When the breasts are very large and heavy, the bra straps often dig into the woman’s shoulders, causing grooves in her shoulder blades. Not only are these resulting grooves uncomfortable, but also they can compress the nerves in the area, causing a wide range of issues, such as coracoid syndrome and ulnar neuropathy. Breast reduction surgery lifts this weight off a woman’s shoulders and allows for greater comfort and an increased variety of clothing options.
When the skin folds of the breasts rub together, rashes known as intertriginous dermatitis can occur. Women with overly large breasts have an increased risk of getting these rashes because sweat gets trapped in the folds between and especially beneath the breasts. These areas of increased moisture are more likely to harvest infectious organisms than dry areas. This, combined with the pressure and friction between the areas of skin, often results in ulcers and irritating rashes. Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast tissue to reduce pressure and increase air flow in the chest area, which prevents these rashes and improves patient comfort and mobility.
This is Dr. Linder’s preferred technique because it allows for drastic reductions in breast tissue while keeping the nipple and areola attached to the original blood and nerve supply. An anchor-shaped incision (around the nipple, vertically down the breast, and along the breast crease) is used to remove excess breast tissue and skin. Once the excess tissue is removed, the breasts will be aesthetically lifted and reshaped without detaching the nipple-areolar complex from its vascular system. This technique achieves smaller, perkier breasts with a decreased risk of nerve damage and skin necrosis.
This technique is beneficial for breasts that only require a small reduction. A donut-shaped piece of tissue is removed from around the areola. The remaining skin is lifted and brought together with the edges of the areola, producing firmer, smaller breasts. This technique is less invasive than the Wise-Pattern technique but does not achieve as drastic results.
The vertical scar technique, as the name implies, removes excess skin using a vertical incision down the breast. This technique is useful for smaller breast reductions that require skin excisions only from the middle of the breasts and not from the lower breasts to achieve the ideal shape.
This technique is necessary for patients who require an enormous amount of breast tissue to be removed and whose nipples and areolas need to be moved to a more attractive position on the breasts. Excess breast tissue is removed as needed, and the nipple-areolar complex is grafted (surgically transplanted) to a higher position on the newly shaped breasts.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Linder will evaluate you and your desires to help determine the best technique to achieve your specific goals.
The length of the procedure will depend on the technique used, but most breast reduction surgeries take between one and three hours to complete.
Anywhere incisions are made, there will be some scarring. Incisions are placed as inconspicuously as possible, and the resulting scars will fade over time. The benefits of smaller, lighter breasts and improved breast shape outweigh the inevitable scarring that will result.
The resulting smaller and more attractive breasts after breast reduction surgery will be noticeable immediately. Some swelling may obscure the results slightly, but this should resolve within one week.
Most patients can return to work and resume their normal activities after a week or two of recovery time, but they should avoid strenuous activities for several weeks. Dr. Linder will give you specific guidelines to follow after the procedure to ensure the safest and most effective recovery.
Breast reduction surgery will permanently reduce the size of the breasts, and the breasts will continue to age naturally over time.