Many women with overly large breasts experience problems such as back pain, skin irritation, difficulty with clothing, severe asymmetry, sagging, and potential embarrassment in social situations. Reducing the breasts to a more manageable size can make a great difference in quality of life by bringing the breasts into better proportion with the rest of the body. If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, have difficulty finding clothing, or are unhappy with your body due to excessive breast volume, you may find a breast reduction to be very beneficial.
In most cases, a breast reduction will include an anchor incision, which uses an incision around the areola, a vertical incision from the areola down to the crease below your breast, and a horizontal incision along the crease. This allows ideal access to remove a sufficient amount of tissue and excess skin. In some cases where size is more moderate and sagging is less severe, the horizontal, and possibly the vertical incisions, may not be necessary.
Breast liposuction is suitable only for a small percentage of women seeking smaller breasts. Ideal candidates will have large breasts with little or no sagging, as well as good skin elasticity so that the breasts will still appear full once fat is removed. Dr. Schwartz can provide a professional evaluation during your consultation to determine if this is an option for you.
In most cases, some breastfeeding will still be possible, but since breast tissue usually needs to be removed, the amount of milk produced may decrease. There is only one type of breast reduction that will remove the ability to breastfeed, called the free nipple technique. This technique is only performed on extremely large breasts and requires that the nipple and areola be completely removed and regrafted, severing connections with milk ducts. In most other cases, you should still be able to breastfeed.
Most insurance companies require professional documentation that the size of your breasts is causing legitimate symptoms. Dr. Schwartz will be able to help you with that following your examination. Many insurance companies will set standards for how much tissue must be removed, so be aware that the insurance company may require a more severe reduction than you would like in order for them to cover it.
Change in sensation is always a risk that accompanies surgery, but this is usually minimal and resolves within a year. However, a few women with extremely large breasts may opt for the free nipple technique, which removes the nipple and areola completely and moves them higher as a skin graft. This severs all connections and removes nipple function, including sensitivity, in favor of a superior aesthetic result.
A reduction is usually the preferred way to treat asymmetry. Dr. Schwartz will simply remove more tissue from the larger breast, being sure to keep them as even as possible in final size and shape. All breasts are slightly asymmetrical, but after a correction, any remaining asymmetry should be barely perceptible.
Scarring will always be visible, but most patients are pleasantly surprised to find that the incisions end up flat, smooth, and relatively close to their natural skin color. Performing scar massage, using topical creams or injectable corticosteroids, and avoiding unprotected sun exposure can further improve scar healing.
If you are overweight, weight loss will reduce the amount of fat in your breasts, which can substantially reduce size, but it will also cause loose skin and sagging. In addition, some women’s breasts contain mostly breast tissue, which cannot be reduced by weight loss, and the various pills and creams sold for reducing breast size are completely ineffective.
Technically, breast reduction simply reduces the size of the breast, which can make it appear to sag less. However, since the incisions are essentially the same, it is a fairly simple matter to add a lift to a breast reduction if it is found to be necessary during your consultation with Dr. Schwartz.
No, they will still look full and possibly even more full. Dr. Schwartz will remove excess skin during the reduction to maintain a good appearance. If necessary, the interior tissue can also be reshaped to help produce a naturally full look.
While it is possible to utilize implants along with a breast reduction to create more upper breast fullness, most of the time it is better to simply reposition the existing breast tissue. This avoids the expense and potential complications of using implants to achieve the same effect.