If your back, neck and shoulders ache from the weight of oversized breasts, or if you are self-conscious of the attention you receive because of your large bust, breast reduction can significantly change your quality of life. The breast reduction surgeons at Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists can bring the breasts into better proportion with the rest of your body for a more balanced physique and enhanced confidence.
Large, pendulous breasts are painful in a physical and psychological sense. The weight of the breasts can cause breathing difficulty and poor posture, leave bra strap indentations on the shoulders and limit physicality and range of motion. Oversized breasts can also attract unwanted attention from other people, and cause feelings of shame or embarrassment. Breast reduction results in smaller, lighter breasts and offers tremendous relief from these challenges.
Appropriate Candidates for Breast Reduction
Your breast development has stopped
You are generally healthy with no pre-existing medical conditions
You are mentally stable
You understand and accept the risks of surgery
You are not pregnant
You do not plan to become pregnant or breastfeed in the future (this can cause unpredictable changes to the size and shape of your breasts)
If you believe breast reduction might be the solution to your problems, it is best to visit our plastic surgery team for a consultation. During your appointment, our surgeons will inquire about your needs and goals. They will also perform a physical examination of your breasts. Together, you will discuss the ideal cosmetic outcome of breast reduction surgery. With this information, our surgeons will begin to draft a surgical plan.
Breast reduction is typically performed on an outpatient basis, and an overnight stay at the surgical facility or hospital is not needed. The operation is always performed with anesthesia.
The incision pattern depends on the size of the breasts, the degree of sagging and the location of the nipple-areola complex. A common incision pattern is the keyhole or lollipop incision, which is made around the border of the areola and vertically down from the bottom of the areola to the crease of the breast. Another common incision pattern is the anchor incision, which is similar to the lollipop incision but also extends horizontally along the breast crease.
Through the incision, the breast reduction surgeon removes excess breast skin and fat. Asymmetry between the breasts is corrected. The remaining breast skin and tissue is sculpted to form a more youthful-looking breast shape. The nipple-areola complex is moved to a more appropriate position on the reshaped breast mound. If needed, enlarged areolas are reduced in size. The incisions are closed with small sutures, and a supportive sports bra-like garment is placed around the breasts.
Bruising, swelling and soreness in the breasts are common post-operative side effects. Oral medication can be taken to quell any discomfort. The breasts look smaller and more proportional almost immediately after surgery, and the results improve over the next few months.
Although there is an aesthetic component, breast reductions are not always purely cosmetic in nature. Large, heavy breasts can cause physical problems and interfere with a woman’s daily functioning. This is technically known as symptomatic macromastia, and ailments include but are not limited to the following:
Chronic pain in the back, neck, and shoulders
Numbness in the arms and hands
Shortness of breath
Limitations to activity such as aerobic exercise
Since symptomatic macromastia causes physical problems that require treatment, a breast reduction can many times be considered a medically necessary procedure, and as such, may be covered by a patient’s health insurance. Every patient’s situation is different, and the coverage limits and requirements will differ according to the type of insurance. Additionally, some insurance companies require trials of non-surgical treatments prior to approving coverage for surgery. Non-surgical treatments may provide relief when mild symptoms occasionally occur, but are typically ineffective for chronic or severe symptoms. Physical therapy, a regimen of anti-inflammatory medications, visits to a chiropractor, and massage are all common non-surgical interventions.