A breast lift, or mastopexy, is performed to return youthful shape and lift to breasts that have sagged as a result of weight loss, pregnancy, loss of the skin's natural elasticity or simply the effects of aging and gravity. The procedure can also reduce areola size (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), and it can be combined with breast reduction or augmentation for added firmness or volume. It is usually done under general anesthesia, and lasts from one to three hours.
Large breasts can cause pain, improper posture, rashes, breathing problems, skeletal deformities, and low self-esteem. Breast reduction surgery is usually done to provide relief from these symptoms. Performed under general anesthesia, the two- to four-hour 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.
Breast Reduction FAQs
Am I a candidate for breast reduction surgery?
Women with large breasts who experience pain and discomfort due to their breast size may be good candidates for breast reduction surgery. Although the procedure is generally recommended for mature women with fully developed breasts, breast reduction surgery can be performed on younger women if their breasts are causing serious pain and physical discomfort.
When can I expect to return to work and resume my normal daily activities?
After breast reduction surgery, it is often possible to return to work within just a couple of weeks, depending on your job. Many patients can resume most of their normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, within a few weeks as well. You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort during this time, but these feelings are normal.
When can I shower after breast reduction surgery?
Many patients are concerned that limited mobility after surgery may prevent them from showering for several days. Dr. Downey uses surgical glue routinely on her breast incisions and actually recommends that patients shower as soon as possible after surgery to help them feel refreshed and able to move up and about.
Will my insurance cover the breast reduction procedure?
Breast reduction may be covered by medical insurance if the purpose of the breast reduction surgery is to alleviate physical discomfort and pain caused by oversized breasts. Many factors determine your eligibility, including the specific terms of your insurance policy and the amount of breast tissue to be removed.
How long will the results of breast reduction surgery last?
After breast reduction surgery, breasts will remain smaller than they would be if the procedure had never been performed. Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight or become pregnant, your breast size should remain fairly constant. However, the effects of aging and gravity may cause breasts to sag over time. If, after a period of years, you become dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts, you may choose to undergo a breast lift procedure to restore their more youthful contour.
Will there be scarring?
The various techniques for breast reduction produce different types of possible scarring. Traditional breast reduction surgery will produce anchor-like scars that extend around the nipple, down the middle of the breast, and under the breast. As is true with most scars , scars from breast reduction surgery also tend to fade over time and can usually be hidden under bras, bathing suits, or a low cut top.
Can I breastfeed after a breast reduction?
There is a chance that breastfeeding may not be possible after breast reduction. Whi8le some women have been able to breast feed after a reduction, others have not.
What are the major risks and complications of breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery may have potential complications that are possible for all surgeries, including bleeding, infection, hematoma, adverse reactions to anesthesia, and scarring. Potential risks that are specific to breast reduction surgery include asymmetrical breasts, altered or loss of nipple and areola sensitivity, and the inability to breastfeed.
Enlarged male breasts (gynecomastia) affects nearly 40-60% of men, often with no known cause. This condition can be highly embarrassing as well as physically uncomfortable. Men who feel self-conscious about enlarged breasts may seek breast reduction surgery. The procedure removes fat and/or glandular tissue from the breasts, and in some cases excess skin as well. The result is a flatter, firmer chest.
Breast implants are usually long lasting, but they are not considered lifetime devices. Removal, replacement and visits to the physician are commonly required. An implant can be taken out and not replaced, but the patient may experience cosmetic changes to the breast. For this reason sometimes a breast lift is recommended at the same time as the implant is removed. A lift may also be done in some cases even if the implant is replaced.
Sometimes women decide years after having a breast augmentation procedure that they would prefer a larger or smaller implant. In other cases, women opted for saline implants before they could be assured of the safety of using silicone implants and are now considering making the switch. All of these options are available now, enabling women to get exactly the size, shape and fullness that she is seeking for her breasts.