Breast Reduction, or Reduction Mammoplasty, is a common plastic surgery procedure for both women and men. Last week, I wrote about Gynecomastia Reduction (Male Breast Reduction). This week the topic is Breast Reduction for Women or Macromastia Reduction.
Breast Reduction for Women
Female Breast Reduction is one of the most rewarding procedures I perform. It combines the improved aesthetics of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery with the functional improvements indicative of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. Patients with Macromastia, Gigantomastia or large breasts, suffer physical and emotional pain associated with breast that are disproportionate for their body.
The Problem with Large Breasts
Large breasts hurt and get in the way. Macromastia causes neck, shoulder and back pain. The breasts themselves become painful, especially with physical activity. Gigantomastia prevents even routine exercise. Clothing choices are limited, and bras are nearly impossible to find in stores.
Treatment for Large Breasts
So how are large breasts reduced? You may think diet and exercise are the mainstay of treatment. For patients who are severely overweight, it is; however, many patients with symptomatic breast enlargement are at or near their ideal weight. Weight loss in these cases often does nothing to reduce the breasts. On the other hand, it can often make the problem worse by further exaggerating the disproportionate enlargement of the breasts. In fact, most of my patients lose weight after breast reduction is performed.
Scarless Breast Reduction
We have all seen the advertisements for Scarless Breast Reduction. The term is misleading in most cases. Scarless breast reduction uses Liposuction to remove excess breast volume. While the scar from liposuction is much, much smaller than the traditional breast reduction scar, technically, there is a scar.
There are two other limitations with using Breast Reduction via Liposuction. The first is that breast tissue, especially in younger women, is mostly tough, fibrous, glandular tissue, rather than soft, suctionable fat. This makes it difficult to remove the volumes usually required for Breast Reduction and more importantly, symptom reduction. Secondly, liposuction cannot remove skin and lift the breast like the surgical procedure. The removal of breast volume and the performance of a breast lift is the totality of breast reduction surgery. Limiting these, limits results. There are a small number of patients who will benefit from scarless breast reduction, but they are the exception to the rule. Scarless breast reduction cannot do what breast reduction surgery can do.
Breast Reduction Surgery
Macromastia is treated with Breast Reduction Surgery. The procedure removes breast tissue, lifts the breasts and tightens the breast skin. For significant breast enlargement, there is no substitute. The downside is the scar. Sometimes we can eliminate the vertical or horizontal portion of the scar, but the scar is necessary for skin removal. It is a trade-off, and one that women worry about much less after surgery than before. The woman pictured above would not have the results she does without the scar.
Yes, there is a scar, but there is also:
- Reduced back pain
- Reduced shoulder pain
- Reduced neck pain
- Increased mobility and physical activity
- Clothes that fit well
- More styles of clothing available
- Bras available off-the-shelf
- Bras don’t dig into the shoulders
- Reduced skin irritation and rashes beneath the breast
- Reduced social anxiety
Breast Reduction Risks vs. Benefits
If the benefits out weight the risks, then this is the right operation for you. The only way to know if Breast Reduction is right for you is to consult with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. A brief medical history and physical examination allows us to identify the best course of action in your case. If you would like to schedule a personalized consultation appointment call (925) 943-6353 or use the contact form in the left column here on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog.
Live, on tomorrow’s Body Beautiful on KRON4 at 11:00 AM I will be discussing Breast Reduction, Liposuction and Arm Lifts, to name a few. More information and before and after pictures about these plastic surgery procedures will be presented, and since the television show is broadcast live, you can call in with your questions. San Francisco Bay Area, I hope to hear from you, especially if you have Breast Reduction questions.