Breast reductions are intended to minimize breast size, creating more comfortable or pleasing contours in proportion to the rest of the body. Those who consider reductions may do so for various reasons: many have breasts that are too large or heavy in proportion to their frames, they may have one breast that is much larger than the other, some could be suffering from back, neck or shoulder pain caused by disproportion or it could restrict some from certain types of physical activity. You and your surgeon will discuss individual concerns as well as what you would like to see improved.
It is recommended that surgery be withheld until breast development has ceased. This includes childbirth and breast-feeding, as these often have significant effect on the size and shape of the breast. If you wish to have a breast reduction before having children, please discuss this with your surgeon.
The procedure will be tailored to your needs; your surgeon will take measurements and examine the size, shape, skin quality of your breast as well as nipple placement. If you intend to alter your weight significantly, this should be stabilized before surgery.
The most common method of breast reduction is done by making three incisions: around the areola, down vertically underneath it and following the natural curve of the breast. Various incisions may be avoided in some instances, and are easily concealed by clothing. Extra tissue is removed, and the breast and nipple are moved to a higher position. The nipple may be reshaped if desired and excess tissue may be removed from the contour of the arm. Unless the breasts are extremely large, this process usually allows for the preservation of sensation and possibly breast-feeding abilities.
Any complications such as bleeding, infection and anesthesia reactions can be discussed with your surgeon. If nipple height or asymmetry is an issue, you may conduct adjustments later. If incisions have healed poorly, revisions can be made. Although rare, if any damage is caused to the nipple, they can be restored with skin grafts. A support bra may be worn for a few weeks, and numbness is usually only temporary. It is often possible to return to work within a few weeks. If, in time, you decide to again rejuvenate the appearance of your breast, a lifting procedure is possible.