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Breast Reduction Insights: Here's What You Want to Know

Breast Augmentation Breast Reduction Breast

breast reductionIf you have large, heavy breasts, you may experience issues like slouching, pain in the back and neck, sagging, and discomfort. When wearing bras with larger breasts, many women experience that discomfort and bras that cut into the skin at the shoulders or around the torso. You may feel discomfort or pain during and after strenuous activity. Of course, there’s also the frustration and embarrassment that some women feel at being the object of unwanted attention due to larger-than-normal breasts.

While no breast reduction blog can tell you if a cosmetic surgery to reduce breast size is right for you, there are several considerations that can help you to decide. 

Whether you’re looking to undergo a reduction followed by implants to improve the shape and breast placement or you’re interested in a breast reduction without implants to simply reduce the size of large breasts, here are a few things you should know in order to make an informed decision when beginning your journey with breast reduction.

Preparing for Breast Reduction Surgery

The first step of preparing for a breast reduction procedure involves finding a reputable and experienced doctor that you feel comfortable with, asking the questions that concern you, and weighing breast reduction pros and cons to decide if this treatment will be right for you. Preparations also include making sure that you have appropriate clothing, clean gauze, and ice packs on hand, as well as any ointments or creams recommended by your doctor.

Loose clothing -- including shirts that open in the front -- will be ideal, and you may need to purchase post-surgical bras that provide comfortable support and compression as you heal. Breast reduction is often an outpatient surgery, so you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home following the procedure.

What to Expect During Surgery

Typically, breast reduction surgery lasts about two to five hours, although several factors will need to be taken into consideration. You should naturally expect a breast reduction without implants to be shorter than one that involves this secondary procedure, for example. Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthesia, which means that you will remain unconscious throughout the procedure and feel no pain.

In some cases, liposuction may be adequate to reduce breast size, but this is typically only a viable solution for small reductions in which the skin is sufficiently elastic to retain shape following the procedure. More often, incisions will be made to remove skin and tissue. This sometimes includes a “lollipop” incision, with a circle around the areola and a line extending to the crease where the breast tissue meets the abdominal wall.

breast incisions

Alternatively, an “anchor” incision may be used, with a line extending from the underside of the areola to the crease, and then running along the crease beneath the breast, creating an inverted-T shape. The incision type will depend on factors like the size of the breasts, the amount of tissue being removed, the amount of sagging, and whether or not you want to reduce the size of areolas, as well.

The Recovery Process

It’s natural to experience some pain and swelling following breast reduction surgery. Your doctor will provide comprehensive instructions for care, including icing, and will likely prescribe medication for pain management. You should plan to have 1-2 weeks off from work following surgery. You will not be able to resume strenuous activities for at least a month.

It could take several months to heal completely from your procedure. Scarring will fade in time, and it may take time to regain feeling in breasts or nipples. It’s always best to discuss the recovery process with your doctor and make sure that you fully understand the breast reduction pros and cons prior to surgery. 

Alleviate the strain of your large breasts that are causing you physical discomfort and impact your confidence. Contact the qualified and caring team at Beverly Fischer, MD, and The Advanced Center for Plastic Surgery today at 410-308-4700 or go online to schedule a consultation and learn more about breast reduction pros and cons.


Dr. Beverly Fischer

Dr. Beverly A. Fischer, a leading female surgeon with over 20 years' experience, believes plastic surgery makes a profound difference in people’s lives.