When it comes to having large breasts, if you know, you know. There’s the oh-so-annoying problem of finding clothes that fit, the constant bra adjusting, the neck and shoulder pain, the trouble exercising … all of which can contribute to a subpar quality of life that many women are looking to change.
But reducing the size of one’s breasts isn’t as easy as it may seem. Even with significant weight loss, large breasts may remain the same size and continue causing the same problems. For this reason, many women turn to breast reduction surgery.
If you have been lamenting the problems caused by overly large breasts and are considering breast reduction surgery, this article is for you. Ahead, we’ll outline the pros and cons of a breast reduction, including what to expect when it comes to the surgery itself and the recovery period. There is a reason so many women seek breast reductions every year, read on to learn more about this surgical procedure to learn if it is right for you.
What Is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure that reduces the size of one or both breasts. The surgery involves the removal of glandular breast tissue, fat, and (sometimes) skin via liposuction and other surgical methods. The goal of breast reduction surgery is to achieve a breast size that the patient desires — one that is symmetrical and proportionate with their body, comfortable, and attractive.
What to Expect From Surgery
The administration of anesthesia is the first step in breast reduction surgery. Anesthesia provides comfort to you and helps keep you sedated during the breast reduction. Most of the time, you may choose between general anesthesia (being put completely under) or intravenous sedation. Dr. Sieber can help you make this decision.
Incisions are a necessary part of breast reduction surgery as well. There are different incision pattern options available. Which incision pattern Dr. Sieber chooses will depend largely on the issues you are looking to correct. Options include the anchor-shaped or T-shaped incision and the racquet-shaped or keyhole-shaped incision. Once the necessary incisions are made, Dr. Sieber will remove the excess fat and breast tissue, then go about repositioning the nipples, the areolas, and the breasts themselves. Finally, he will close up the incisions, and you will go to a recovery room.
Who is a Good Candidate for a Breast Reduction?
Women who struggle with overly large breasts and the complications that come with them will benefit the most from breast reduction surgery. You may want to consider this procedure if you have experienced any of the following due to having large breasts:
- Difficulty performing physical activities like running and other exercises (pain or discomfort in the chest, back, and neck)
- Trouble finding clothes that fit and feel comfortable
- Trouble finding bras and other undergarments that fit and feel comfortable
- Rashes, skin irritation or deep impressions near bra straps
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Frequent headaches
- Poor or altered posture
- Emotional struggles
- Unwanted attention
- Feelings of self-consciousness
- Lowered self-esteem
- Overall dissatisfaction with the size and/or shape of your breasts
- General skin irritation from bras and tight clothing
It is also important to note that breast reduction surgery may be a useful option for women whose breasts are uneven. In this case, the larger breast can be reduced in size to match the other breast.
What Are the Pros and Cons Of Breast Reduction Surgery?
While breast reduction surgery can certainly help many individuals reduce pain, improve comfort, and limit the emotional and mental issues linked to this physical issue, it’s also important to note a breast reduction is not for everyone. To be sure, there are some individuals who may want to forgo surgery and choose another solution. To help you make this important decision, we have outlined the key breast reduction pros and cons — benefits and drawbacks — of breast reduction surgery below.
Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery
- More Self-Esteem: Overly large breasts often cause a lack of self-esteem and self-worth for women. You may feel as though your breast size distracts from your other features or skew your figure. Some women end up receiving unwanted attention that makes them feel self-conscious and uncomfortable. Reducing the size of your breasts in order to make them more proportionate to the rest of your body can be rewarding.
- More Youthful Breasts: Especially when combined with a breast lift, breast reduction surgery can give your silhouette a more youthful appearance with breasts that are bouncy and perky instead of pendulous and droopy.
- No More Pain: Excessively large breasts can cause a lot of pain — especially in the head, neck, shoulder, and back areas. Reducing their size can lift the strain from your spine and neck and make you more comfortable.
- Easier Time Finding Clothing: When your breasts are disproportionate to the rest of your body, it can be difficult to find clothes that fit without compromising your style and personal taste. Reducing your breast size gives you many more clothing options.
Drawbacks of Breast Reduction Surgery
- The Cost: Like other cosmetic surgeries, breast reduction surgery can be expensive. Unfortunately, it is not generally covered by health insurance.
- The Downtime: After surgery, rest and recuperation is critical, which means you’ll have to take time off from work, school, and/or other responsibilities.
- Scarring: Inherent in the surgical technique — which involves incisions — is having a few small scars in the breast area. However, these will be well-hidden and will fade with time.
What Is Recovery From Breast Reduction Surgery Like?
A board certified plastic surgeon will tell you that a breast reduction surgery is a serious procedure. You will need to take time off work to fully recover. Directly after your surgery, bandages and dressings will be applied to help support your chest and minimize swelling. Compression garments over the chest need to be worn consistently over the next few weeks. Always follow the directions Dr. Sieber gives you when it comes to your wound care and dressings. Some breast reduction patients will have a thin drainage tube placed beneath the skin directly after their breast reduction. This will be removed a short time later. It is used to help drain blood and other fluids after the operation.
For the majority of patients, breast reduction surgery is permanent, meaning you won’t need to have the surgery performed again in order to maintain your results. While you’ll be able to notice some changes right away, most patients will see the complete breast reduction results from their surgery approximately six to 12 months after their breast reduction procedure.
Questions and Answers
Is breast reduction surgery worth it?
Effective breast reduction surgery can alleviate upper back, neck, and shoulder pain, enhancing physical activity and self-image. Immediate results, but swelling and scars may take months to fully subside.
Is it better to lose weight or get a breast reduction?
Achieving your ideal weight helps assess the necessity of breast reduction and determine an optimal bust size for your slimmer physique. Weight loss post-reduction may alter body proportions, risking an unsatisfactory outcome.
Are your breasts hard after a reduction?
Breasts may take over 6 months to fully mature post-reduction, with lingering swelling and firmness at 8 weeks. Consult your surgeon to rule out fat necrosis for optimal reassurance.
Schedule a Consultation Today
The best way to know if you are a good candidate for breast reduction surgery is to book a consultation with Dr. Sieber. Our office proudly serves the San Francisco Bay Area communities and can help you find the best procedure to achieve your goals.
If overly large breasts have been causing you physical and emotional pain, get in touch with us today to schedule your consultation.