This Article Has Been Medically Reviewed By
This Article Has Been Medically Reviewed By
May 28, 2021
A breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure that reduces the size of large breasts. It achieves this by removing excess glandular tissue, breast fat, and skin.
A breast reduction is more similar to a breast lift, than a breast augmentation, in that it improves the shape and appearance of the breast tissue without adding any implants.
For women who are experiencing discomfort, either physically or mentally from having large breasts, breast reduction can help to improve the client’s appearance so they can regain their sense of confidence and comfort.
While it’s common for women to want to augment their breast size with implants, breast reduction surgery can be a life-changer for women experiencing discomfort caused by large breasts. The following are common reasons to consider breast reduction.
Many women who come in to meet with Dr. Emmett express dissatisfaction with their breasts being disproportionate to the rest of their body. It’s common for women with large breasts to feel physically uncomfortable. They also may feel self-conscious or have difficulty finding clothes that fit their body type.
The excess weight of large breasts causes a shift in a woman’s center of gravity, causing more muscle strain on her neck, shoulder, and back.
Heavy breasts can cause a woman’s posture to slump forward, either when sitting or while walking. This can also lead to fatigue from completing normal activities such as exercising.
The effects of aging and skin loosening cause a woman’s breast to sag over time, also known as breast ptosis. For women with large breasts, this sagging is more noticeable.
It’s more common for women with large breasts to have their areolas sit closer to their inframammary fold, which is the crease underneath the breast that meets the chest.
As sagging becomes more pronounced, the nipple can eventually fall below the inframammary fold, causing the nipple to face downwards. Many women express dissatisfaction with their breast and nipple positions and consider breast reduction surgery to improve their breast size.
A breast lift is also a common procedure for women who wish to improve their breast and nipple position without reducing their breast size.
Increased friction and moisture under the breast fold can cause reddened, irritated skin or rashes, called intertrigo. Some women may experience staph infections underneath their breasts caused by this irritation.
Another common discomfort caused by large breasts is that bras dig into womens’ shoulders, causing constant indentations in their skin. Also known as “bra strap syndrome,” pressure from their bras pushes down into their skin, causing semi-permanent grooves to appear in the shoulders.
Large breasts can, unfortunately, give women a disadvantage when it comes to sports. Running and physical activity can cause discomfort and pain, and distract from the woman’s athletic performance. While many women wear sports bras to avoid such discomfort, they often aren’t supportive enough and are a source of annoyance for women who constantly need to readjust their bras after movement.
Before breast reduction surgery, you will meet with Dr. Emmett for your initial breast reduction consultation.
The consultation will last approximately an hour, and you will discuss with Dr. Emmett the reasons why you’re considering breast reduction surgery.
She will ask you about your medical history and if you have had any previous surgeries, whether you are allergic to anesthesia, if you’ve had a biopsy before, and other general health information. The consultation is an opportunity for Dr. Emmett to assess your current health and determine whether or not you’re a healthy candidate to receive breast reduction surgery.
She will examine and photograph your breasts, which will be stored in your confidential patient file to assist with your surgery and planning. She will also show you before and after photos of previous patients who have expressed written consent to allow their photos to be shown. Dr. Emmett follows all HIPAA protocols and respects your privacy.
During this consultation, Dr. Emmett will also talk to you about the risks involved with the surgery and answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
Using the information she has collected during the consultation, Dr. Emmett will decide if you’re a good candidate to receive breast reduction surgery and will come up with a surgical operative plan that works best with your body.
Breast reduction surgery lasts around 3-4 hours, while you are under general anesthesia.
During surgery, there will be 3 incisions performed on each breast: one around the areola, one under the breast crease, and one from the areola down toward the breast crease.
From here, excess skin, glandular tissue, and fat can be removed, and your nipple can be repositioned to sit higher up on your breast. Dr. Emmett will then suture and stitch up your incisions.
After your surgery, you will likely experience soreness, bruising, and swelling caused by your incisions. This is your body’s healing process taking over. You will be prescribed pain medication by Dr. Emmett to help you during this time.
You will be advised by Dr. Emmett to wear a post-op surgery bra, which will compress your breast tissue to reduce excessive swelling and support your breasts while they heal.
It generally takes about 4-6 weeks to heal. During this time you will be advised to rest, and take the first week off from work, if possible.
Be sure to sleep in an elevated, upright position during this time and avoid sleeping on your sides or stomach.
Don’t lift anything heavy or reach above your head for the first couple of weeks, as you don’t want to stress your healing skin.
You will be fully healed and able to return to normal activities after around a month.
Dr. Jennifer Emmett is a Double-Board certified plastic surgeon serving the greater Denver area and Centennial area. Her practice, Emmett Plastic Surgery, is a leading provider of surgical and non-surgical services for men and women.
She has been selected by her peers as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor and was recognized by the American Institute of Plastic Surgeons as 2015’s 10 Best Plastic Surgeons for Client Satisfaction.
Dr. Emmett and her staff are skilled in breast reduction, breast augmentation, breast lifts, body contouring, facial surgery, gynecomastia, botox injections, and more.
Have you been considering breast reduction surgery? Contact us to set up your initial breast reduction consultation with Dr. Jennifer Emmett today.