Breast Reduction – Reduction Mammoplasty
Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the breasts. For women with heavy breasts that are too large for their frame, a breast reduction can truly be life changing. Some women who have never been comfortable in swimwear, workout clothing or formal wear feel completely transformed after breast reduction surgery. Many women also have alleviation of back and neck pain which significantly improves quality of life. Most women who experience breast reduction surgery look and feel lighter. They also have increased mobility, so activities like yoga, running and other physical activities can be done with comfort and ease.
A breast reduction reduces the size of the breasts, but it also enhances the shape and the beauty of the breasts. We use a superomedial pedicle vertical reduction mammaplasty technique for the majority of our breast reduction patients. This technique, popularized by plastic surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay, improves the projection of the breast, making breasts look perky and youthful with a lasting result. In some patients this technique can also eliminate the need for a long incision under the breast that can sometimes be visible in swimwear or lowcut clothing. Breast reduction surgery always includes a lift. The result is not just smaller breasts, but breasts that are lifted with aesthetically ideal nipple position.
Some surgeons promote methods of breast reduction and lift that do not include a vertical incision. This “circumareolar” technique does not improve the breast shape and limits the amount of tissue that can be removed. The technique can cause flattening of the breast, thick scars with pleating of the skin around the areola, and stretched enlarged areolas. For most patients, the tradeoff of the vertical incision for a beautiful breast shape with good scar quality is well worth it.
Women understandably would like to avoid what is called the “lollipop” scar which goes around the areola and vertically from the bottom of the areola to the base of the breast, sometimes with a small extension in the fold. In our practice, we use careful surgical technique and post-operative protocols to limit scarring. We offer all patients complimentary laser treatments or microneedling to accelerate the fading of incisions. In most cases, the incision will fade to a fine line that is barely detectable by 1 year post-op.
Can my areola be reduced?
It is very common for women to want an areola reduction with a breast reduction. This can be performed on one or both breasts depending on a woman’s anatomy. Areola that are smaller and in proportion with the breasts can make the breast look more youthful and aesthetically pleasing.
Can insurance cover breast reduction surgery?
In some cases, when there is a very large volume of breast tissue to be removed, insurance may cover breast reduction procedure. These procedures are performed in hospitals or facilities designated for insurance-based procedures. In order for insurance to cover the surgery, a specific amount of tissue must be removed, as determined by the insurance company not the surgeon. Sometimes, a woman is left with smaller breasts than she had hoped for or with a flatter and less feminine shape. Medical breast reduction is different than aesthetic breast reduction. An aesthetic or cosmetic breast reduction is not just about making breasts smaller, but focuses on the appearance of the breast, making them look and feel more youthful and attractive.
Some women are interested in making their breasts smaller by means of removing breast implants. This procedure is different than a traditional breast reduction but similarly can give women renewed confidence and a sense of well-being.