What is a breast reduction, who can benefit from this procedure?

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A breast reduction is a surgical procedure which involves making a woman’s breast significantly smaller and more proportional to her body. The motivation for surgery is often a combination of medical symptoms as well as cosmetic concerns.

A breast reduction is more than a cosmetic procedure

Many women with large breasts experience medical symptoms such as discomfort in their upper back, neck and shoulders due to excess weight on their chest. Some women report rashes in the creases underneath their breasts, as well as headaches, numbness and tingling in their upper extremities. Finding a bra that fits properly is frequently a challenge, and it can be difficult to stay active in sports or other physical activities.

In a breast reduction surgery, the goal is to reduce the size of the breast and reposition the breast and nipple higher on the chest. This helps eliminate the pendulous effect which contributes to the common upper body musculoskeletal discomfort. After breast reduction surgery, many patients experience immediate relief and improvement in their posture.

Am I a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?

Patients who are medically healthy and non-smokers are the best candidates for surgery. If you are a woman with large breasts who has been suffering from chronic upper body musculoskeletal symptoms, has difficultly fitting into a bra or clothing, has rashes underneath her breasts, or feels limited in the types of physical activities you can participate in, then a breast reduction surgery may be right for you. The best way to determine if you are a candidate for breast reduction surgery is to schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons to discuss your options.

Important things to consider before undergoing breast reduction surgery

In order to decrease the size and improve the shape of a long pendulous breast, surgical scars on the breast are necessary. With time, these scars fade, and most patients are not bothered by their scars as they now have a more aesthetically pleasing breast shape in addition to improved upper body posture. Occasionally, some women experience numbness and loss of nipple sensation, however, this is not usually permanent, and most often sensation returns over time.

Does a breast reduction also lift the breast?

A wonderful benefit of a breast reduction is that it also creates a lift of the nipple-areola at the same time as reducing the volume of the overall breast. Women with large breasts typically have enlarged areolas, and in a breast reduction procedure, the areola is also made smaller and lifted to a higher on the chest to improve the breast aesthetics.

How long is the recovery after a breast reduction?

Breast reduction surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. The surgery typically takes around three hours, and patients go home the same day. Most patients can go back to work or school after 1 week.  Activity restrictions are in place for several weeks after surgery, with a return to normal activity by 6-8 weeks.

Schedule a consultation to learn more

Dr. Kurtovic and Dr. Mahabir are both board-certified plastic surgeons and qualified plastic surgeons who frequently perform breast reduction surgery. If you would like to learn more about breast reduction surgery and how our team can help, fill out our online form or call our Tucson office for a consultation with one of our surgeons.


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