Breast reduction (or reduction mammaplasty) is an enhancement procedure that reshapes the breasts in order to make them smaller, lighter, and firmer. Reduction is accomplished by removing excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin. Large breasts can cause physical pain as well as emotional and social anxiety. Women who take advantage of the breast reduction procedure find that they are able to lead a healthier, more comfortable life, in addition to enjoying a beautiful, more proportionate appearance.

Reasons for considering a breast reduction:

  • Back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy breasts.
  • Sagging breasts produced by their large size.
  • Disproportionate body frame attributed to oversized breasts.
  • Restriction of physical activity due to the size and weight of the breasts.
  • Painful bra strap marks and/or rashes as a result of large breasts.

General procedure

There are many different ways to perform breast reduction surgery. Patients can read the most recent article written by Dr. Vasisht on the Verticle Bipedicle Technique for breast reduction.

The most common procedure involves an incision that circles the areola. This is also known as the Wise pattern or the inverted T technique. From the areola, the incision goes down and follows the natural curve under the breast. Dr. V then removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin. Next, the nipple and areola are repositioned to a higher position and held in place by internal and external sutures. Occasionally, liposuction alone can be used to reduce breast size. The best procedure can be determined during the initial consultation with Dr. V.

What can patients expect from breast reduction surgery?

Of all plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction results in the quickest body-image changes. Patients are pleased with the elimination of physical pain caused by large breasts as well as a better proportioned body, an enhanced appearance, and better fitting clothes.

You may notice that you feel less sensation in the nipple and areola areas. This usually is temporary. It may, however, take weeks, months or even more than a year before sensation returns to normal. Your breasts may also require some time to assume a more natural shape. This is determined by the initial size of the breasts. Incisions will initially be red or pink in color. They will remain this way for many months following surgery.

Will insurance cover the procedure?

Insurance coverage is sometimes available for breast reduction surgery. Many factors determine your eligibility, including the specific terms of your insurance policy and the amount of breast tissue to be removed. A letter of predetermination may be required by your insurance company prior to surgery. Dr. V or someone in the office staff will discuss these matters with you.

Recovery process and downtime

Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time. Bandages are applied immediately following surgery to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts. Once the bandages are removed, a specialized surgical bra will need to be worn for several weeks. With the use of the On-Q pain pump, post operative pain has been well controlled. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery after the pain pump is removed. Any pain can be treated with oral medication.

Expect at least one week to ten days for recovery from a breast reduction. This may include time off from work. Exercise can resume after one week. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the instructions given after surgery.

39 year old female with very large heavy breasts. She had severe back pain and shoulder grooving from the bras. She underwent a Wise pattern breast reduction removing about 700 to 800 gms of breast tissue.

52 year old with large droopy breasts. She underwent a breast reduction with removal of about 500 gms of breast tissue per side.

62 year old female with extremely large breasts. Severe back pain and shoulder grooving is obvious. She underwent breast reduction surgery that still gives her a nice appearance to the breasts. She is now able to resume all activities since the surgery.

View Our Full Breast Reduction Gallery