Breast Reduction

For many women, the breasts are a hallmark of their feminine curves. But when the proportions are off and the breasts are too large or heavy for their frame, the extra weight can be both embarrassing and physically uncomfortable. Shoulder, neck and back pain are common complaints among women with oversized breasts, as are poor posture, skin irritation and chafing. Many women also have trouble finding clothing that fits without drawing too much attention to their breast size, making it harder to dress for professional or social situations.

These symptoms can become a health issue for women with overly large breasts and even restrict normal activities. While physical therapy, massages or heat packs can help manage the pain for a short time, the relief is temporary and doesn’t provide a long-term fix. The only permanent solution to eliminating breast size-related discomfort is to address the root of the problem with breast reduction surgery. 

Breast reduction (or reduction mammaplasty) is a surgical procedure that reshapes the breasts to make them smaller, lighter, and firmer. New Jersey women who take advantage of breast reduction procedures are able to find lasting relief from the physical or emotional pain caused by larger breasts and lead a healthier, more comfortable life after surgery, in addition to enjoying a more beautiful and proportionate appearance.

What is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction is a surgical procedure that decreases the size and shape of the breasts. This is accomplished by removing the excess fat, skin and glandular tissue that weighs the breasts down to sculpt healthier proportions and more balanced curves.

Breasts that are too large can cause pain or discomfort and limit the ability to be spontaneous or active. Larger breasts can also make some women feel self-conscious and avoid wearing certain clothing styles. Breast reduction can alleviate these symptoms with dramatic results, leaving the breasts smaller, firmer and lighter than before. A breast reduction can also reverse the effects of aging, pregnancy or weight loss by lifting and reshaping the breasts, helping women feel more comfortable and confident in their own skin.

Reasons for Considering a Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery can be done for medical or cosmetic reasons. Women who suffer from physical pain or discomfort due to their breast size can benefit from this procedure, as can those who are unhappy with their appearance or contours. Some of the reasons that women consider a breast reduction include:  

  • Shoulder, back or neck pain caused by heavier breasts
  • Sagging breasts produced by their large size
  • Disproportionate body contours attributed to oversized breasts
  • Restriction in physical activities or exercise due to breast size and weight
  • Painful bra strap indentations or marks caused by large breasts
  • Rashes and chafing underneath the breasts
  • Unwanted attention from others due to breast size
  • Difficulty finding clothing that fits properly
  • Poor posture or breathing problems due to oversized breasts

These problems can worsen over time as gravity continues to pull the breasts and shoulders forward, straining the upper body. By lightening the load on the chest wall, symptoms can be alleviated while sculpting more pleasing proportions. Many women report a high satisfaction with the results of their breast reduction and notice a general improvement in their wellness and quality of life after surgery.

Ideal Candidates for a Breast Reduction

Women who experience any of the above problems may be good candidates for breast reduction surgery. A study in the official journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons found that the majority of women seeking a breast reduction do so because of back or neck pain, while about half are unhappy with their appearance, experience physical limitations or suffer from skin rashes and chafing. These problems are directly related to bra/cup size and can create a number of physical, social and emotional side effects in women of all ages.

Breast reduction can free women of these issues, but patients who are interested in the procedure should be in good physical health and have reasonable expectations to ensure a positive outcome. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not suitable for breast reduction surgery but can consider the procedure after giving birth or nursing. Other factors that make someone a good candidate for this procedure include:

  • Good general health with no severe underlying medical conditions
  • Non-smoker, or willing to quit before surgery to avoid complications
  • Breasts meet the minimum size for breast reduction surgery
  • Understanding the risks and details of the procedure
  • Able to take time off from work to recovery properly
  • Reasonable expectations for what a breast reduction can achieve
  • Wanting to improve breast appearance or alleviate physical symptoms

The best way to determine candidacy for breast reduction surgery is to come in for a complimentary consultation. During this time, Dr. V can perform a thorough evaluation and determine if a breast reduction will achieve certain goals, whether patients are seeking to improve their contours or relieve the symptoms of back, neck or shoulder pain.

Breast Reduction Procedure Details

At South Shore Plastic Surgery, breast reduction surgery is performed by board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Vasisht, a New Jersey native who brings a sculptor’s eye to each procedure. During his time as a plastic surgeon, Dr. V has shared his expertise with residents in training at Boston University School of Medicine and has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including a recent article on the vertical bipedicle technique for breast reduction. His skills are well-suited to produce a beautiful result for women who want healthier, more balanced proportions.

Preparing for Breast Reduction Surgery

During the consultation process, Dr. V will provide detailed instructions to help patients prepare for their surgery. This includes explaining the surgical plan (and incisions) that will be used and outlining the steps patients can take to ensure a safe experience and smooth recovery. Our goal is to keep patients informed from start to finish, so they feel comfortable and confident throughout the entire process. Some of the ways that patients can prepare for their upcoming surgery include:

  • Quit smoking in the weeks leading up to surgery to ensure a smooth recovery
  • Discontinue any medications or over-the-counter drugs that could affect bleeding/clotting and interfere with the healing process (aspirin, NSAIDs, herbal remedies, etc.)
  • Arrange for safe transportation home from the surgery center
  • Recruit family members or friends to help with childcare and household chores in the first week of recovery; it’s important to rest during this time
  • Fill prescriptions in advance and prepare a comfortable recovery space at home

By carefully following these and any other pre-op directions provided by Dr. V, patients can minimize the potential for complications and improve their comfort level during the recovery process. Dr. V and his staff will also provide any additional information patients need to prepare for surgery and be available to address any last-minute questions or concerns.

Overview of the Breast Reduction Procedure

Breast reductions are generally performed under general anesthesia to keep patients safe and comfortable during surgery. The procedure can take two to three hours to complete, but this will vary depending on the initial breast size and desired results. When patients arrive for their breast reduction on the scheduled date, they will be prepped and brought to the surgical area, where Dr. V can begin to reshape and resize the breasts.

The most common incision used in breast reductions encircles the areola. This is known as the Wise pattern or inverted-T technique. From the areola, the incision continues downward and follows the natural curve beneath the breast, allowing Dr. V to access the underlying skin and tissue. After making the incisions, Dr. V will then remove any excess glandular tissue, fat and skin to sculpt the desired breast size and shape before repositioning the nipple and areola to a higher position. Internal and external sutures will secure this new placement. For some patients, removing excess fat with liposuction alone may be enough to reduce breast size and produce an optimal outcome, but Dr. V will determine the best approach before surgery during the consultation process.

Once the procedure is complete, patients will be brought to the recovery room, where they’ll be monitored as the anesthesia wears off. Breast reduction is an outpatient procedure, so patients will be able to return home the same day but must arrange for transportation ahead of time to ensure they get there safely.

What Results Can Patients Expect?

When it comes to plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction has one of the highest satisfaction rates among patients and results in one of the quickest improvements in body image. Patients are happy with the elimination of physical pain or discomfort caused by large breasts as well as a better-proportioned body, an enhanced appearance and better fitting clothes. Dr. V takes great care to develop a treatment plan tailored to each individual’s desired outcome, so patients can feel confident that their breast reduction will address their medical or cosmetic needs, or both.

While a reduction in breast size is immediately noticeable after surgery, it may take some time for the breasts to settle and assume a more natural shape. This is determined by the initial size of the breasts and the amount of fat, tissue or skin that is removed. Incisions will appear red or pink right after surgery and remain that way for several months, but should begin to fade over time and become less noticeable.

Breast reduction results are long-lasting, and most patients enjoy a permanent reduction in breast size. That said, pregnancy or weight gain can still enlarge the breasts after surgery, but this can be avoided by having children first and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. For patients who do plan on becoming pregnant after a breast reduction, many women retain their results to some degree and report that their breasts returned to a normal (or manageable size) after giving birth.

Will Insurance Cover The Procedure?

While it’s true that insurance coverage is sometimes available for breast reduction surgery, South Shore Plastic Surgery is out-of-network for all carriers. If patients want to pursue coverage, they would have to do so directly with their insurance company. Other financing options may be available, and patients can call our office to discuss these matters.

Breast Reduction Recovery

After their breast reduction procedure, patients should expect to take some time off from work and experience some discomfort, swelling and soreness during the first few days of recovery. This is normal and should subside as the body begins to heal, but any pain can be managed with over-the-counter drugs and medication. While most patients report minimal pain throughout the recovery process, Dr. V will develop an individualized post-operative pain management to ensure a comfortable experience.

The breasts may also feel less sensitive after surgery with decreased sensation in the nipples and areola. This usually is temporary, but it may take weeks, months or even more than a year to return to normal. Dr. V will provide detailed recovery instructions so patients know what to expect while their body is healing from breast reduction surgery.

Post-operative instructions will call for limited movement and plenty of rest to promote better healing and reduce the recovery time. Bandages are applied immediately after surgery to aid in healing and minimize any movement of the breasts. After the bandages are moved, a specialized surgical bra will need to be worn for several weeks to support and protect the breasts as they heal.

Most patients should expect the initial recovery period to last for seven to 10 days. The majority of patients can resume light exercise and go back to work after about a week, but this may depend on how the recovery is progressing. While complications are rare, patients can further minimize potential problems by carefully following the instructions given after surgery.

Contact South Shore Plastic Surgery

For patients considering a breast reduction in New Jersey, board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Vasisht and the South Shore Plastic Surgery staff are here to help. Overly large breasts can cause discomfort and embarrassment, but a breast reduction can help women achieve shapely, pain-free breasts and healthier proportions suited to their body type. To learn more about breast reduction surgery, contact or call us today at (856) 784-2639.