What Is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction (or “reduction mammoplasty”) involves the removal of excess breast tissue and breast fat to reshape, resize, and lift the breasts. This procedure helps the patient to achieve a breast size that is more balanced and proportional to the rest of her body. It also relieves the mental distress, physical restrictions, and painful strain on other parts of the body caused by excessively heavy breasts.
Why Get Breast Reduction Surgery?
Oversized breasts can cause a host of problems, including neck, back and shoulder pain, skin irritation, and emotional distress. These are problems that not only affect how you look but also how you live your day-to-day life. If you have macromastia (oversized breasts), you can be limited in not only your choice of clothing but also the activities in which you can participate. Some patients can also develop yeast infections and other skin irritation problems underneath the breast (within the skin fold) that may require continuing medical treatment.
Read what our patients are saying!
"I had a great experience with Dr Watterson. From the consultation, Pre-op to actual procedure. He had me fully prepared and informed. I came out of my surgery without any complications and had a normal recovery. I am very happy with my transformation. Would highly recommend Dr Watterson to anyone. His professionalism and work ethic is impeccable." -Nira M.
Will a breast reduction make me look thinner?
Most of our patients feel their breast reduction made them feel thinner. While Dr. Paul Watterson will remove a few pounds of fatty tissue with this procedure, this isn’t about weight loss; it’s about removing sagging, excess skin and fatty breast tissue.
Still, not having very large, sagging breasts will make you appear thinner. Part of that could be the clothes you will now be able to wear. Most women with overly large natural breasts seek to hide them, so they wear loose-fitting clothing. They’re tired of the attention their breasts receive and they keep them covered. But after having reduction, you can now buy clothes that complement your new smaller chest. This will make you appear thinner.
Many of our breast reduction patients are so thrilled to be rid of their outsized breasts that they really change their lives. They join exercise classes and generally become more physically active because now they can…without pain.
All of this contributes to you feeling and looking thinner. How great is that? These are great procedures for women tired of the burden of their overly large natural breasts!
Breast reduction Surgery Candidates
Overly large breasts, especially if they are largely due to glandular tissue, can be very heavy. This can lead to a host of serious health problems as listed above.
Beyond the physical impact, overly large natural breasts can impact a woman’s life in many other ways. Her breasts can make a woman avoid certain exercise regimens and sports. They can be a distraction at work, and social situations can be so annoying, due to the unwanted attention, that it’s easier to simply stay home.
When patients come see Dr. Watterson for their consultation, there is a universal feeling of wanting to rid themselves of the burden of having overly large natural breasts. This has likely been an issue since the woman exited puberty.
If these characteristics sound like you, this procedure could be a great way to change your life.
What are the benefits of breast reduction surgery?
For a woman who has been burdened her entire life with overly large breasts, reducing their size to be proportional can really feel freeing. Constant back and neck pain are a thing of the past. Gone is the feeling that it’s hard to stand up straight because of the weight pulling you forward. Buying clothes is fun now, rather than an exercise in searching for cover-up options. It’s great to enter a party, restaurant or bar, or even a meeting and not feel as if eyes focus on your large breasts.
After breast reduction, patients start taking exercise classes they’ve always avoided. Impact sports such as running or playing tennis are an option now. Patients often find themselves reengaging in social situations they’ve not even realized they were avoiding.
Plus, patients love the look of their reduced breasts. Sagging skin is removed and the breasts are lifted to a higher position on the chest. With severe sagging, nipples may even have pointed downward, but now they sit high on the chest. The reduced breasts are firm and don’t have the flattened, sagging appearance that was so depressing.
This can be a new beginning for a woman who’s had to deal with her overly large breasts since high school.
What Concerns Can Breast Reduction Surgery Help Treat?
Some common issues breast reduction patients face are:
- Back, neck and shoulder pain that persists even after medical treatments such as medications, massage, and chiropractic care
- Indentations or deep grooves in the shoulders from bra straps
- Restricted physical activity, inability to run, or general discomfort being active
- Skin irritation including but not limited to yeast or fungal infections in the breast crease that may require topical creams or ointments
- Sagging, stretched breast skin
- A low breast profile where the nipple-areolar complex rests below the breast crease
- Enlarged areola caused by stretched skin
Although breast reduction surgery is frequently performed to address medical issues, it may also be done electively for patients who are simply unhappy with the size of their breasts and desire to have smaller breasts.
Breast reduction surgery from Dr. Paul Waterson–serving Salt Lake City, UT and Draper, UT—— can help relieve the pain and discomfort that often accompanies oversized breasts.
How small can I go with breast reduction surgery?
How much you’d like Dr. Watterson to reduce your breasts is completely your decision; there isn’t a limit. Most of our patients from the Salt Lake Valley opt to keep their breasts proportional with the rest of their figure. They want to reduce the burden and weight of their breasts, rather than focus on a specific size decrease. The goal is to make your breasts proportional, alleviating their negative impact on your life.
Some patients coming to us for this surgery are so sick of their oversized breasts that they talk about radically decreasing their size. They’ve spent a life dealing with their breasts and want to be done with them. But you also don’t want to regret downsizing your breasts too much at a later date. After all, your body shape will change dramatically with this procedure. It’s a welcome change, but it will be an adjustment.
When you meet with Dr. Watterson for your consultation, the two of your will discuss your goals and see how much you’d like to decrease your breasts. Most of our patients opt to reduce their breasts by one to two cup sizes.
Does breast reduction surgery cause sagging?
No, quite the opposite. If you have had overly large natural breasts for some time, they have likely become pendulous, and breast mass has accumulated in the base of the breast. The weight has created serious sagging tissue and the breasts have flattened. In more extreme cases, your nipples could point downward.
Like a breast lift, breast reduction removes all of the excess, sagging skin and brings the breasts up to a higher position on the chest. Your breasts can sag somewhat as you age, but unless you gain and lose a significant amount of weight, your future sagging will not be extensive.
The Breast Reduction Procedure
The incisions used by Dr. Watterson will depend on your unique condition. Usually one of two incision methods is used, dictated by the amount of sagging you’re experiencing. These procedures are performed under general anesthesia. Here are the two incision options:
Traditional Incision Method
— If you have extremely large breasts, we will likely use the traditional incision method. This allows the most access to remove sagging skin and tissue. The incision, also called the “anchor incision,” circles the areola, runs down to the breast crease, and then follows the breast crease a few inches in each direction. This is the most common procedure.
Vertical Incision Method
— This incision follows the same path as the anchor incision, without extending along the breast crease. The shape of this incision is more like a lollipop. It can work for women with moderately large breasts. This technique is used more in lifts with implants.
In both methods, excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin are removed. The nipples and areolae are usually moved to a higher position on the chest. The areolae can also be reduced in size.
How long does it take for my breast tissue to fully settle after this surgery?
Your breast tissue will settle over the weeks following your procedure, as Dr. Watterson will have repositioned much of the breast tissue in addition to removing excess skin. There isn’t a set timeframe here, but you can expect it to take up to six months for your breasts to fully settle into their future appearance.
Breast Reduction Recovery
This procedure involves significant tissue reduction and repositioning. This creates tissue trauma, which results in swelling, bruising, and soreness. After your surgery your breasts will be fully bandaged and you’ll be wearing a surgical bra. You’ll have to take it easy for the first one to two weeks, and avoid strenuous activity for probably six weeks. Depending on your type of work, you can resume work after a few days or a long weekend.
Wearing your surgical bra, and then transitioning to a strong underwire bra is a really important part of your recovery. These bras must be worn 24 hours a day for at least six weeks. This can seem like a real burden, but it’s worth it. These bras keep any stress from being placed upon your incisions. By being diligent with this your scars will stay as thin as is possible and will heal better. We usually need to move the nipples with this procedure, but we make every effort to maintain nipple sensation and breastfeeding function after breast reduction, but this is not always possible.
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Length Of Breast Reduction Procedure
On average, breast reduction surgery takes 2-4 hours.
Risks Of Breast Reduction Surgery
With any surgery, risks such as infection and blood clot exist. Our surgeons will always talk with you about potential risks specific to your procedures in your consultation. Other risks may include scarring and delayed healing.
Can Breast Reduction Be Combined With Other Breast Procedures?
Breast reduction surgery is basically a more dramatic, extensive breast lift. The goals are the same — to remove sagging skin and to return the breasts to a higher location on the chest. Otherwise, this is a stand-alone breast procedure.
What If My Breasts Are Reduced Too Much?
If you have had overly large natural breasts your entire life, you do need to be prepared to have dramatically smaller breasts after this procedure. There is no way around the removal of excess, sagging skin and tissue. While most patients are thrilled to be rid of the burden of their large breasts, others wonder if their breasts are now too small. Of course, this could be rectified with the insertion of small breast implants. But we feel that it is better for the patient to be fully clear on the changes that will happen with her breasts. This will be discussed in detail during your consultation.
Schedule A Consultation
Our experienced and renowned plastic surgeons are available to discuss the procedure, surgical techniques and the results you can expect in more detail through a free plastic surgery consultation. Your consultation may be covered under your insurance plan – let us know if you are interested in seeking insurance coverage and we may be able to bill your insurance company accordingly. Pre-certification is often required for reimbursement or coverage, along with detailed documentation by a physician for a period of time determined by your insurance policy.
If you are in the Drapier, UT & Salt Lake City, UT area and are seeking breast reduction surgery, call 801-571-2020 or click here to schedule a consultation