What Is a Breast Reduction?
Although it is extremely popular among our patients, breast augmentation isn’t for everyone. In fact, we see many women who instead want their breasts made smaller. Naturally occurring breasts that are too large can cause a myriad of problems, from excessive neck and back problems, to discomfort when exercising, and even strap indentations on the shoulders. Dr. Carrie A. Houssock can use breast reduction to reduce the size of the breasts, making them more proportionate to the body and more comfortable for the patient. Reducing the size of the breasts is accomplished by reducing the breast skin, fat, and actual breast tissue as well. The nipple and areola are also lifted to a higher position.
“It was a very thorough consultation. Dr. Houssock and her assistant were so genuine and made me feel so comfortable in a slightly uncomfortable situation.”
What Happens During Breast Reduction Surgery?
During breast reduction, unnecessary fat, tissue, and skin are carefully removed to create a smaller breast size. The breasts are also lifted into a more flattering position. There are three main types of breast reduction techniques that can be used, depending upon the needs and goals of the patient.
- Wise Pattern Technique: For a full breast reduction, the wise pattern technique is used most frequently. Dr. Houssock will make an incision around the areola as well as a vertical incision from the areola to the lower pole of the breast that will continue along the breast crease. Once complete, the shape of the incision can look like an upside down T, which is why this incision is occasionally referred to as the “anchor” technique. A wise pattern breast reduction can achieve the most dramatic transformation for women with oversized breasts.
- Vertical Technique: A vertical breast reduction is ideal for women who have a moderate amount of excess glandular breast tissue but minimal excess skin. With this breast surgery technique, Dr. Houssock will make an incision around the areola that extends downward toward the lower pole of the breast. This incision is sometimes referred to as the “lollipop” technique. In many cases, the recovery period from a vertical breast reduction is shorter than procedures performed with the wise pattern technique.
- Breast Reduction Using Liposuction: We are pleased to offer an alternative and new type of breast reduction surgery that involves breast liposuction alone. This procedure, which is less invasive than traditional breast reduction surgery, allows for excellent volume reduction of the breast and, to a modest degree, a lifting of the breast, as well. The technique of breast reduction through liposuction results in a shorter recovery time and very minimal scarring.
At the initial consultation, Dr. Houssock will design a custom surgical plan using one of the above techniques that can best achieve your expectations.
Additional Breast Reduction FAQs
Will my insurance cover breast reduction?
It is possible that your medical insurance plan may cover all or a portion of your breast reduction surgery, if the procedure is considered medically necessary. Our plastic surgeon and office team are very familiar with the steps required by medical insurance companies for this type of surgery and can help walk you through the process. Please see our breast reduction cost section above for greater detail on this topic.
Does a breast reduction also provide a breast lift?
The breast reduction procedure not only reduces the weight and size of the breasts, it also lifts and reshapes the breasts to achieve a more elevated position and symmetrical appearance. During a consultation, your plastic surgeon can explain both the physical and aesthetic benefits that a custom breast reduction can provide.
How painful is breast reduction?
The breast reduction surgery is performed under IV sedation to prevent the potential for pain during surgery, and medication is prescribed to relieve postoperative discomfort. The majority of patients find the postoperative period to be manageable and, within about two weeks, swelling and discomfort are typically dramatically reduced. Prior to breast reduction, many patients experience considerable pain due to their large heavy breasts and, though the recovery period poses certain challenges, the surgery brings them swift relief for the chronic back, shoulder, and neck discomfort they have experienced for many years.
How can I reduce swelling after breast reduction?
In addition to sleeping in an elevated position on your back and applying cool compresses to the breasts, Dr. Houssock also instructs patients to limit sodium intake, wear a supportive surgical bra, drink plenty of water, take anti-inflammatory medication as prescribed, and eat nutritious foods following breast reduction to control swelling.