In 2015, breast reduction was the tenth most popular cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States. Interestingly enough, breast augmentation was the first in popularity. It seems, having the right sized breasts is important to us.
In this blog post, we’re going to go over the main reasons women come to us to make their breasts smaller. We’ll also go over the two major procedures used to accomplish breast size reduction – Breast Liposuction Reduction and Traditional Breast Reduction Surgery.
Reasons Women Consider Breast Reduction Surgery
Back, Shoulder, and Neck Pain
One of the most common reasons we’ve found that women have for seeking breast reduction is the pain that can be caused by overly large breasts. The upper part of the spine is strong and flexible. It acts as an anchor to the rib cage and the entire upper body. However, the strain placed on the muscles and ligaments from strenuous activity, poor posture, or the weight of breasts, too large for a woman’s frame, can cause pain. Sometimes the pain is fleeting; other times, the strain can lead to chronic pain that can last for months or even years.
Women who have had this kind of pain find great relief in receiving breast reduction surgery. Lifting that excess weight off the spine and upper back can make a big difference.
Skin Irritation Under the Breasts
Larger breasts tend to sag. Sagging breasts can lead to red ‘sweat rash’ under the breasts. Intertrigo, as this rash is called, usually affects the folds of the skin and is caused by yeast, fungus or bacteria. Women with this skin reaction may constantly feel soreness and itchiness under their breasts.
Aesthetics and Body Image Associated with Breast Size
It’s important for any woman to make her own decision regarding personal body image and the aesthetics of her breast size. No one should make that decision for her. Sometimes a woman with a small frame can have breasts that just look and feel too large for her body size. When this happens, it can affect the way she views her own body and the way she feels others view her.
Body Size and Proportions (Including the Ability to Wear Certain Clothes)
Breasts that are too large can distort body shape and proportions. When this happens, it can create muscle tension. This disproportionate size can also interfere with a woman’s ability to wear the style of clothing she’d like. By reducing the size of her breasts, a woman with this difficulty will suddenly find she can buy those types of clothes she’s had her eye on. She can now present herself to the world in the way she wants.
Exercise and Sports
There is no question that large breasts can interfere with exercise. For women who like to be involved in sports, breast reduction can change their lives. This is particularly true of athletes involved in competition. One example of the is Simona Halep, a recent winner of the French Open. In an interview after the match, she credited her recent success to having a breast reduction procedure. With breast reduction surgery, she went from a 34DD to a 34C bra size. She says this change has been instrumental in helping her achieve her recent climb in the world tennis rankings.
Women with no professional athletic goals, but who like to run, play golf, tennis or any other sport for health and recreation, can also benefit from breast reduction surgery if their breasts are so large that they get in the way of physical activity.
Two Types of Breast Reduction Procedures
Liposuction Breast Reduction
Over the past two decades, breast liposuction has become the single most requested cosmetic surgery procedure. This popularity comes from its versatility and effectiveness, as well as the relative ease with which patients recover from the procedure. In looking at the choice between liposuction breast reduction and traditional breast reduction, the subject of scarring also becomes worthy of note. A board-certified, expert plastic surgeon can perform a traditional breast reduction with a minimum of visible scarring. However, liposuction of breasts creates basically no scarring at all.
Best Candidates for Breast Liposuction
Women who are concerned about the scarring that can typically occur as a result of traditional breast reduction surgery will likely want to look at the possibility of liposuction breast reduction.
Breast liposuction reduction is best for women who are looking for a moderate reduction in size. It works well on the fatty breasts seen frequently in older patients and less well on dense younger breasts.
As with most surgical procedures, women must not be pregnant or breastfeeding when undergoing any breast reduction surgery.
Pros and Cons of Liposuction Breast Reduction
Liposuction can remove significant amounts of fat, but does not address other types of tissue. Also, it does not reduce loose skin or correct sagging and will likely result in more “droopy” breasts than traditional surgery will.
On the positive side, although the skin is not tightened, a surprising lift of the nipple can also occur. Also, incisions from a breast liposuction procedure are small and easily hidden.
Traditional Breast Reduction Surgery
The most common procedure used to make breasts smaller is traditional breast reduction surgery. Performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia and IV sedation, traditional surgical breast reduction is more invasive than that done by liposuction. The surgery itself is more extensive and can create more significant changes in a woman’s breasts.
During this surgical procedure, the plastic surgeon will remove fat and other glandular tissue, as needed. The surgeon also removes excess skin and tightens the skin remaining in the area to lift the breasts (breast lift or mastopexy). Usually, your plastic surgeon will need to reposition the nipple and the areola. The surgeon does this to create the best possible final appearance of the new, smaller breasts.
Best Candidates for Traditional Breast Reduction
Traditional breast reduction surgery is likely the best choice for women who have excessively large breasts. This is also the likely choice for women whose breasts are excessively dense or who have more glandular tissue than fat. A woman who has not yet reached menopause, especially a younger woman, is also likely to benefit from the traditional breast reduction approach.
Although many of the incisions can be expertly hidden, a woman opting for traditional breast reduction surgery must be comfortable with some amount of scarring.
As with most surgical procedures, a woman must not be pregnant or breastfeeding when undergoing any breast reduction surgery.
Pros and Cons of Traditional Breast Reduction Surgery
The pros of traditional breast reduction surgery are that this procedure can reduce the size of larger and denser breasts. It allows for excess skin removal and the repositioning of the nipple and areola. This is usually the procedure of choice when it comes to breast size reduction. It’s versatile and results in such an attractive and effective change in overall appearance.
On the other hand, the surgery takes longer, is more invasive, and does result in some scarring.
The best way to decide which breast reduction procedure is best for you is to schedule a consultation. Give a call. We’d love to talk with you.