Plastic Surgery Guide: Breast Reduction

September 3, 2013

While it may seem like the majority of women seeking cosmetic surgery on their breasts want to go bigger, there are others who go under the knife in order to reduce the size of their bustlines. Breast reduction surgery is growing in popularity, becoming the sixth most performed cosmetic surgery procedure in Australia in recent years.

What is reduction mammoplasty?

Reduction mammoplasty is the procedure for reducing the size of large breasts. The typical patient for this surgery suffers from chronic pain in her neck, back and shoulders due to the excessive weight of her breasts. Overly large breasts can cause more serious problems such as difficulty breathing and impaired circulation.

In addition to the physical problems caused by very large breasts, women may also be plagued by the difficulty of finding clothes that fit as well as unwanted stares and comments. This can lead to lowered self-esteem and poor mental health.

Breast reduction procedure

Breast reduction surgery removes excess fat, skin and glandular tissue to create a breast more in proportion to the woman’s body. This cosmetic surgery is more complicated than the procedure for breast augmentation and also leaves more obvious scars.

Reduction mammoplasty is performed under general anaesthesia and involves one of three types of incisions: a circular pattern around the areola, a keyhole-shaped pattern around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease or an inverted T-shape. After the incision is made, the nipple is repositioned and reduced in size.

Next, the underlying breast tissue is reduced, shaped and lifted to produce a smaller, more aesthetically pleasing breast. If the breasts are especially large, the nipple may need to be repositioned higher on the breast. Lastly, the incisions are closed with sutures and surgical tape.

Cost of breast reduction

The costs for breast reduction surgery can vary drastically according to the difficulty of the procedure and the doctor you choose. Surgeon’s fees tend to range between $6,000 and $8,000, plus there are the assistant surgeon’s fees, anaesthetist’s fee, cost of hospital facilities and follow-up visits. Since reduction mammoplasty is considered to be medically necessary in some cases rather than purely cosmetic, your insurance may pay for part of the costs.

Risks of breast reduction

Before considering breast reduction surgery, you should be in good health and at your optimal weight. The most common complaints following reduction mammoplasty are loss of sensation in the nipples and unattractive scarring. Some patients are unable to breast feed after having the surgery.

As with any major surgery, there are possible risks including infection, bleeding, blood clots and poor healing. There is also the chance that revisional surgery will be necessary at a later date.

Celebrities who have had a breast reduction

Despite all the possible problems, most women are happy with the results of the surgery. Most are able to live a more active, pain-free life and find shopping for clothes much easier. Celebrities who have had their bustlines reduced include Drew Barrymore, Queen Latifah, Patricia Heaton and comedian Janeane Garofalo.

Have you ever considered having breast reduction surgery?

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