Breast reduction is a surgical procedure which involves the reduction
in the size of breasts; it may also involve lifting of the breasts. As
with breast augmentation, this procedure is almost universally
performed exclusively on women. It is formally known as reduction
This procedure is designed for women who have large, pendulous
breasts. They may experience neck, back and breathing problems or may
feel uncomfortable with the size of their breasts in proportion to the
rest of their body. They may also experience discomfort from bra
straps leaving indentations in their skin. Reduction mammoplasty gives
the recipient smaller, lighter and firmer breasts. The size of the
areola and nipples may also be reduced.
Except in extreme cases, this procedure is only performed on
individuals with fully developed breasts. It is not recommended for
women who intend to breast feed. It is almost always performed under
general anesthesia. During pre-operative visits, the doctor and
patient may decide on new (usually higher) positions of the areolas
The most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision which
circles the areola. The incision extends downward, following the
natural curve of the breast. Excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin is
removed. Next, the nipple and areola are moved into their new
position. Finally, remaining skin from both sides of the breast are
brought down around the areola and reattached.
In some extreme cases, the areola and nipple may need to be completely
removed for relocation. In these cases, sensation from the areola area
will be lost.
Patients may take a few weeks for initial recovery, however it may
take from six months to a year for the body to completely adjust to
the new breast size. Some women may experience discomfort during their
initial menstruation following the surgery due to the breasts
Scarring from this procedure is extensive and permanent. Initially the
scars are lumpy and red, but gradually subside into their final
smaller sizes as thin white lines. Though permanent, the surgeon can
generally make the scars inconspicuous to the point that even low-cut
tops may be worn without visible scars.
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Breast reduction results in the quickest body-image changes of all
plastic surgical procedures. The recipient will be rid of the physical
discomfort of large breasts, their body will look better proportioned
and their clothes will fit them better.