What is it?

Breast reduction or reduction mammaplasty removes excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin in the breasts. The procedure can also decrease the size of the areola – the dark skin around the nipple. Excessively large breasts can affect self-esteem, posture, comfort, ability to engage in activities, ability to wear certain clothes, and overall health. Patients often complain of neck, shoulder, and back pain. Often the patient’s bra may leave marks in the skin. A poor arched posture may arise and worsen over time as the shoulders are gradually pulled forward. Due in large part to its ability to immediately relieve symptoms, breast reduction surgery exhibits some of the highest patient satisfaction scores among all procedures performed by plastic surgeons.

Who is a candidate?

  • A healthy non-smoking (>1 month) patient
  • A patient displeased with excessively large breasts
  • A patient displeased with breasts with are asymmetric in size

Technique

The procedure may be performed under either IV or general anesthesia. The procedure includes the following:

  • Incisions are typically located around the areola in a concentric pattern, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease, and horizontally at the breast crease (the “anchor” or “Wise pattern” incision).
  • Liposuction may also be used as an adjunct to the procedure to more thoroughly sculpt the reduced breast and surrounding tissue. Drains are rarely used
  • Excess breast tissue, fat, and skin are excised

Recovery

  • Outpatient Surgery
  • Result: Largely immediate though breast size will continue to decrease over period of 4-8 weeks following surgery
  • Pain: Variable. Oral pain medicine may be needed for up to 7-10 days
  • Special garment: A compression bra will be provided and should be worn for 2 weeks. A sports bra may be worn beginning at 2 weeks. A wire bra may not be worn until at least 4 weeks postoperatively.
  • Drain removal: Rarely placed; if placed typically removed by 1 week.
  • Suture removal: All sutures are dissolvable
  • Activity/Shower/Driving restriction: No restriction on daily activity. Encouraged to walk. May shower 2 days after surgery. No lifting greater than 10 pounds for 2 weeks. May drive when no longer requiring narcotic pain medication. No strenuous activity/heavy lifting for 6 weeks.
  • Time off work: Expect to require 1-2 weeks off of work depending on job demands.
  • Follow-up: You will be seen in office following surgery at 1 week, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months or as needed

If you would like to learn more about breast reduction, please fill out our contact form and we will be happy to assist you! Alternatively, you can call to schedule a consultation to see Dr. Galanis in Beverly Hills at 310-858-8930 or in Chicago at 844-GALANIS (844-425-2647).