Breast Reduction Surgery

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UT Southwestern Medical Center plastic surgeons are spearheading innovative techniques for breast surgery, including breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty.

Because of advancements in technology, our plastic surgeons can typically make well-hidden incisions when performing breast reduction surgery. This is also influenced by the size of the patient’s breast. Key areas of plastic surgery research at UT Southwestern involve preventing and reducing visible scarring and optimizing patient outcomes and safety. We use this knowledge to enhance the overall results of the surgery for patients.

What is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to address the challenges associated with disproportionately large breasts. This transformative surgery aims to reduce the volume and weight of the breasts, alleviating physical discomfort, improving posture, and enhancing overall well-being. During the procedure, excess breast tissue, fat, and skin are removed to achieve a more proportionate and balanced breast size.

Smaller, Lifted, and More Proportional Breasts

With breast reduction surgery, we can successfully reshape and contour the breasts so they are smaller, more lifted, and proportional with a patient’s body. Our patients include very young to older women. Their goals include relief from upper back and neck pain, shoulder grooving, and rashes caused by larger breasts. The surgery is very successful with high patient satisfaction rates and nearly immediate relief of symptoms.

Leading Plastic Surgeons: Excellence in Care and Research

Our team of plastic surgeons is internationally recognized for delivering outstanding clinical care and conducting groundbreaking research. We are committed to providing answers before surgery and being available after. We work with patients to make sure they understand what can be achieved, considering the amount of breast tissue to be removed, skin elasticity, and chest wall dimensions.

Is Breast Reduction Surgery Covered by Insurance?

Health insurance might cover the cost of breast reduction surgery. If a patient suffers from neck pain or rashes due to the excessive size of her breasts, she should consider contacting her health insurance provider to find out if her plan covers this type of surgery.

Breast Reduction: What to Expect

One of the most common surgical approaches involves making an anchor-shaped incision around the areola or nipple. The length of the incision is based on the breast size before surgery, along with its shape and the extent of the reduction.

The surgeon then extends the incision downward, along the natural curve of the breast. The breast is then contoured and the skin tightened around the areola.

Using this technique allows our plastic surgeons to make a concealed incision, as well as more precise breast contouring. We can then reshape the breasts and remove fat, glandular tissue, and excess skin. As part of the surgery, our surgeons make the nipple areolas smaller when needed, resizing them to be proportional with the new breast size. 

The surgery itself typically takes around three hours, and patients are usually able to recover and go home that same day. Drains are not usually required. A supportive brassiere garment or ACE wrap will be applied for comfortable compression. 

Patients are seen in the office one to two weeks after surgery, and, depending on how the incisions are healing, the entire recovery process takes approximately four to six weeks for release to normal physical activity without restrictions.

For some patients, liposuction can be an alternative to reduce breast size. Liposuction is especially effective when only fat needs to be removed.

Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery

Beyond the physical benefits, breast reduction surgery often leads to increased self-confidence and a positive impact on body image. If you're experiencing issues such as back and neck pain, shoulder grooving from bra straps, or limitations in physical activity due to large breasts, this procedure can offer not only relief but also a renewed sense of comfort and confidence.

Breast reduction surgery has a permanent impact; however, breasts will continue to change as a patient ages. It’s important to maintain a healthy stable weight for the best long-term outcome.

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