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05 Apr

What’s the best option: A breast reduction or a breast  lift?

Breast reduction surgery can be a life changing experience as it reduces the size of large breasts, and also alleviates back, neck or shoulder pain. Also known as reduction mammoplasty, this procedure in addition to reducing the size of the breast, lifts the droopy breast and creates an attractive shape. In this blog, I’ll discuss why a breast lift performed at the same time as a breast reduction surgery is an essential component to help you get results.

Why go for a breast reduction?

Some women with overly large breasts are unhappy with their breast size and often experience extreme discomfort including:

  • Back, shoulder and neck pain
  • Rashes along the inframammary folds with frequent infections
  • Grooving in the shoulders from bra straps

Surgery helps to address these physical symptoms. Since the reduction is combined with a lift that involves reshaping and lifting, it also improves the size and appearance of large, drooping breasts by:

  • Reducing volume
  • Reducing the skin envelope
  • Lifting the nipple to its proper position
  • Reshaping the breast tissue while giving the breasts a more attractive upright shape and size

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This makes the breasts perky and proportionate to the body and chest.

Modern breast reduction techniques use a vertical scar (also known as a lollipop scar) to reduce the scar burden associated with the ‘anchor type’ inframammary scar linked with earlier techniques. The scar fades and lightens over 12 months with regular scar management treatment.

Who is an ideal candidate for a breast reduction and breast lift?

This surgery can be performed for both medical reasons and aesthetic purposes. Women who are ideal candidates:

  • Have fully developed breasts
  • Are healthy – both physically and psychologically
  • Experience physical/emotional discomfort due to the overly large size of their breasts
  • Have realistic expectations of what can be achieved with the surgery
  • Have a poor self image due to overly large breasts
  • Have asymmetrical breasts

It’s important to discuss your reasons for getting the surgery and what results you expect with your plastic surgeon. They are best placed to advise you on which procedure will give you the results you’re looking for – depending on your physical structure or medical issues. It’s also crucial you discuss together what the final breast size will be as well as where the incision/s will be made, so that there is minimum visible scarring.

The procedure

A reduction and lift is usually carried out under general anesthesia. The surgeon may use liposuction in conjunction with the surgery to remove tissue from the sides of both breasts and sculpt them. The procedure involves repositioning of the nipple and areola to a higher location, especially if there is less skin over the nipple. For women with extremely large breasts, the surgeon may need to transfer nipple and areola to the new position as a skin graft. Excess skin around the areola may be removed if you desire nipple reduction.

This procedure is very popular among women wanting to reduce the size of their breasts and it can be a life changing experience as evidenced by the high satisfaction rating. Do your research, consult with a few plastic surgeons and look at review sites like realself.com so you can be 100% confident with your decision when you go in for the surgery.

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Dr Naveen Somia MBBS, PhD, FRACS

Dr. Naveen Somia is a Sydney Plastic Surgeon who listens to his patients, understands their problems and works alongside them to help achieve their aesthetic goals by applying his skills and years of experience in Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery. A published author on Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery, Naveen’s blog is aimed at helping you make the right choices and stay safe in your quest to look your personal best.