Excessively large breasts can affect women of all ages. Breast reduction surgery can bring a woman’s figure into proportion so that she can feel better about herself, fit into her clothes nicely and be relieved of the physical problems caused by large breasts.
Women with very large, pendulous breasts may experience a variety of medical problems caused by the excessive weight and poor leverage placed on the chest and spine. Such problems include back and neck pain, skin irritation, skeletal deformities and breathing problems. Also, a woman’s bra straps may leave indentations and cause pain in the shoulders. And, unusually large breasts can make a woman feel extremely self-conscious.
Breast Reduction Techniques
Liposuction Breast Reduction
There are multiple approaches to reducing the breasts. The simplest is liposuction. With liposuction, the fat in and around the breast is removed with a small liposuction cannula that is placed through very small (less than 5 mm) incisions. The liposuction breast reduction technique, however, is a very limited method for breast reduction for two basic reasons.
The first reason is that the primary bulk and volume of most breasts comes from the glandular breast tissue. This tissue is very dense and thick and cannot be removed with a liposuction cannula.
The second limitation is that liposuction does not treat or reduce the excess breast skin. In most women with significant breast enlargement, the skin is stretched and excessive. To reshape the breasts nicely, this excess skin must be removed and the remaining skin must be carefully tailored. Therefore, “liposuction-only” breast reduction can only be considered in women needing a small reduction in volume and no changes in the breast skin.
Vertical Breast Reduction Technique
One technique for breast reduction is a “vertical” procedure where the breasts are opened around the areola and in the middle. The skin cut-out with this method is similar that that of the vertical breast lift. However, with the breast reduction, breast tissue is directly removed from the central and lower parts of the breasts.
The remaining breast tissue is then sutured together to shape the breast internally and the skin is closed. The resulting scar is around the areola and down the middle of the breast. This scar is shaped like a lollipop. This technique is generally used for small to moderate size breast reductions.
The vertical breast reduction technique has grown in popularity with patients and surgeons. The most apparent advantage of this technique is the absence of the lower breast fold scar that occurs with the inverted-T breast reduction method. But, equally important is the nice shape the breasts assume with the vertical technique. A nice, round breast shape is created with this procedure because the breast tissues are shaped and sutured together. In addition, the vertical skin closure tends to shape the breast nicely too. The vertical breast reduction tends to create a rounder, more youthful breast compared to that created with the inverted-T breast reduction.
Inverted-T Breast Reduction
The most traditional breast reduction technique results in an “inverted-T” or “anchor” shaped scar. This scar is around the areola, down the middle of the breast and across the entire breast fold.
The inverted-T breast reduction technique is used in moderate to markedly large breasts, especially those with a lot of excess skin. With this procedure, the central and lower breast tissue is preserved around the areola. The inner, outer and upper segments of breast tissue are removed. Internal breast shaping is generally not performed with this approach. The skin is then sutured together in layers using hidden, dissolvable sutures.
Inverted-T Breast Reduction Results
The inverted-T breast reduction technique is the traditional and most popular method for breast reduction. This method is highly reliable and effective. The lower breast fold scar usually heals well and is not bothersome for most patients, especially since the scar is hidden and not usually seen. However, in some cases the lower fold scar does thicken and become a bother for patients. The breast shape achieved with the inverted-T technique is usually excellent and aesthetic. However, in some cases (especially very large reductions) the breasts may appear a bit wide and “boxy” at the bases.
Though the vertical breast reduction has gained in popularity, the inverted-T breast reduction technique remains a very important option for women to consider. For many surgeons, including us, this method remains the procedure of choice for reducing very large breasts or those with excessive breast skin.
Which Breast Reduction Method Is Best For Me?
The reduction technique that is best for you depends on your unique anatomy, breast size, skin characteristics and the goals you wish to achieve with breast reduction surgery. These and many other considerations regarding breast reduction surgery will be reviewed with you in detail during your consultation with us.
Patient Satisfaction Is High
The improvement in the aesthetics of the breasts and the feel of the body overall can be dramatic for women following breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction often enhances a woman’s self esteem and confidence, and reduces the physical problems caused by large breasts. Because of the wide impact breast reduction surgery often has on a woman’s life, the procedure has a very high patient satisfaction rate.
These and many other considerations regarding breast reduction surgery will be reviewed with you in detail during your consultation with us. Contact our office in Portland to schedule a consultation at (503) 783-0544.