Steve T. Vu MD, FACS | Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
17742 Beach Blvd., Suite 335, Huntington Beach, CA 92647  |  (714) 848-1133

Breast Reduction

What is it?

Breast reduction surgery as the name implies is a procedure that removes excess breast fat, skin and glandular tissue. Also known as reduction mammoplasty, the surgery is designed to reduced discomfort from overly large breasts. The aim of the procedure is to reduce the size of the breasts. The surgery can also be used to make the areolas or darker portion of the nipples smaller.


Candidates

According to experts, over 1 million women across the nation suffer from overly large breasts. Such women have also complained of physical ailments such as numbness in their hands or face, neck pain and backaches. The ailments make otherwise simple processes such as picking up children, exercise and even sitting in some cases.

According to plastic surgeon and author of When Less is More: the Complete Guide for Women Considering Breast Reduction Surgery, “Sometimes a woman with very large breasts will know instinctively that the extra weight on her chest is causing the problems but just as often she doesn’t recognize the connection and sometimes that can lead to years of unnecessary suffering.”


Breast reduction procedures are chosen by women for –

  • Relieve discomfort from painful breasts

  • Reducing the size of overly large breasts

  • Obtaining symmetry in mismatched breasts


Types of Breast Reduction

Bilateral breast reduction is a procedure where only a single breast is reduced in size. There are also other types of breast reduction procedures such as –


Nipple Graft

As the name implies, this particular procedure involves removing the nipple and putting it in place with the help of a skin graft. Like other types of skin grafts the blood supply from the nipple graft is drawn from the deep dermis. The procedure is not always necessary but may be chosen in breast reduction.


Pedicle Method

This is one of the most common type of breast reduction surgery. The aim of the procedure is to reduce the appearance of the breast, volume and contour while maintaining the sensation and functions of the nipples as well as the breasts. Patients are advised to consult with their surgeons to discuss their options since different pedicle methods have different scar as well as incision patterns.


Anchor Incision

This is of the most common incision patterns in pedicle breast reduction. It involves a circular incision that is made around the areola. After that the incision is made vertically from the areola to the breast front and chest wall. The shape of the anchor forms when the cut is then made horizontally across the underside of the breast that is being reduced.


LeJour Incision Pattern

This is a fairly new technique that is increasing in popularity. Here is how the procedure is performed. A surgeon makes an incision and cuts a vertical shape around the areola. After that the surgeon cuts down vertically in front of the breast to the chest wall. This is unlike the horizontal cut that is used in the anchor method.


Liposuction

Some patients who have too much fat content in their breasts opt to have it removed through liposuction. This is a minimally invasive procedure and has resulted in great results. In addition, it also has a minimum recovery time and less scarring. The procedure is carried out through a series of incisions and takes about two hours at the most. It is carried out through stages and it can take about eight weeks for the bruising and swelling to go down before a patient can see the altered or final shape. Stitches are removed during the second week.


Associated Costs

The costs that are associated with average breast reduction procedures vary according to healthcare plans and surgical costs. A typical procedure may cost anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000. Anesthesia costs may range from $1,000 to $1,500 while the hospital or facility may charge from $5000 to $2000. The surgeon may charge extra.

Like most plastic surgery procedures, the costs may vary according to the extent of procedures. For example, the procedure will definitely cost more if it requires the surgeon to do additional work in repositioning, reshaping breasts or removing excess tissue. Patients are advised to keep in mind that every procedure is unique and the cost will ultimately depend on a surgeon’s preferences and a medical plan.

Some men also opt for breast reduction for conditions such as enlarged breasts or Gynecomastia. The latter is caused by side effects due to certain types of medication, drugs, smoking marijuana or drinking alcohol or other diseases. No nutrition or exercise plan has been known to be affective against the condition which us why experts recommend the surgery.


Considerations

Patients who opt for the surgery are advised to keep the following considerations in mind –

  • Nipple or breast piercings may cause infections

  • A patient’s ability to breastfeed may be compromised after the surgery. Such women are advised to consult their medical specialists before going ahead with the procedure

  • While the procedure can be performed at any age, medical specialists recommend a time after the breasts obtain full maturity or are fully developed

  • Smokers are advised to quit the habit before going through the procedure as it can lead to possible complications

  • The surgery may be covered by health insurance even if there is a cosmetic element to it especially if it is recommended to reduce or eliminate medical symptoms

  • Breast reduction might interfere with certain diagnoses

  • Factors such as weight loss or gain or changes in breasts may alter the results of previous breast reduction procedures


Breast reduction surgery is usually carried out in a surgical center or hospital. Patients are typically put under general anesthesia. Surgeons may recommend local anesthesia for smaller reductions. The procedure may last from 3 to 5 hours.


Breast reduction surgery has proven to be beneficial for the men or women who have opted for it. It doesn’t really matter whether their choice is geared by reconstructive or cosmetic reasons. Patients are advised to keep all considerations in mind before they make their decision.

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Schedule Your Consultation Today

To discuss your interests, we encourage you to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Steve Vu. We can answer general questions about our our procedures and practice by phone and email during our regular business hours, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For out-of-town visitors, please contact us so that we can suggest accomodations and make your experience as pleasant as possible.

Office Locations:

Huntington Beach Office:
17742 Beach Blvd., Suite 335
Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Tel: (714) 848-1133
Fax: (714) 848-4114

Corona Office:
800 Magnolia Avenue, Suite 109
Corona, CA 92879-3157
Tel: (951) 279-7888
Fax: (714) 848-4114

Temecula Office:
31720 Temecula Parkway, Suite 203
Temecula, CA 92592
Tel: (951) 279-7888
Fax: (714) 848-4114