The breast reduction patients we see in St. Louis at our practice consistently tell us the surgery is life-changing. That’s no exaggeration. Overly large breasts can limit a woman’s physical activities, make her self-conscious, and lead to chronic shoulder and back pain, among other drawbacks. The relief expressed by women after getting breast reduction surgery is one of the most satisfying aspects of being a plastic surgeon.
Most of the women who come to St. Louis Plastic Surgery to consult with one of our board-certified plastic surgeons about breast reduction surgery have several questions about the procedure. In this blog post, I’ll explain 5 facts about breast reduction surgery that patients often don’t know.
1. It can correct asymmetry. Having some breast asymmetry is quite common. Some women, however, have one breast that’s significantly larger than the other. That causes both aesthetic and practical concerns (finding bras that fit). Some patients choose to increase the size of one breast with an implant, but many women decide to undergo breast reduction surgery to create symmetry.
2. It’s common among patients age 18 to 21. Even though some women wait until much later in life to get breast reduction surgery — and others’ breasts don’t become overly large until after having children — younger patients are opting to have the procedure as soon as their breasts have fully developed. Teenage girls can experience years of being self-conscious about the size of their breasts, in addition to the physical issues I’ve already mentioned.
3. The areolas can be reduced during the same procedure. This procedure isn’t always needed, but it can ensure a proportional result for patients with larger areolas. Patients who may be planning to have children in the future should discuss this with their surgeon because this procedure could interfere with the ability to breastfeed.
4. Breast reduction is often paired with a breast lift. During breast reduction surgery, the surgeon removes excess breast tissue. But in many cases, the breast skin that’s been stretched doesn’t retain adequate elasticity and will sag without a surgical lift. By combining a breast lift with the reduction procedure, the surgeon can reposition the breasts and nipples at a higher location and create additional support.
If you’ve been thinking about breast reduction, the first step is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your specific concerns. A surgeon can perform a thorough physical exam, including taking measurements and assessing your condition, and help you understand what occurs during and after the procedure.