Spotlight On: Breast Reduction

photos courtesy of Daniel Suver MD, FACS, Plastic Surgeons of Alaska

*all of the following reductions were performed via techniques designed to preserve blood supply and sensation to the nipple.  The ability to breastfeed is usually not affected.  “Free nipple grafts” which eliminate sensation and the ability to breastfeed are reserved for extreme cases and are rarely required.

A typical breast reduction will take about 2.5 hours to complete.  Patients often describe this procedure as life changing, as it opens up so much in the way of activity and is so successful at eliminating or reducing pain.  Postoperative outcomes are improved further by several courses of physical therapy to improve posture and core training.  

The success rate in eliminating or decreasing back and neck pain is >95%, which is among the best success rates of *any* surgical procedure used to treat pain.

Please call for a consultation to discuss whether you may be a candidate.

Breast Reduction:

This mother developed large, heavy, pendulous breasts after having children.  She had constant neck and back pain which made it hard to bounce or jump, let alone run for fitness.  She underwent breast reduction, using a method to keep the nipple and areola connected to the remaining breast tissue.  Her nipple sensation is preserved.  At this 2 month followup appointment she reports a complete elimination of her neck and back pain, and she is excited to now be able to run again and exercise wearing a standard sports bra.  She is pleased with the new shape and volume of her breasts.  She says she couldn’t be happier.

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This young woman has had deflationary changes of her breasts after multiple pregnancies.  She wanted her large breasts reduced in weight, and also lifted.  I performed a breast reduction and breast lift to restore her breasts to a more graceful, youthful position.  The nipples were kept connected to the breast tissue, which can allow nipple sensation and even breastfeeding.  The reduction in weight has led to resolution of her upper back and neck pain.  These six week results still demonstrate scars that will likely fade with time.  The breasts will also continue to soften in shape over the next several months, becoming more full through the inferior half as they settle.  This is a life changing procedure for many woman with upper neck and back pain due to their large breasts.

 

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This middle aged mother has had severe neck, upper back, and shoulder pain since the birth of her children due to the weight of her breasts.  It interfered with her ability to maintain an activity lifestyle, and was a constant source of discomfort.   We offered breast reduction to decrease the weight of the breasts, relieve her pain, and allow her to become more active without the discomfort of constant neck and back pain.  She desired an aggressive reduction to maximize the chance of resolution of her pain, and to give her a much more athletic profile.

Breast reduction is almost universally performed maintaining the connection of the nipple and areola to the breast tissue.  This allows sensation to be maintained to the nipple, and can even allow for breast feeding.  A breast reduction performed with removal of the nipple and reattachment is called a “free nipple graft.”  This is reserved for only extreme cases such as women with breast infections, or women needing massive reduction exceeding about 10 pounds of tissue.  I reserve this technique for less than 5% of women.

These 6 week postoperative photos demonstrate early pink scars and a youthful breast shape.  She has had resolution of her neck and back pain, and is eager to take advantage of her newly slimmed upper body.

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Breast reduction does not always have to be so dramatic to effect change.

This middle aged woman had suffered from nagging shoulder and upper back pain for years.  She wanted a breast reduction to decrease her discomfort, but she still wanted larger breasts to match her frame.  I performed a more moderate reduction, again, through a technique that preserves the connection of the nipples to the breast in order to try to maintain sensation.  Luckily, rather than just a decrease, she has had complete elimination of her pain, and she continues to have good nipple sensation.  Scars from these 4 month results will continue to fade over the first year.

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