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Breast reduction (or reduction mammaplasty) is an enhancement procedure that reshapes the breasts in order to make them smaller, lighter, and firmer.  Reduction is accomplished by removing excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin.  Large breasts can cause physical pain as well as emotional and social anxiety.  Women who take advantage of the breast reduction procedure find that they are able to lead a healthier, more comfortable life, in addition to enjoying a beautiful, more proportionate appearance.

Reasons for Considering a Breast Reduction:

  • Back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy breasts.
  • Sagging breasts produced by their large size.
  • Disproportionate body frame attributed to oversized breasts.
  • Restriction of physical activity due to the size and weight of the breasts.
  • Painful bra strap marks and/or rashes as a result of large breasts.

General Procedure

Techniques for breast reduction vary; however, the most common procedure involves an incision that circles the areola.  From the areola, the incision goes down and follows the natural curve under the breast.  The surgeon then removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin.  Next, the nipple and areola are repositioned to a higher position and held in place by stitches.  Occasionally, liposuction alone can be used to reduce breast size.  The best procedure can be determined during the initial consultation visit.

Of all plastic surgery procedures, breast reduction results in the quickest body-image changes.  Patients are pleased with the elimination of physical pain caused by large breasts as well as a better proportioned body, an enhanced appearance, and better fitting clothes.

Recovery Process

Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and reduce the recovery time.  Bandages are applied immediately following surgery to aid the healing process and to minimize movement of the breasts.  Once the bandages are removed, a specialized surgical bra will need to be worn for several weeks.  Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery.  Any pain can be treated with oral medication.  While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the instructions given after surgery.

Before you make your final decision, I would like you to read one of the letters from my former patients, who is also a nurse.

When I was in the 6th grade I started developing, and boy did I.  I had much larger breasts than any girl in my class.  Every year it was the same way and I felt very self conscious, as I was teased a lot.  I could never wear the same types of outfits that the other girls were wearing because most of them really accentuated my breasts.  So, I found myself wearing very loose fitting shirts, bib overalls, anything that would hide them.  When I did wear something, such as a prom dress, I would receive lots of stares and many comments.  I would even hear comments that were made by some of the girls, such as, “she is just a slut, look at her flaunting those big boobs.  Can you believe her?”   

I felt like the only reason why guys would ask me out was because of my breasts.    I even heard a friend, of one of the guys who had asked me out, making comments about how lucky he was, and stating “maybe you will get to see or even touch those huge breasts of hers.”  

When I tried out for the drill team (a group kind of like the golden girls at Mizzou) and was selected to be on the team, there were comments made in reference to the fact that the only reason why I was selected was because of my breasts, not that I had any talent.

At our senior dinner, for graduation from high school, they wished me and my “Grand Tetons” the best in life.  I wanted to crawl under the table.   Even when I went to college things were the same.  I wished there was something I could do to convince people that I was not the way they thought I was.  But, there seems to be a stigma that goes along with having large breasts.

When I would go to apply for a job, I would notice that most of the time the person I was interviewing with would not be talking to my face, but instead talking and staring at my chest.  It was that way most everywhere.  I got to the point where, at times, I would say something that would alert them to the fact that it offended me that they were staring at my chest.

The other thing, that people did not know, was that I was very uncomfortable with large breasts.  My back and neck hurt. I had indentations in my shoulders where my bras would cut in from carrying such a large load.  I even had headaches because of the stress it put on my back and neck.  Along with the very low self-esteem I had.

One of the best things I have ever done in my life was to get a breast reduction.  I feel so much better.  No more back or neck pain and my self-esteem is much better.  I even proudly talk to other people about having had my breast reduction and how much it has helped me.  Since I am a nurse, I have the opportunity to help inform people of what to expect and what benefits there are from having a breast reduction done.  

Susan S.