Breast Reduction

Reduction Mammaplasty in Orange County

Women with large breasts may experience a variety of medical problems caused by the excessive weight—from back and neck pain to skeletal deformities. Breast reduction, or reduction mammaplasty, is usually performed for physical relief rather than cosmetic improvement.

Reasons for Choosing Breast Reduction

The best candidates for breast reduction are women who are troubled by large, sagging breasts that restrict their activities and cause them physical discomfort. This surgery is not performed until a woman’s breasts are fully developed.

Before and After Photos Breast Reduction Orange County

Benefits of breast reduction include:

  • Reduction in neck, back, and shoulder pain
  • A more proportional body shape
  • Improved breast symmetry
  • Improved body image (being less self conscious about breast appearance)

The procedure also helps to address skin irritation below the breast (in the fold where the breast meets the chest wall) and grooves formed by the bra straps. If you choose to undergo breast reduction during the years of childbearing age, you may not be able to breast-feed following surgery.

FAQ About Breast Reduction in Orange County

How is breast reduction surgery performed?

At UC Irvine in Orange County, breast reduction can be performed as an inpatient or outpatient procedure. The surgery takes two to four hours.

Performed under general anesthesia, the most common technique involves an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola, extends downward and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast. The surgeon removes excess glandular tissue, fat and skin, and moves the nipple and areola to their new position. The skin is then brought from both sides of the breast down and around the areola, shaping the new contour of the breast.

In most cases, the nipples remain attached to their blood vessels and nerves. If the breasts are very large, however, the nipples and areolas may have to be completely removed and grafted into a higher position, resulting in a loss of sensation in the nipple and areolar tissue. Stitches are usually located around the areola, in a vertical line extending downward, and along the lower crease of the breast.

How do I prepare for breast reduction?

The surgeon will examine and measure your breasts. You will then discuss the variables that may affect the procedure such as your age, the size and shape of your breasts and the condition of your skin. You may also be required to have a mammogram (breast X-ray) prior to surgery.

Breast reduction doesn’t usually require a blood transfusion; however, if a large amount of breast tissue will be removed, your plastic surgeon may advise you to have a unit of blood drawn ahead of time.

Can breast reduction be performed using liposuction?

Occasionally, when only fat needs to be removed, liposuction alone can reduce breast size, leaving minimal scars. Liposuction may also be used to remove excess fat from the armpit area. Most patients will need more breast tissue removed using techniques called excision, during which glandular tissue and skin is removed in addition to fat.

What are the risks of breast reduction surgery in Orange County, CA?

As with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding, infection or reaction to anesthesia. Some patients develop small sores around their nipples following surgery that can be treated with antibiotic cream.

The procedure will leave noticeable, permanent scars, which can be covered by a bra or bathing suit. (Poor healing and wider scars are more common in smokers.) It can also leave you with slightly mismatched breasts or unevenly positioned nipples. Future breast-feeding may not be possible since surgery removes many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples. Some patients also experience a permanent loss of feeling in their nipples or breasts.

Are the results of breast reduction permanent?

The results of your breast reduction surgery are long lasting. The total size of your breasts may still change based on fluctuations in your hormones and weight. These changes are normal, and should be relatively minor.

What happens after breast reduction surgery?

Following surgery, you will be wrapped in an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over gauze dressings. A small tube may be placed in each breast to drain off blood and fluids for the first couple of days. You may feel some pain for first few days, especially when you cough or move around. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication. The bandages will be removed a day or two after surgery, although you’ll continue to wear the surgical bra around the clock for several weeks, until the swelling and bruising subside. Your stitches, if not absorbable, will be removed in one to three weeks.

Your breasts may still ache occasionally for a couple of weeks. Avoid lifting or pushing heavy objects for the first month. Most women can return to work (if it’s not too strenuous) and social activities in about two weeks.

To learn more about breast reduction in Orange County at UC Irvine, please call or email our offices today. We are located in the city of Orange, CA. View a map to our Orange County plastic surgery practice.