Breast Reduction

Breasts that are too large for a woman’s body can cause a number of physical problems and have an impact on one’s self-esteem. Fortunately, our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Eric Okamoto, offers advanced breast reduction options that can reduce the negative effects caused by overly large breasts and create a more proportionate breast size.

What is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is a procedure designed to reduce excess tissue and/or fat from the breasts to make them more balanced and proportionate to an individual’s body frame. Due to the natural course of development, pregnancy and breastfeeding, or other causes, many women experience breasts that are simply too large for their bodies. This can result in an array of aesthetic and functional concerns, ultimately producing not only discomfort, but also self-consciousness. Breast reduction surgery can eliminate the excess and improve both the size and shape of the breasts, providing a more symmetrical and balanced appearance that addresses many of the issues that overly large breasts can cause.

What are the benefits of breast reduction?

Breast reduction can help women address many common concerns associated with excess fat or tissue in the breasts. The potential benefits of this procedure include:

  • Relief from back, neck, and shoulder strain caused by enlarged breasts
  • Increased mobility to freely move about and exercise
  • Reduction of skin rashes caused by excess moisture on the undersides of the breasts
  • The ability to fit into desired clothing
  • Less sagging or drooping of the breasts
  • Reduced potential for bra-strap indentations
  • Less self-consciousness

Removing the excess weight and repositioning the breasts can ameliorate most, if not all, of the problems that heavy breasts create.

View before-and-after breast reduction photos to see some of the results created by Dr. Okamoto.

Who is a good candidate for breast reduction?

In general, any woman desiring smaller breasts for cosmetic or symptomatic reasons is a candidate for a breast reduction. Dr. Okamoto will meet with you for an initial consultation to evaluate your needs, answer your questions, and determine your candidacy. Patients who are in overall good health and have reasonable expectations for the results of breast reduction surgery are often good candidates for this procedure. It is recommended that individuals considering this surgery be at or close to their ideal weight when it comes time for treatment since weight loss following surgery can, in some cases, have a negative aesthetic effect on the results.

What does the breast reduction procedure involve?

During breast reduction surgery, the areolar position is lifted to a more youthful height and a considerable amount of the breast tissue is removed to lessen the strain on the musculoskeletal system. The residual scars left after this procedure depend upon the surgical method. For the most part, the classical “anchor” incisions have been replaced with a much smaller scar that no longer requires a scar line running underneath the breasts. Presently, a more typical scar is similar to the breast lift scar, one that is limited to around the areola with a vertical extension from the inferior areolar rim down to a point somewhere above the crease running below the breast. This scar looks more like a balloon on a string rather than an anchor outline.  Regardless, Dr. Okamoto will work diligently to minimize the appearance of whatever scars are necessary for the reduction.

What can I expect during breast reduction recovery?  

Each patient’s individual needs and goals are unique, and therefore the recovery process varies. In some cases, patients are able to return to work or other daily routines in about two weeks following breast reduction surgery; others may require several weeks. A surgical bra worn for a few days following the operation should help facilitate healing. There will likely be some swelling, bruising, and general discomfort in the breasts after surgery; however, residual pain can be managed with medication. Patients should avoid lifting heavy objects and engaging in strenuous activities for at least three to four weeks after breast reduction surgery.

While breast reduction surgery is often covered by individual insurance programs, Dr. Okamoto only provides this service on a non-insurance basis; however, our practice offers a number of convenient payment options and we work with CareCredit®, one of the most reputable healthcare financing companies in the nation. CareCredit® makes it possible for qualified applicants to obtain low- and no-interest monthly payment plans to help bring treatment into their budget.

Will there be visible breast reduction scars?

Breast reduction without scars is not possible; however, advanced surgical techniques along with careful incision placement and suturing can help make the resulting scars from breast reduction surgery as light as possible. In addition, scars typically fade with time, and there are procedures available that can help minimize their appearance.  

Will I need a breast lift with my reduction?

In many cases, the breast reduction itself results in a certain amount of “lifting” as well. A breast lift involves the removal of excess tissue and a reshaping of the breasts for a firmer and more youthful aesthetic. A breast reduction also involves removal of excess tissue, followed by breast reshaping for a symmetrical and aesthetically pleasing result. For many women, a “lifting” effect is one of the intrinsic benefits of a breast reduction.

Is breastfeeding possible after breast reduction?

Breast reduction is designed to minimally disrupt the major milk ducts connecting to the nipple.  However, due to the removal of a varying amount of breast tissue that is independently determined, breastfeeding could be undisturbed or significantly diminished – this is an indeterminate guess preoperatively. During your initial consultation with Dr. Okamoto, please express your goals regarding breastfeeding in the future and he will offer guidance about this topic as best as he can depending upon your presentation.

Is breast reduction without surgery possible?

For patients who have enlarged breasts that are caused by excess glandular tissue, a surgical breast reduction procedure is generally the only option that can reduce the size of the breasts to any significant degree, as diet and breast reduction exercises are likely to be ineffective. In cases where the breasts are enlarged primarily due to a collection of excess fat, patients may be able to reduce breast size to some extent with diet and exercise and, rarely, with liposuction by itself; however, this is completely dependent on an individual’s unique anatomy and the severity of her condition.

If you would like more information on breast reduction, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Eric Okamoto, please contact us today.

*Individual results may vary