Many women have breasts that are overly large or are out of proportion to their body size. In addition to causing problems with the fit of clothing, overly large breasts can cause physical symptoms such as painful shoulders or neck, often because of excess weight borne by a bra worn to support the breasts. Surgical reduction of breast size is a common request.
The breast is composed mainly of glandular breast tissue and fat (with an overlying skin “envelope”). Often, the majority of the breast volume is composed of fat: in fact, generally the larger the overall breast volume, the higher the percent volume attributable to fat.
Traditional surgical breast reduction is an invasive procedure, usually performed under general anesthesia, in which excess breast tissue (both glandular tissue and fat) is cut out (excised) to reduce the overall volume of the breasts. With reduced internal volume, the overlying skin becomes excessive and a substantial amount of skin must also be excised. The areola (and nipple) must be moved in order to “stay centered.”After a prolonged recovery (frequently weeks), the patient is left with breasts that, although still rounded, have lost their natural shape. Where the skin was stitched together there are usually significant scars that may have widened from stretching or become altered in color (hyper- or hypo-pigmented).
No-Scar Breast Reduction
Fortunately, there is a much simpler solution to reducing breasts: liposuction (breast lipo-reduction). Because a significant percentage of the breast volume is due to fat, liposuction can safely remove much of this volume. Dr. Langdon performs breast liposuction much as he does liposuction in other body areas: using only local (tumescent) anesthesia, making tiny skin incisions (no stitches are needed; most incisions heal with no perceptible scarring), and using tiny micro-cannulas (liposuction instruments).
It is recommended that any patients who have not already had a mammogram undergo this study prior to breast surgery of any kind, including minimally invasive procedures such as liposuction. This is because any surgical procedure on the breast can result in calcification, a pattern that can be seen on the mammogram (a type of x-ray image). It is easier for radiologists to “filter out”changes due to calcification if they have a “baseline”mammogram to use as a comparison.
As is done in all liposuction cases, dilute local anesthetic solution is gently injected into the breast to provide anesthesia. Adding the anesthetic is minimally painful and the breast is generally totally numb afterword. The actual liposuction for breast reduction is thus painless. The swelling of the breast from the anesthetic rapidly diminishes; most patients appreciate significantly reduced breast size within the first few days after surgery. Bruising is generally minimal because the local anesthetic solution causes tiny blood vessels to shrink during the liposuction.
Any residual swelling disappears within a few weeks of the procedure. Most patients rapidly notice reduced symptoms attributable to heavy breasts (such as neck or shoulder strain). Another benefit of reduced breast weight is a significant lift of the unweighted breasts. This lift effect is especially appreciable when viewing “before and after”photographs.
Advantages of Breast Lipo-reduction
- Provides significant reduction in breast volume and weight
- Allows for quick recovery with minimal down time
- Uses only safe, gentle local anesthesia
- Requires only tiny skin incisions with little to no scarring
- Retains natural breast shape
- Provides significant lift to sagging breasts
If you are interested in learning more about the Breast Lipo-reduction procedure at The Langdon Center, contact us to schedule your consultation today.