- Length: 2-3 hours (generally outpatient)
- Anesthesia: General
- Normal recovery: Return to work in 1-2 weeks, Resume light exercise after 4 weeks, swelling resolves completely after 4-8 weeks
- Possible side effects: Swelling, Bruising, Pain or Discomfort, Loss of Nipple Sensation
Millions of women suffer from a condition called Breast Hypertrophy, where they develop overly large or pendulous breasts. This condition usually develops around puberty, and in addition to emotional or image issues, it can cause a number of physical problems, including chronic neck and back pain, skin irritation and rashing, difficulty exercising, and a host of other issues associated with bad posture.
Breast Reduction Surgery (Reduction Mammoplasty) is a surgical procedure that attempts to correct these conditions by removing excess breast tissue, reshaping and repositioning the breasts to create a more proportionate and comfortable bustline.
Women of all ages can benefit from this safe and proven procedure. Ideal candidates for a breast reduction are in good physical condition (at or near their target weight). Teenagers and younger women with overly large breasts are candidates fro Breast Reduction Surgery, however the surgery cannot be performed until the breasts stop developing.
For patients with especially pendulous or sagging breasts (generally older patients) Dr. Min may recommend a Breast Lift be performed in conjunction with the Breast Reduction.
How Does Breast Reduction Surgery Work?
An incision is made in a key-hole or anchor pattern, beginning around the nipple and extending downward to where the breast meets the chest. A column of breast tissue with the nipple attached is preserved while the excessive breast tissue and skin that surrounds this column is removed, either surgically or through liposuction. The skin envelope around the incision is then brought together to reshape the breasts in a conical shape. Sutures are then layered deep to the breast tissue to keep the reconstructed shape. A support bra is then used for several weeks as the incisions heal.
The results of your breast reduction surgery are immediately visible, and the alleviation of the chronic neck and back pain is apparent from day one. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you fully recover.
Dr. Min’s Approach to Breast Reduction Surgery
Dr. Min’s focus is on natural, comfortable results that give patients a balanced appearance. During your consultation, Dr. Min will work with you to understand your needs and help you create a treatment plan appropriate to your needs and your body.
Dr. George Min is a board certified plastic surgeon with deep experience in Breast Reconstruction, Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction procedures. He has a reputation for delivering beautiful, balanced results. He takes a conservative approach that focuses on patient safety and a natural appearance. Dr. Min does not believe in cutting corners, and our state-of-the-art Bellevue facility is unlike any you will find in the Seattle or Bellevue area. Our on-site surgical suite is equipped with the latest technology and is one of only a handful of locations to meet the stringent new safety certification standards.
We pride ourselves in being the best, not only in surgery, but also in patient care and education.
Your Breast Reduction Options
While there are several different ways of performing breast reductions, the techniques will largely be determined by the size of a patient’s breasts and the magnitude of the reduction. Different incision patterns are used depending on the patient’s body and goals:
“Keyhole” or Wise pattern incision: An incision is made around the nipple and then extended down to where the breast meets the chest in a “keyhole” pattern.
“Anchor” Incision: For patients undergoing more substantial reductions, the keyhole pattern will be extended horizontally where the breast meets the chest to form and “anchor” shape.
Minimally Invasive Breast Reductions with Liposuction: in cases where the patient have good skin laxity and need only a small amount of tissue removed, breast reductions can be performed using liposuction only, reducing scarring and shortening recovery time.
Your Initial Breast Reduction Consultation
The role of the consultation is to ensure that you feel informed, confident and excited, and we’ll take as much time as we need to get there.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Min will ask you about the position, shape and size you are looking for, as well as any specific concerns you have about their feel or appearance. He will walk you through your options, explain the details of the breast reduction procedure, and answer any questions you may have. You will have an opportunity to view extensive before and after photos and see examples of the different procedures you’ve discussed.
Dr. Min will then ask you questions about your health and lifestyle and assess your breasts for shape, size, symmetry, and areola position. He will share and explain his opinions with you about which surgical techniques are most appropriate for you based on your desired outcome and the results of your exam, and together you will decide on the details and timing of your procedure. In some cases, he may recommend a breast augmentation or reduction in addition to the breast lift to achieve the results you desire.
Finally, Dr. Min will make sure you know exactly what will happen on the day of your procedure, what you will experience while you recover, and what you can expect in the months and years to follow.
Safety & Risks of Breast Reduction Surgery
Our approach at Newvue is always to put our patients’ safety above all other concerns, and Dr. Min is a recognized expert with an impeccable track record for breast procedures. We have invested in absolutely state of the art tools, and our on-site surgical suite is one of the first in the region to be fully approved under the stringent new safety standards.
Breast Reduction is a very common and safe procedure. Nonetheless, we feel it is important that all our patients fully understand the risk associated with this—or any—surgical procedure. The most important thing to know is that Dr. Min and Newvue will stand by you should any complications arise and do everything we can to help you achieve your desired result.
Risks associated with Breast Reductions include:
- Reaction to Anesthesia: Some patients experience an adverse reaction to anesthesia that may result in nausea or vomiting, allergic reactions and in very rare cases death. Be sure to discuss any medical allergies with your surgeon.
- Infection: as with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of infection. Infection will generally occur within days or weeks of your procedure, and in most cases can be treated with medication. In rare cases, and additional surgery may be required to treat severe infections
- Bleeding & Hematoma: Some patients are more prone to bruising than others and, in extreme cases, may experience excessive bruising, bleeding or skin death.
- Nerve Injury/Loss of Sensation: Some patients may experience temporary or permanent loss of sensation in the nipple or areola.
- Asymmetry: Some patients may experience asymmetry in their results over time due to the body’s natural aging or partial rejection of the surgical procedure, which can generally be addressed with an additional correctional surgery.
Prior to Your Breast Reduction Procedure
Prior to your surgery, we will schedule a preoperative appointment with Dr. Min. The purpose of this meeting is to make sure that your procedure goes smoothly and efficiently. Our staff will review your consent forms with you, answer any questions you might have, and the risks and benefits of surgery will be thoroughly reviewed. You may be given your prescriptions to be filled prior to your surgery. You will be given a list of medications and supplements to avoid for two weeks before and after surgery. If you are a smoker, you will be advised to stop smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery. You should not smoke for at least two weeks following surgery.
Your Breast Reduction Procedure
We will do everything in our power to help you feel informed and relaxed on the day of your procedure. After you arrive at our Bellevue office, you will meet with Dr. Min and with your anesthesiologist. Once any questions you have are answered, you will be given medication to help you relax.
You will be brought into the surgical suite, where you will be prepped for surgery and given a general anesthetic. Surgery usually takes 2-3 hours.
You will wake up in the recovery room, where you’ll be closely monitored. We’ll let you know how everything went and advise you on what to expect as you recover. You’ll want to be sure to arrange for someone to pick you up and stay with you for the first couple days as you adjust.
After Your Breast Reduction Procedure
You’re still our patient after you leave, and we will be there for you as you recover to answer any questions you may have and advise you on any side effects you may be feeling. You can expect to feel tired and sore after the surgery, and you will experience some swelling and discomfort at the point of your incision, both of which can be managed with medication.
Most patients return to work in 1-2 weeks. Light activity is encouraged during your recovery, and you can resume regular, non-strenuous activity after a few days of rest. You should avoid strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least 2 weeks, and avoid high impact activities (skiing, wakeboarding, contact sports) for the duration of your recovery (6-8 weeks). Your stiches will dissolve and be absorbed by your body, so you will not have to worry about getting them removed.
Breast reductions can be permanent, but if you gain weight, become pregnant, or take hormones, your breasts may increase in size or sag over time.
Here’s a timeline of a typical recovery:
First 24 hours:
- Rest, eat and drink normally (no alcohol), avoid activity
- Effects of anesthesia will be gone
- Your 1st follow up consultation with Dr. Min
- Swelling will peak and begin to subside
- You can shower normally
- Bandage removal
- Your 2nd follow up consultation with Dr. Min
- Most patients can return to work at this point
- 3rd follow up consultation
- Resume normal (light) exercise and physical activity (such as jogging)
- Resume all activities (including things like skiing, wakeboarding)
- Full results will be visible
- 1st annual checkup
The results of your breast reduction surgery are immediately visible, and the alleviation of the chronic neck and back pain is apparent from day one. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you fully recover. Dr. Min and the Newvue staff are always available to help you with any questions or concerns you may have, during your recovery and after. We want to ensure that you are completely thrilled with your new look, and we’ll consider you our patient for life.