Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction Plastic Surgery

Despite what they say (whoever “they” are), bigger isn’t always better. Excessively large breasts can cause physical discomfort and psychological distress; it can be hard to find clothes that fit well, and you may even be self-conscious about your extra-large bust.

Excess breast tissue is not an exclusively female issue. As a woman in a largely male-dominated field, I pride myself on bringing a more sensitive approach to plastic surgery to patients of all genders.

If you’ve got an extra-large chest that you’re uncomfortable with, breast reduction surgery (also called reduction mammoplasty) may be right for you. This plastic surgery procedure removes excess glandular tissue and fat from the breasts and tightens the skin around them. I also like to use liposuction in strategic areas to remove excess fat and improve the chest contour.

Breast reduction can also include a breast lift, to restore the perkier, more youthful appearance of the breasts.

For those with large breasts, breast reduction surgery can help relieve:

  • shoulder pain
  • back pain
  • neck pain
  • indents from overworked bra straps
  • difficulty exercising
  • irritation and rashes forming under the breast folds

Despite what they say … bigger isn’t always better.

There are several reasons for breast reduction surgery beyond (literally) taking weight off your chest

Some of these include:

Male Breast Reduction

Gynecomastia is a hormonal imbalance that results in extra breast tissue. Gynecomastia surgery removes the excess tissue and recontours the chest. Gender-affirming surgery, or a mastectomy with contouring, is also available for men looking to achieve a more “traditionally masculine”-looking chest.

Breast Reduction for Medical Reasons

If your excess breast tissue is causing significant pain, rashes, or ulceration, your doctor may recommend breast reduction. If you are experiencing physical discomfort due to your larger breasts, talk to your primary care provider.

About the Reduction Mammoplasty Procedure

Woman in compression bra after breast reduction surgery

The first step in breast reduction plastic surgery is a consultation with me and my team. I’ll take measurements, go over your medical history, discuss your goals, and go over your procedure plan. It’s important to me that my patients know the most likely outcome and potential risks ahead of time and make a fully informed decision.

Breast reduction surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll go home the same day. However, you will be given general anesthesia for the procedure.

Generally, the incision will be made around the areola and then vertically down to the breast crease. In some cases, an incision will also be made under the fold. Excess fat, skin, and breast tissue will be removed to reduce the breasts’ overall size. Then, I reshape the breasts and reposition the nipples and areolas for a lifted appearance if desired. The areolas can also be reduced in size for a more natural appearance.

If we’ve decided to reduce excess fat on the sides of the chest, this is accomplished through liposuction.

I close the incisions with sutures in multiple precise layers to reduce tension and minimize post-operative scarring.

Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery

According to some, breast reduction is one of the least painful plastic surgery procedures. Most patients manage their pain with over-the-counter pain medications.

There will be some discomfort and swelling immediately after surgery as the tissue adjusts to its new location. You’ll have temporary drainage tubes and will be given compression garments to support the tissue as it heals. 

Most patients return to regular activity after about a week or two but should avoid strenuous activity for about six weeks. The breasts will continue to settle and achieve a “natural” shape after a couple of months.

I’ll see you in the office regularly for the first three to six weeks to monitor your healing progress.

Dr. Saber brings a more sensitive, female perspective for patients of all ages, genders, and orientations.

Breast Reduction Surgery Risks

All surgical procedures come with some risk. But in the hands of a skilled plastic surgeon (and if you follow all recovery instructions), the risk can be reduced.

Common risks associated with cosmetic surgery are:

  • bleeding
  • infection
  • anesthesia complications
  • scarring
  • breast asymmetry
  • loss of sensation
  • difficulty breastfeeding

If you desire a very large amount of breast tissue to be removed, you may lose some sensation in the nipple and experience difficulty breastfeeding. For this reason, breast reduction is not always recommended for patients who intend to breastfeed.

Woman with large chest holding a measuring tape, Breast reduction surgery

Who’s a good candidate for breast reduction?

The most important question I have to answer is whether a procedure is right for my patient. I will always be 100% honest about your expected outcomes and risks and will never recommend a surgical procedure I don’t believe will truly benefit you.

In general, ideal candidates for breast reduction are:

  • generally healthy
  • non-smokers
  • realistic in their expectations

Breast reduction is generally not performed until the breasts are fully developed unless the large breasts are causing serious physical problems.

Breast Reduction Frequently Asked Questions

How long after breast reduction can I work out?

It’ll be about four to six weeks before you’ll be able to resume strenuous exercise.

How long after breast reduction can I sleep on my side?

We recommend sleeping on your back until your incisions are fully healed—so about four to six weeks.

Will weight loss reduce breast size?

Breasts are mostly comprised of fatty tissue, so it would make sense that weight loss would decrease breast size.

However, the results aren’t predictable. Your breasts may have a higher ratio of glandular and fibrous tissue to fat, meaning losing weight won’t really impact them. In addition, if you do succeed in losing fat from your breasts, this often leads to sagging—the breasts lose volume, but excess skin remains.

Do breast reduction scars go away?

How long it takes the scars to fade depends on the individual. I do my best to conceal the incisions and will work with you to treat the incisions to leave minimal scarring.

Can you reduce breast size by applying cream?

There are plenty of advertisements for creams marketed for breast reduction. Allegedly, these creams reduce fat to naturally reduce the size of the breast. However, all they ever do is moisturize the skin.

Is breast reduction covered by insurance?

Generally, insurance companies don’t cover cosmetic surgery. If you need breast reduction surgery for medical reasons, you may have coverage options. If you have health concerns, talk to your primary care provider and see what authorization your insurance provider may require.

How much is a breast reduction?

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost of breast reduction in 2019 was $5,475. This doesn’t include other associated costs like anesthesia and surgical center fees.

I’ll go over you total expected cost with you during your consultation. No surprise bills!

Why it’s critically important to choose a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

All surgery comes with some risk, we all know this. But did you know that many doctors who perform plastic surgery are not American Board of Plastic Surgery-certified plastic surgeons?

For a surgeon to become board certified, they must have at least 14 years of higher education including special intensive training in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. 

This means that in the very unlikely event of a complication, it can be handled quickly and efficiently. Because board-certified plastic surgeons have full admitting privileges at local hospitals. Non-board-certified plastic surgeons do not, thus they cannot even treat you outside of their own surgery center. Additionally, Dr. Saber always works with leading board-certified anesthesiologists during her procedures to ensure patient safety (unfortunately this is not always the case with surgeons).

Aren’t all doctors who perform cosmetic plastic surgery procedures board-certified?

Sadly, no. Many are not certified to do the cosmetic procedures they are performing. That can lead to significant problems for any patient who has complications. It can also mean that the surgeon who performed your procedure cannot even admit you to a hospital or provide any follow-up care at the hospital.

Dr. Saber’s extensive training, board certification, and experience as a noted reconstructive surgeon serve as an assurance that her approach to surgery is ethical, safe, and effective.

Why choose Dr. Saber for Breast Reduction in the Los Angeles area?

Dr. Sepideh Saber, MD, FACS brings a more sensitive, female perspective for patients of all ages, genders, and orientations. Patients of all ages and from all walks of life have praised not only their outcomes but her caring, thoughtful approach to all types of appearance and health-related matters.

Dr. Saber graduated from Stanford University’s world-renowned medical school and did her reconstructive and plastic surgery residency at the University of Southern California (USC). She completed her fellowship at New York University (NYU) in the extremely challenging and delicate areas of hand surgery and microsurgery.

To request a consultation, call (877) 205-4100 or schedule a consultation online.

Dr. Saber takes her patients’ safety very seriously. Her facility’s Covid-19 patient safety procedures exceed all CDC and World Health Organization recommendations. Masks are required in our office at all times during the coronavirus pandemic.

The practice of Dr. Saber is located in Encino, CA for patients throughout the Los Angeles area. We are also convenient to Encino, Woodland Hills, Sherman Oaks, Calabasas, Burbank, Glendale, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Northridge, North Hollywood, Malibu, Topanga, Canoga Park, Reseda, Valley Glen, Chatsworth, West Hills, Winnetka, Universal City, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Downtown Los Angeles, Silverlake, and Echo Park.

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