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While many women desire larger breasts, there’s a great many who want smaller. Women with naturally large breasts, particularly those born with a petite frame that’s not suited for them, struggle with a variety of issues, day-in, and day-out. While larger breasts can be a confidence booster for many, they can be a source of emotional pain and social anxiety for others. Large breasts often create constant neck, back and shoulder pain, which can be very troublesome. The continuous pain, the emotional turmoil – these are issues that no one should have to deal with. There are ways though to correct this issue, one of them being breast reduction.

Breast reduction is a surgery that reshapes the size of the breasts to make them smaller. In surveys conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast reduction ranks among the highest in patient satisfaction. Dr. Sanjay Sharma of Plastic Surgery Austin employs various techniques to achieve the best cosmetic results to ensure his patients receive optimal breast reduction. It is in his best interest that his patients experience improved self-confidence, health and attractiveness after surgery.

Erin’s Deeply Personal Breast Reduction Journey

Read part one of Erin’s journey about her teenage struggles with large breasts through her recent Breast Reduction surgery with Dr. Sharma.

Read Part One

Who Is Breast Reduction for?

Women with breasts that are too large for their frame type are often the best candidates for breast reduction. Many women also experience emotional distress tied to their breasts or have undergone a lifestyle change that’s prompted them to seek breast reduction. Breast reduction can be performed to address many concerns, including:

  • Breasts are that are out of proportion to the rest of the body
  • Discomfort experienced, especially around the neck, back, or shoulders
  • Grooves in the shoulders from bra straps or rashes under the breasts
  • Disproportionate breasts – one that’s larger than the other
  • General dissatisfaction with large and heavy breasts

There are also some other considerations Dr. Sharma would review with a patient to see if they’re a suitable candidate, including:

  • General health, including if you smoke or are obese
  • Are pregnant, were recently pregnant or currently breastfeeding
  • Have an undiagnosed breast condition
  • Have a history of poor wound healing

If a patient desires smaller breasts because of issues related to discomfort and mental dissatisfaction, and are generally healthy, a breast reduction is a highly encouraged procedure. Dr. Sharma wants you to be happy with your results and satisfied with your appearance.

Options in Breast Reduction

There are several options available for breast reduction, each of which Dr. Sharma will go over with you during a consultation to ensure you receive the best treatment possible. Which one is best suited for a patient depends on the size of their breasts. Some considerations patients need to consider include the type of scarring induced from the surgery. Here are some of the more popular options:

Liposuction for Breast Reduction

This type of procedure is great because it’s the least invasive option and produces virtually no scars because it requires a small incision. This procedure, though, is best suited for patients seeking a subtle to moderate reduction in breast size. Liposuction for breast reduction is often used for patients with excess fat tissues in the breasts. The surgery isn’t recommended for those experiencing sagging, asymmetrical breasts or stretched skin. However, there are other options to correct those issues.

Inverted-T or “Anchor-Shaped” Breast Reduction

This procedure is excellent for those that need to correct their breasts a considerable amount, and is also ideal for those with sagging breasts or looking to correct asymmetry. The surgery requires three different incisions: one underneath the breast, a vertical one that runs from the areola to beneath the breast and one near the edge of the areola. An inverted-T breast reduction causes scars, but with the right amount of care, scars should fade considerably in approximately one year.

Vertical or “Lollipop” Breast Reduction

This option is ideal for patients who need a moderate reduction in breast size. The surgery requires two incisions. One incision is made at the base of the areola. While another is made vertically from the areola to just beneath the breast. This type of incision allows for Dr. Sharma to remove more excess fat than if it were performed with liposuction. As well, it will enable him to contour the breast to its new size with the removal of breast tissue and skin. As with an inverted-T breast reduction, scarring will form, but with the right amount of care it should fade away considerably in about one year.

How Does Breast Reduction Work?

Dr. Sharma performs breast reduction surgery on an outpatient basis, which means that patients are allowed to leave the same day of surgery. However, there is a possibility for an overnight stay where supervised recovery would be administered. Often the surgery is performed under local anesthesia with IV anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the surgery.

After the desired amount of excess fat, skin and breast tissue is removed, Dr. Sharma will move the areola to a higher position on the chest that gives it a natural appearance. Some patients may have a noticeable bra bulge at the chest/armpit area that can be addressed with liposuction at the time of surgery. However, this may require an additional fee. Dissolvable sutures will then be used to close any incisions made. The surgery takes approximately two to four hours. After breast reduction, Dr. Sharma will suture in drains around the site of surgery to collect excess blood and lymphatic fluid. The drains make for a quicker recovery and are typically kept in place for four days.

Understanding the Recovery Process

For the next two days following the surgery, you can expect to feel a mild to moderate amount of discomfort. However, this will go away. Dr. Sharma will also give you prescribed pain medication to manage the pain for those few days, and afterwards most patients manage their discomfort with over-the-counter medications. You will also be bandaged, and a surgical bra may be recommended. How quickly your body naturally heals and which type of surgery was performed will determine how long until you’re recovered a substantial amount. Patients are usually able to return to work, depending on how strenuous their job is, and can drive again in about one week. Resuming any exercise activities isn’t recommended until after around three to four weeks.

It’ll take around two to three months until final results are revealed, after a considerable amount of healing. We usually suggest scar silicone taping as a way to settle down scars along the healing process. As well, ongoing changes may occur six to 12 months after surgery, with scars fading during that time. Additional instructions about scar management, bra fittings and activity restrictions will be discussed at your follow-up consultations. Furthermore, it will still be important to maintain an annual mammogram schedule per your age and physician’s guidelines.

What Does Breast Reduction Do?

A breast reduction is a surgery that produces results that last for a lifetime, as long as weight is maintained, and you don’t have children. Sagging can be expected over time, which is part of the natural aging process, but won’t be nearly as severe had a breast reduction not been performed. And, of course, pain in the neck, back and shoulders will be alleviated, and insecurities or anxieties caused by your large breasts may decrease.

Patients should be aware that the cost for breast reduction is highly variable and dependent on insurance coverage. If the surgery is paid for out-of-pocket, the typical cost is $5500 to $8000 with additional facility fees that range from $2500 to $4000. However, Dr. Sharma’s trained staff will work with his patients’ insurance to get authorization and predetermine if coverage is possible.

If you’re interested in learning more about breast reduction or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sharma at Plastic Surgery Austin, please give us a call at (512) 324-2765 today!


Contact our office to schedule a private consultation with Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Sanjay K. Sharma, M.D., F.A.C.S.