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The breasts are often seen as an emblem of feminine beauty. For many women, a large bust provides confidence and enhances their natural curves, but others long for something better suited to their body type. That’s because oversized breasts can become too large or heavy and cause a variety of issues day in and day out, especially for women born with a more petite frame. The disproportionate size and extra weight can be both embarrassing and physically uncomfortable — many patients report dealing with unwanted attention or social anxiety as a result, while symptoms such as constant neck, back and shoulder pain are also common.

At Plastic Surgery Austin, we believe the continuous discomfort and emotional turmoil are issues no one should have to live with. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Sanjay Sharma can provide relief from these symptoms with an expertly performed breast reduction, a surgical procedure that reshapes the breasts and makes them smaller by removing excess skin, fat and tissue. In surveys conducted by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, breast reduction ranks among the highest in patient satisfaction due to the quality of life improvements it can provide.

If you’d like to learn more about breast reduction surgery in Austin, Texas, contact Plastic Surgery Austin at 512-838-3658 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sharma. We look forward to providing you with beautiful results and the highest quality surgical care in Central Texas.

Erin’s Deeply Personal Breast Reduction Journey

Dr. Sharma has helped hundreds of women just like you reclaim their comfort and confidence with breast reduction surgery, creating perfectly proportioned breasts that are more in balance with the body. For more details about the breast reduction journey, read Erin’s story — a real-life patient who spent years struggling with large breasts until she decided enough was enough. Find out how breast reduction surgery with Dr. Sharma changed her life.

Read Part One

What is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction, also called reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure used to reshape the breasts and make them smaller, lighter and more manageable. It’s performed by removing the excess skin, fat and glandular tissue that weighs them down to sculpt more balanced contours and well-proportioned curves. A breast reduction can address numerous problems often experienced by women with larger breasts, including embarrassment, neck or back pain, and trouble finding clothing that fits. After surgery, the breasts will be a more comfortable size that’s better suited to each patient’s individual lifestyle and goals.

Am I a Candidate for Breast Reduction?

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

  • Breasts that are out of proportion to the rest of the body
  • Discomfort caused by large or heavy breasts, especially around the neck, back, or shoulders
  • Grooves in the shoulders from bra straps
  • Skin irritation or rashes underneath the breasts
  • Asymmetrical breasts – one that’s larger than the other
  • General dissatisfaction with overly 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 you desire smaller breasts because of issues related to discomfort and mental dissatisfaction, and are generally healthy, a breast reduction is a highly encouraged procedure that can provide you with relief from these symptoms. During your initial consultation, Dr. Sharma will review your needs, goals and expectations to determine if surgery is right for you. His goal is to ensure that you have a safe and effective procedure that leaves you happy with your results and satisfied with your appearance.


Meet Dr. Sharma, Austin’s Premier Breast Surgeon

Dr. Sanjay Sharma is one of Central Texas’ most renowned plastic surgeons, known for employing various techniques to achieve the best cosmetic result for each individual patient. He has extensive experience in breast procedures and combines an artistic eye with surgical precision to sculpt shapely, proportional contours that complement your natural figure. He’s also committed to providing deeply personalized, patient-centered care that puts you first, ensuring that your needs are met throughout each step of the treatment process. It is his goal to help every patient that walks through his doors achieve improved self-confidence, health and attractiveness after their breast reduction surgery — he will do everything in his power to make that happen, whether you want to go down one cup size or several.


Options in Breast Reduction

There are several options available for reducing the size of the breasts, each of which Dr. Sharma will go over with you during a consultation to ensure you receive the best treatment possible. The method that is right for you will depend on your current breast size, desired outcome and aesthetic preferences. Other considerations to take into account include post-surgical scarring. Incisions will be used to access the underlying tissue, but visible lines can be minimized with certain techniques. Below are some of the options in breast reduction surgery used to produce beautiful, natural results.

Liposuction for Breast Reduction

In some cases, a breast reduction may be performed via liposuction. This type of procedure is great because it’s the least invasive option and produces virtually no scarring, as it requires smaller incisions. However, liposuction only removes excess fat and won’t address the underlying glandular tissue, making it best suited for patients seeking a subtle to moderate reduction in breast size. It also isn’t recommended for those experiencing sagging, asymmetry or stretched skin, as other techniques are better able to correct these issues and provide more comprehensive results.

Vertical or “Lollipop” Breast Reduction

The vertical breast reduction is ideal for patients seeking a moderate decrease in overall breast size. This technique requires two incisions: one at the base of the areola, and another that runs vertically from the areola to just beneath the breast. This type of incision gives Dr. Sharma better access to the underlying structures and allows him to remove more skin, fat and breast tissue than liposuction alone. It also enables him to contour the breasts to their new size and shape for a beautiful, symmetrical outcome. Although this method will result in some scarring, the incision lines are easily concealed with undergarments and should fade away considerably with proper skin care. Within a year, they’ll be barely noticeable.

Inverted-T or “Anchor-Shaped” Breast Reduction

Compared to the other two techniques, the inverted-T breast reduction allows for the maximum amount of tissue removal, making it ideal for patients who need a considerable decrease in breast size. It’s also suitable for those looking to correct issues with sagging or asymmetry. This surgery requires three different incisions: one hidden beneath the breast in the inframammary fold, another that runs upward from beneath the breast to the areola, and a third near the edge of the areola. An inverted-T incision also produces visible scarring, but with the right skin care, the lines will fade significantly after the first year.

The Breast Reduction Process

Dr. Sharma performs breast reduction surgery on an outpatient basis, which means that patients are allowed to leave the same day as their procedure. However, there is a possibility for an overnight stay where supervised recovery would be administered, but this might vary depending on the extent of correction needed to achieve your goals. To ensure your safety and comfort, Dr. Sharma performs breast reduction surgery under general anesthesia.

During your consultation, Dr. Sharma will develop a personalized surgical plan tailored to your needs and review these details with you so you’ll know what to expect throughout the entire treatment process. He’ll also be available to address any questions or concerns you may have along the way to ensure you feel confident moving forward. Although your exact experience may vary depending on your procedure, here’s a general overview of what you can expect from your breast reduction at Plastic Surgery Austin from start to finish.

Before Surgery

Dr. Sharma will provide you with detailed instructions before your procedure for a safe, healthy experience. Breast reduction is major surgery, so this might involve guidelines around smoking, medication use and how to prepare for your recovery. Some of the recommended steps that you can take to get ready for your surgery include:

  • Telling Dr. Sharma about any medications or herbal supplements that you take. Certain drugs can interfere with the anesthesia or increase the risk of bleeding and should be stopped prior to surgery, if it’s safe to do so.
  • Quitting smoking at least a week or two before your procedure. Tobacco use can increase your risk of adverse side effects and prevent the body from healing properly.
  • Arranging for safe transportation home, since you won’t be able to drive after surgery. The effects of anesthesia make it unsafe to operate heavy machinery.
  • Filling your prescriptions in advance, so you don’t have to worry about them later. This can save you from a trip to the pharmacy when you should be resting.
  • Preparing your recovery space at home. Make sure your pantry is stocked, your sheets are clean, and you have plenty of entertainment for the next few days.
  • Recruiting a friend or family member to assist with chores or childcare at home, so you don’t have to strain yourself during the first week of recovery.

By carefully following these and other instructions provided by Dr. Sharma, you can minimize your risk of complications and improve your overall experience. Our goal is to ensure your comfort, safety, and well-being throughout each step of the treatment process, so don’t hesitate to ask questions or clarify anything you’re unsure of for the best results.

During Surgery

Your surgery will be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation. You can expect it to last for two to four hours, but this can vary depending on your initial breast size and desired results. If other procedures are being included as part of your surgical plan, such as a breast lift, liposuction or tummy tuck, it will take longer to complete.

Once the anesthesia has been administered, Dr. Sharma will make a few careful incisions around the breast and areola. The exact location will differ based on which technique is being used. Then, he will begin eliminating excess skin, fat and glandular tissue to reduce the size and weight of your breasts. If liposuction is being used, only fat will be removed.

After the desired amount of excess fat, skin and breast tissue has been reduced, Dr. Sharma will move the areola to a higher position on the chest to maintain a natural appearance. Some patients may have a noticeable bra bulge at the chest/armpit area that can also 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.

After Surgery

After your breast reduction, you’ll be brought to the recovery room to wait for the effects of anesthesia to wear off. In most cases, patients can go home later that same day, but an overnight stay may be required for more extensive procedures. You won’t be able to drive right away, so it’s important to arrange for a ride home with a friend or family member.

Before you leave, Dr. Sharma will place surgical drains around the incision sites to collect excess blood and lymphatic fluid. The drains make for a quicker recovery and are typically kept in place for up to four days. He’ll also apply bandages and may recommend the use of compression garments or a specialized surgical bra to provide steady, supportive pressure that promotes healing and helps your breasts adhere to their new contours.

Understanding the Recovery Process

For the next two days following your breast reduction surgery, you can expect to feel a mild to moderate amount of discomfort. However, this will go away as your body begins to heal. Dr. Sharma will provide medication to manage the pain for those first few days. Afterward, most patients manage their discomfort with over-the-counter drugs. Bandages and a surgical bra or compression garments can also help alleviate pain and swelling.

The length of your recovery will depend on factors such as how quickly your body naturally heals, what type of surgery was performed, and the amount of tissue removed. Most patients are able to drive, return to work and resume their normal routine within a week. It will take longer before you can undergo more strenuous jobs or activities, however, to avoid straining the surgical site. Vigorous exercise also isn’t recommended for at least three to four weeks after your surgery, or until you’re cleared by Dr. Sharma.

It’ll take around two to three months until your final results are revealed, which will become more noticeable as residual swelling decreases and your breasts “settle” into their new size. Ongoing changes may occur for up to six to 12 weeks after surgery, with incision lines fading considerably during that time. We usually suggest silicone taping as a way to keep the skin hydrated and reduce visible scarring. Additional instructions about scar management, bra fittings and activity restrictions will be discussed at your follow-up appointments.

Breast Reduction Results

With a healthy lifestyle and stable weight, breast reduction is a surgery that produces lifelong results. However, sagging can still be expected over time, which is part of the natural aging process, but won’t be nearly as severe had excess skin, fat and tissue not been removed. Because a breast reduction produces beautiful cosmetic results while alleviating neck, back and shoulder pain, it has one of the highest overall patient satisfaction rates. It can also decrease any insecurities or anxieties caused by overly large breasts and broaden your clothing options, as certain styles will fit better than before.

To learn more about the type of results you can achieve, click here to read part three of Erin’s story for a first-hand recount of how a breast reduction with Dr. Sharma dramatically improved her quality of life. While your experience will be uniquely your own, you can still expect the same great quality of care and personalized treatment at Plastic Surgery Austin.

Enhance Your Outcome With a Breast Lift

For most patients, a breast lift is often performed in conjunction with a breast reduction to ensure the best results. While technically two different procedures, lifting the breast is naturally achieved with certain types of breast reduction incisions, which allow Dr. Sharma to remove excess tissue and create a perkier appearance at the same time. This will improve the overall shape, size and position of your breasts while maintaining youthful proportions. Although a breast reduction almost always includes a lift, this may vary depending on your procedure and personalized surgical plan. During your consultation, Dr. Sharma will assess your current breast size and anatomy to recommend the right approach for achieving your goals.

How Much Does Breast Reduction Cost?

The cost for a breast reduction is highly variable and dependent on several factors, including your insurance carrier. In some cases, a portion of the costs may be covered if the procedure is deemed medically necessary. However, this typically requires medical records that document your symptoms and show that you’ve tried other treatments in the past to alleviate pain or discomfort. Dr. Sharma’s trained staff will work with your insurance to get authorization and predetermine if coverage is possible. 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.

Schedule a Consultation

Don’t let discomfort or self-consciousness caused by overly large breasts stop you from enjoying life to the fullest. If you’d like to learn more about breast reduction or schedule a consultation with Dr. Sharma at Plastic Surgery Austin, please give our office a call at (512) 838-3658 to get started. We proudly serve local patients from the Austin, Texas area, as well as those from around the U.S. who desire superior results and patient-centered care.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Is breast reduction covered by insurance?

Your breast reduction could be covered by insurance if the procedure is deemed medically necessary. Documentation of certain symptoms, such as skin irritation or back pain, may be required to qualify for coverage. However, insurers have different criteria, so check your specific plan for details. Dr. Sharma’s team can help you determine if your breast reduction would be covered and what steps you must take to be eligible.

What is the best age to consider a breast reduction?

When considering a breast reduction, your age matters less than what stage of life you’re currently in. For example, women who want children may find it best to wait until after starting a family to undergo surgery, as the effects of pregnancy can cause the breasts to grow and swell. This might require a repeat reduction or breast revision. There is also a risk that the ability to breastfeed may be compromised.

Conversely, some women that are years away from considering pregnancy might prefer to undergo a breast reduction sooner to find relief from their symptoms. For example, high school-aged patients may seek out surgery due to pain, discomfort and low self-esteem caused by their breast size. In these cases, Dr. Sharma might consult with their pediatrician to determine whether a hormonal issue is present.

No matter what your age, Dr. Sharma can assess your needs, goals and concerns during a consultation to help determine if now is the right time to get a breast reduction.

How many cup sizes can I go down with breast reduction?

A breast reduction can dramatically decrease your bust size and eliminate issues like back pain, poor posture and skin irritation, but there is a limit to how small you can go to ensure a safe procedure. It’s essential to maintain proper blood flow and leave enough tissue behind to give the breast a natural shape. Most women are able to go down by one to two cup sizes and still achieve their treatment goals, but your final results will depend on factors such as the initial volume of your breasts, the makeup of their tissue and the type of incision used.

Will I be able to breastfeed after surgery?

Breast reduction leaves your nipples and milk ducts intact, so it is possible to breastfeed after surgery. However, as with any breast procedure, there’s always a risk that you may face challenges in doing so. If the ability to breastfeed is important to you, be sure to discuss this with Dr. Sharma during your consultation. Depending on your priorities, the treatment goals you set and the type of incision used might change to increase the possibility of maintaining normal function.

Does breast reduction have an effect on mammograms?

Unlike breast augmentation, reducing your bust size will not have an impact on diagnostic imaging procedures such as a mammogram. However, any breast procedure will leave some scar tissue behind, so let your health care provider know. Furthermore, it will still be important to maintain an annual mammogram schedule per your age and physician’s guidelines.

HELP IS AVAILABLE

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