For women with uncomfortably large breasts
Duke plastic surgeons reduce the size and volume of overly large breasts in women. Research shows that breast reduction procedures have a positive psychological and emotional impact on your wellbeing by improving your self-image and self esteem.
When to consider breast reduction surgery
Breast reduction surgery will give you far more than just smaller, firmer breasts. If you have overly large breasts, the excessive weight may result in back and neck pain, skin irritation, skeletal deformities and breathing problems. Men with abnormally enlarged breasts, a condition called gynecomastia, also consider breast reduction surgery. Depending on your individual condition, breast reduction (also known as mammoplasty) can help you achieve significant relief from many physical and emotional discomforts. The procedure can offer you a new sense of freedom in your exercise and physical activities, and open your wardrobe to a greater variety of clothing styles.
Choose Duke for your breast reduction because we offer:
- Respected surgeons. Our plastic surgeons share their experience by teaching advanced breast surgical techniques to doctors across the country and around the world. Our combined skill and leadership means you work with some of the most knowledgeable and experienced breast surgeons in the U.S.
- Size and shape matters. We work closely with you to understand your breast anatomy, skin elasticity and body type before recommending whether breast reduction will give you the results you seek.
- Personalized treatment recommendation. Our plastic surgeons help you understand what is involved, and help you make a decision that is right for you. Many factors, including medical concerns, and whether you plan to have children, are important considerations. We help you understand your options, and ensure the timing of your surgery is appropriate.
Techniques for breast reduction vary, and the ideal method for your breast reduction will be determined by a combination of your anatomy, your surgeon’s preferences, and your desired results.
The most common technique involves an anchor-shaped skin incision that encircles the areola (the dark skin that surrounds your nipple), extends downward, and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breasts. Excess fat and glandular tissue are removed. Depending on your specific anatomy, your nipples may require repositioning. Liposuction is sometimes added to the procedure in order to improve the contour on the sides of the breasts and torso. The procedure typically takes three hours and is performed under general anesthesia. It may be performed in an outpatient facility or may require an overnight stay.
Your breasts will be wrapped in bandages following the procedure and you may need to wear a surgical bra. Recovery from the operation takes one to two weeks. It may take several months for all swelling to subside and scars to fade.
Before the surgery
We discuss your reasons for pursuing breast reduction surgery, and your desired breast size. We conduct a thorough medical history, including your family history, general health status, lifestyle habits such as smoking, previous operations, and any medications you may be taking. Your breasts will be measured and assessed for size and shape, and photographs may be taken for your medical record. Based on these findings, we recommend a course of treatment specific to you. We discuss the expected outcome, potential risks and complications, and your post-operation recovery.
Pre-surgical testing requires several blood tests to test your liver and kidney function, and to determine if you have any infection, blood disorder, or anemia, that may have gone previously undetected.
High-quality, digital X-ray images may be recommended to detect any underlying breast abnormalities that can not be felt in women who have no signs or symptoms of the disease.