The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. – Amelia Earhart
Of all the cosmetic surgical procedures I perform and have performed, breast reduction is probably the one that patients feel improves their lives the most. This is because the procedure can not only improve your appearance, but also your health, physical state and comfort.
Large breasts can cause these problems
Very large, heavy breasts can cause several health issues. You’re probably experiencing one or more of the following:
- a restriction of activities because your breasts get in the way or limit your movement
- severe discomfort
- back and neck problems
- painful bra strap indentations in shoulders
- skeletal deformities
- breathing problems, particularly at night when the heaviness of your breasts pushes down directly on your chest
In addition, as a woman, I can understand the unwanted attention you may get because of your breast size. Do you often hunch over to hide your breasts because you feel self-conscious about their prominence? This habit can cause additional back problems – and significant self-esteem issues that can have a damaging effect on your overall happiness.
Breast reduction for improved comfort and appearance
Breast reduction surgery removes fat, tissue and skin from your breasts. The procedure, also known as reduction mammaplasty, reduces the size and weight of your breasts. Doing so will ease the pain and discomfort you’re feeling. You’ll also enjoy an aesthetic improvement in the shape, tone and firmness of your breasts. The result is a more proportionate body profile you'll love.
Unique point: a respect for your tissues during surgery
Although breast reduction is a standard plastic surgical procedure, I have refined my surgical approach. I've made the surgery as minimally traumatic to the patient as possible. I always have a clear, precise surgical plan that effectively addresses your concerns. I avoid making any incisions or damaging tissue that would be unnecessary. This allows you to have a shorter recovery period that is less intense.-->
Unique point: achieving results that last as long as possible
Many of my patients remain in contact with me well after they’ve recovered from surgery. They tell me how they're doing or to schedule another, unrelated procedure — but not for a revision breast reduction. This is because I believe that your breast reduction results should last as long as possible. For this reason, I don't apply surgical techniques or “mini” breast reductions that achieve only temporary, short lived results. I perform techniques that have been medically researched and proven to reduce your breast size, permanently.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding can significantly affect the size and shape of your breasts. Therefore, I recommend that you delay surgery until after you're finished having children. Although some breast reduction patients opt for this procedure before having kids, please note that the surgery can impact your ability to breastfeed.
If you decide to become pregnant after having the surgery, your breasts are likely to get bigger and heavier again — which may become permanent. This may necessitate a second surgery to get them back to your desired size.
Many people think that having larger breasts is more aesthetically appealing. However, for a woman with large breasts, it can be quite a burden, physically and psychologically. – Dr. Leila Kasrai
What will happen during your surgery
Your surgery is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis.
An anchor-shaped incision is carefully made in your breast: around the areola, down to the crease under your breast, and along the crease. Excess tissue, fat and skin are removed. Liposuction can effectively remove fat in hard to reach places, if necessary. Your nipple and areola are moved to a higher position, giving your breasts a perkier appearance, and the remaining skin is pulled down to add an improved tone and shape.
What happens during your recovery
- an immediate improvement
- the majority of swelling, numbness and bruising take a few weeks to subside
- you’ll be back to work in a week or so
After surgery, you'll wake up wearing bandages over gauze dressings. I will prescribe pain medication to relieve any discomfort you may feel.
After a few days, you'll be able to move around comfortably.
You will likely experience some numbness in your nipples and skin caused by swelling. As the swelling subsides, you should regain feeling. Most of the swelling is usually gone after about six weeks. For some patients, it will take longer for the feeling to return. It is rare for the numbness to be permanent.
I recommend that you take at least a week off after surgery to stay home. You should rest to speed up your healing and get a good result. For the first week, move your arms as little as possible, avoid driving, and if you have small children, ask someone to help you with day-to-day activities.
After a few days, you'll be able to replace the bandages with a soft support bra. Please wear this bra all the time for about three or four weeks, except when bathing. You should wear it even while you sleep.
You should be able to get back to your regular activities in about 7-10 days. You'll need to avoid heavy lifting, vigorous exercise (especially upper body workouts) and anything that requires substantial upper body strength for about six weeks. This includes pushing or pulling open heavy doors. You may continue to have some mild discomfort for a few months after surgery.
It may take up to a year for your breasts to “settle” into their new shape. Please be aware that hormones, weight gain or loss and pregnancy can cause their shape to fluctuate.
Breast reduction leaves noticeable, permanent scars in an anchor shape on your breasts. They can be covered up by a bra or bathing suit.
You'll be more comfortable and love your more proportionate body
Not only will your body look more proportionate and youthful, my patients frequently comment on how free they feel. Without the burden of heavy and large breasts, you'll be able to move around more easily without experiencing discomfort or pain.
Frequently asked questions about breast reduction surgery
What is breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction, technically referred to as reduction mammoplasty or reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure designed to reduce the size of the breasts to make them smaller and lighter.
Why would I want smaller breasts?
While there are more women who choose to get larger breasts with breast augmentation, some women already have naturally large breasts. This condition is known as macromastia. It can cause a number of health issues, such as shoulder/back pain, bad posture, irriration from wearing a bra, and other problems. Overly large breasts can also be an aesthetic concern.
Can I get a breast lift done at the same time?
Breast reduction typically involves a breast lift as well. This is because my goal is to not just reduce your breast size — it's also to give them a more pleasing shape by improving the fullness in the upper pole. As a result, I'll usually perform a lift at the same time to make the breasts smaller AND perkier.
What techniques do your perform?
I offer two techniques: anchor incision and liposuciton. The anchor incision involves an incision made around the areola, vertically down and horizontally in your breast crease. This allows for a balanced reduction of your breast. If you only want a minor to moderate decrease in your breast size, liposuction may be performed in combination with this technique, or instead, to remove excess fat that is contributing to your enlarged breasts. If this is done, tiny incisions will be made in various locations (usually near your armpits). In fact, a study has found that liposuction can limit the amount of incisions made during repeated breast reduction. The right technique for you will be determined during your initial consultation with me.
What are the benefits of breast reduction surgery?
According to a study published in Plastic Reconstructive Surgery, breast reduction was scientifically proven to improve the quality of life for patients, something that my patients also experience.
Is this covered under OHIP?
OHIP or your insurance provider may cover your surgery. Coverage is determined on whether the surgery is necessary for your health.
How long do the results last?
You'll enjoy a permanent reduction of your breast size. However, future weight gain and hormonal changes may make your breasts grow again.
Can I breastfeed after surgery?
Sometimes, breastfeeding may be negatively impacted by breast reduction. Not all patients experience this difficulty, but it is still a risk that you should be aware of.
All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk, but I have extensive experience performing breast reduction which ensures that complications are extremely rare. Post-operative complications include:
- Bleeding and infection, which can cause scars to widen
- Poor healing and scars (more common in smokers)
- Unevenly positioned nipples
- Loss of feeling in nipples and breasts (which can be permanent in rare cases)
- Very rarely, the nipple and areola can lose their blood supply and the tissue will die. They can be rebuilt using skin grafts from elsewhere on the body, but will no longer have much sensation.
Although the nipples stay attached to the breast tissue during surgery, sensation can be affected. And while breastfeeding may still be possible, there is no guarantee that you will be able to breastfeed after the surgery. This is because the surgery removes many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples. If you’re planning to nurse children in the future, you should wait until after that’s been completed to have breast reduction surgery.
There is a higher risk of these complications in patients who are smokers, are diabetic or have poor circulation. You can reduce your risks by following the care instructions I’ll provide you with before your surgery, resuming activity after surgery, and by not smoking.