The shape, size, and proportion of a woman’s breasts can have a profound impact on her femininity, self-perception, and even sense of balance. Many women who have overly large and heavy breasts experience physical symptoms such as shoulder grooving from bra straps, neck and back pain, and irritation below the breasts (particularly in warm weather). More so, macromastia (large breasts) can lead to discomfort during physical activity, inability to wear certain outfits, and reduced self-esteem. Plastic surgeons perform breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) to improve the shape and size of overly large breasts. This procedure helps alleviate physical discomfort while also improving the cosmetic appearance of disproportionately large breasts. The vast majority of women who undergo this procedure are extremely happy with the outcome and experience increased levels of self-confidence and improved quality of life.
Diet and exercise may help reduce breast size. But for most women, breast reduction surgery is the best option for achieving their goals. Phoenix plastic surgeon Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin perform this procedure to help women alleviate physical and emotional problems due to overly large breasts. Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin have helped numerous patients from Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Glendale, Mesa, Gilbert, and surrounding AZ cities improve their quality of life with breast reduction surgery. Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin understand that the needs of different women are unique and works to create a highly customized treatment plan to suit the needs of each reduction mammaplasty patient.
Breast enlargement – also referred to as breast hypertrophy – may be developmental in nature – being present from an early age. This condition may also occur due to pregnancy or weight gain. When the breasts become too large that they lead to aesthetic or functional concerns, plastic surgery can help alleviate the symptoms and meet the patient’s unique goals. In 2019, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reported that 61,269 women had breast reduction surgery for reconstruction reasons. A further 46,340 patients received this treatment for aesthetic reasons. According to a 10-year retrospective analysis published on the NIH website, breast reduction has one of the highest satisfaction rates among the cosmetic procedures. More than 95% of patients who received this treatment were satisfied with the outcome and said they would do it again if necessary.
A Brief History of Breast Reduction
Surgical intervention in the treatment of macromastia has been around for over 100 years. But earlier techniques entailed a simple amputation of the breast. By the 1930s, most of the technical elements required for reduction mammaplasty were already in place. Other techniques were borrowed from improvements in pedicle design, skin incision placements, and parenchymal resection patterns (minimalist breast-conserving surgical approaches). Further advances over the last few decades have made it possible for skilled plastic surgeons to deliver this treatment with precision.
Who is a candidate for breast reduction?
Breast reduction is a cosmetic surgical procedure that aims to remove excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts. Many women choose to undergo this procedure for functional and cosmetic reasons. You may be a good candidate for reduction mammoplasty if:
- You are in good physical and emotional health
- You have breasts that limit physical activity
- You are emotionally bothered about the appearance of large breasts (that are too big for your frame)
- You experience physical symptoms such as back, shoulder, and neck pain due to excess breast weight
- You have skin problems beneath your breasts as a result of overly large breasts
- You comprehend and understand the risks and rewards of this treatment
Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin will reserve your first visit at his Phoenix office to understand your needs and goals. The surgeon will listen to your concerns, ask questions, and learn about your medical history before letting you know whether this treatment is for you. Breast reduction is a highly individualized procedure. For this reason, Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin emphasizes that each patient ensures they are having this surgery out of their own volition, not because someone else asked them to.
A few decades ago, plastic surgeons had limited options for performing reduction mammaplasty. In fact, the ‘inverted-T’ reduction was the only option where the incision was placed in the crease beneath the breast. Fast forward to today and surgeons have an array of modern techniques that they can utilize to achieve the desired results faster and with better precision.
Dr. Tessler may utilize any of the following advanced incision techniques to suit the goals of the surgery:
- Circumareolar incision – A ‘doughnut’ shaped incision is created around the areola and used to perform the entire reduction.
- Vertical Breast Reduction method – This technique is also referred to as the ‘short scar breast reduction’. The surgeon will create an incision around the areola, along with another vertical incision to form a ‘lollipop’ shape.
- Wise-pattern Reduction method – This refers to the classical ‘inverted-T’ technique. This method entails three separate incisions: a circular incision around the areola, a horizontal incision along the breast crease, and a vertical incision connecting the previous two. The wise-pattern reduction is usually used in the removal of massive excess breast tissue.
- Liposuction-assisted method – In some cases, your surgeon may perform a liposuction-assisted technique. This is a reduction mammoplasty procedure that is entirely performed using liposuction, or in conjunction with any of the previously mentioned techniques.
When determining the best surgical method and incision technique to utilize during this procedure, Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin have to put numerous factors into consideration. These may include the size of your breasts, breast shape, degree of breast sagging (ptosis), elasticity of breast skin, breast asymmetry, projection and size of the nipple-areola complex, and body proportion. With each patient, Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin will recommend and select the technique that is most nominal and least invasive in order to achieve the best possible outcome.
Breast reduction surgery starts with Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s anesthesiologist administering anesthetic (general anesthesia) in order to ensure the patient’s safety and comfort. Once this is done, the surgeon will create an incision in the most appropriate location and pattern. The next step is to get rid of excess breast tissue from the sides and top of the breast. Once the desired decrease has been achieved, the surgeon will then reposition and center the remaining breast tissue and nipple-areolar complex in order to create a lifted, youthful placement. Your surgeon will pay keen attention to make sure that both breasts are symmetrical before closing the incisions with sutures. Bandages will then be applied to the treatment area and a surgical bra provided to provide additional support. Breast reduction surgery takes between 2-4 hours to complete depending on the needs of the patient and goals of the surgery.
What is Recovery like?
Immediately after breast reduction surgery, you will be put in the recovery room. While here, the surgeon’s team will monitor your progress for a short time before you are allowed to go home. The surgeon will have asked that you make sure you have someone to drive you home so you can continue with your recovery journey from the comfort of your house. Your breasts will be covered with a specialized bra to help support your breasts after surgery and help with healing. Some patients may have drainage tubes inserted in the treatment area in order to drain away excess fluid. Your surgeon will provide prescription medication to help alleviate pain and discomfort, as well as reduce the risk of infection during recovery. You will be asked to take plenty of rest, take light walks as soon as you can, stay hydrated, and consume healthy foods. While most patients are able to get back to routine work within 2 weeks, you will be asked to avoid any form of stretching, bending, lifting, and exercising until told otherwise. Post-operative appointments will be scheduled so the surgeon and his team can monitor your progress. It is important that you adhere to Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s recovery instructions in order to ensure speedy and uninterrupted healing. Should you have any questions or concerns during the recovery duration, Tessler Plastic Surgery will be available to provide the guidance and support you need.
Expected cost of Breast Reduction Surgery in Phoenix, AZ
The cost of breast reduction surgery varies greatly from one patient to the other depending on the extensiveness of the treatment and the goals of the surgery. On average, most of Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Gilbert, and nearby AZ areas can expect to pay between $6,000 and $9,000 for this treatment. Breast reduction that is performed for reconstructive reasons as a medical necessity (i.e. to alleviate physical symptoms of macromastia) will typically be covered by insurers. However, procedures that are performed for cosmetic reasons need to be paid for by the patient. During your initial breast reduction consultation at Dr. Tessler and Dr. Turin’s office, the surgeon’s team will provide all the information you need, as well as an initial cost estimate so you can make arrangements for financing.
Dr. Oren Tessler’s credentials
Oren Tessler, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon serving the Phoenix area. Dr. Tessler is highly proficient in multiple cosmetic surgery techniques, including breast procedures, abdominoplasty, body contouring, and maxillofacial surgery. He was appointed as an assistant and associate professor of Plastic Surgery at Louisiana State University and Tulane University. Dr. Tessler has also served as Director of Plastic Surgery at University Medical Center, as well as contributed research and trained dozens of upcoming plastic surgeons. Dr. Tessler’s passion lies in restoring form and function while improving the quality of life of his breast reduction surgery patients. He brings a friendly and personalized approach to plastic surgery while working with highly qualified anesthesiologists and other support staff who strive to deliver the best breast reduction Phoenix, AZ has to offer.
Useful Resources and Studies
Frequently Asked Questions
Breast Reduction FAQ
What are the benefits of breast reduction surgery?
Many women who undergo this procedure experience a range of benefits, including:
- Being able to wear a varied choice of clothing
- Relief from neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Improved body confidence
- Relief from skin indentations and irritation
- A breast lift that alleviates sagging or drooping
- Ability to comfortably perform high impact physical activities such as running