When a woman wishes to reduce her breast size, the traditional route has been through breast reduction surgery, which removes excess tissue, fat, and skin from the breast. This procedure has provided relief for countless women who suffered from the discomfort associated with overly large, heavy breasts. In recent years, though, there has been an increase in the number of surgeons who offer liposuction to reduce breast size by removing excess fat.
Glandular & Fibrous Breast Tissue vs. Fat
While there are some cases for which that approach can be effective, it’s important to understand the difference between breast tissue and fat to plan for a successful breast reduction. The breast is composed of glandular, fatty, and fibrous tissues positioned over the pectoral muscles. A layer of fatty tissue surrounds the breast glands, giving the breast its soft consistency. Breast size and shape can change due to circumstances in a woman’s life including pregnancy, aging, and fluctuations in weight.
Because liposuction is effective in removing fat, it can be used as a reduction technique if the breasts contain a large degree of fatty tissue. Because the breasts of a younger woman contain more tissue and less fat, a liposuction-based procedure tends to be more successful on older women, but the reduction is generally modest, accounting for about one cup size. For some, this may be enough. But for many, breast reduction with liposuction will not it result in a sufficient change and the outcome is likely to be unsatisfactory.
The Advantages of Traditional Breast Reduction
Although breast reduction surgery does leave visible scars, it can do more than liposuction, namely reshape the breast and remove excess skin. Breast reduction surgery offers long-term results that improve the appearance of the breast and alleviate the back, neck, and shoulder pain from large breasts. By addressing the shape of the breast, breast reduction also helps counteract the effects of aging, lifting sagging breasts to a more youthful position on the chest. The results are permanent as long as a woman continues to maintain her weight and an effective exercise routine.
Liposuction to Complement Breast Surgery
While liposuction alone is not usually an ideal breast reduction technique, it is an ideal way to address fat deposits near the breasts. Even fairly slim women may have unsightly fat deposits near the bra line and next to their underarms, which will be even more noticeable once their breast size is reduced. Thus liposuction can be an important tool for your plastic surgeon to use along with breast surgery to create pleasing upper body contours.
In sum, reduction surgery is still the gold standard for relieving women from the burden of overly large breasts. A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon skilled in breast procedures can help you determine how to best achieve your goals for breast reduction.