Breast Procedures

Breast Reduction / Lift Boston MA

Breast Reduction

Sometimes enough is too much. Women with overly large breasts can see them as a burden: they cause back and neck pain, make bra straps dig into the shoulders, preclude participation in many athletic activities, and attract undo attention. These women want to reduce the size of their breasts with breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction surgery involves the surgical removal of excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts. The breasts are made smaller, lighter, firmer, and more proportional to the rest of the patient’s figure.

The incisions made in reduction surgery usually circle the areola, extend downward to the breast crease, and then move outward in both directions. These are colloquially known as anchor incisions. The nipple and areola usually will be moved to fit the new breast proportions. If the patient has more fatty tissue, liposuction may be used to reduce breast size.

Who should have breast surgery?

The question of who should have these types of surgeries is obviously based on the individual. If a woman has always felt her breasts were too small, augmentation can be life changing. In contrast, if overly large breasts keep a person from partaking in physical activities and social engagements, reducing their size can feel freeing. Looking in the mirror and seeing sagging breasts with the nipples pointing downward can be ultimately deflating, but a breast lift can raise the breasts and the patient’s confidence. And if you’ve lost a breast to breast cancer, nothing says “I’m back” more than having your breasts reconstructed.

Is breast surgery recovery painful?

Again, this depends on the surgery, but generally the recovery required from breast surgery is not overly painful. Augmentation is relatively easy surgery and recovery. Lifts and reductions involve removal of excess skin, so there is somewhat more pain during healing. Reconstruction involves the most tissue trauma and longer incisions, so its recovery is more involved.

Will I lose nipple sensation or the ability to breastfeed?

This varies by surgery. If the nipple needs to be moved, as it often does in a breast lift and in breast reduction, sensation can be diminished or even more sensitive for a period of time. Augmentation doesn’t usually affect breastfeeding, but there can be some loss of nipple sensation. In a reconstructed breast, you will not have nipple sensation, as nipples that are rebuilt or are tattooed onto the breast are purely cosmetic.

How long is the recovery from breast surgery?

Recovery from augmentation surgery can be under a week or so (while avoiding heavy lifting for six weeks). A breast lift will require a week off work, with full recovery in six weeks. In breast reduction, you’ll need from 10 to 14 days off work. Swelling may not fully subside for months, depending on the amount of tissue removed and the incision locations. Breast reconstruction surgery recovery varies depending on the procedure, from 6-7 weeks for implant-based recovery to 6-8 weeks for flap reconstruction.


Breast Lift

The goal of a breast lift is to return sagging breasts to a higher, younger position on the chest. What causes that sagging? The unending pull of gravity makes skin sag and underlying muscles less taut. Pregnancy and breastfeeding tend to stretch breast skin and reduce breast volume. The gain and loss of a significant amount of weight creates sagging, hanging breasts.

A breast lift with Dr. Lin raises and firms the breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue to reshape and support the new breast contour. After a breast lift, the breasts sit higher on the chest with less of the breast mass sitting at the bottom of the breast. A breast lift can be combined with breast implants to not only reverse sagging, but to return volume.

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Samuel Lin, MD, FACS
110 Francis St Suite 5A
Boston, MA 02215

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Phone: 617.632.7369

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