What is a breast reduction?

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure used to remove excess fat, tissue and skin from the breasts. 

There may be two situations in which the breast volume increases to such a degree of wanting to reduce it: During its development in adolescence and after adolescence when weight increases. In the first there is greater development of the mammary gland, whose density is greater than fat and weighs more, in the second case the fat is the one that increases in volume but proportionately less weight, representing, in general, less physical discomfort. Dr. Rodolfo Castillo board-certified plastic surgeon performs breast reduction to eliminate nonconformity and offer a greater sense of confidence and improve your quality of life.

Breast reduction surgery is meant for women who have large breasts and want to resolve issues such as:

  • Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain that requires pain medications
  • Chronic rash or skin irritation under the breasts
  • Nerve pain
  • Restricted activity
  • Poor self-image related to large breasts
  • Difficulty fitting into bras and clothing

Breast reduction surgery might also help improve your self-image and your ability to participate in physical activities.

Which incisions are made for breast reduction surgery?

There are three main types of incisions, depending on several parameters such as the volume to be removed, the amount of excess skin or the distance that the areola and nipple must be lifted. Before surgery, Dr.Castillo will describe the different types of incisions that can be made in the reduction procedure. He will explain which one is best for you. The incisions for breast reduction are the same as those made in breast lift.

Periareolar

Around the areola (Rarely carried out in Breast Reduction)

Vertical

Around the areola with a vertical incision that reaches the base of the breast.

T inverted or in “anchor”

Around the areola, with the vertical incision towards the base of the breast and a horizontal incision along the inframammary groove.

Before and During the Procedure

Before undergoing Breast Reduction, you will have a consultation with Dr. Rodolfo Castillo board-certified plastic surgeon in Tijuana, Mexico. He will discuss your Medical History, so prepare to answer questions about past and current medical conditions, previous surgeries realistic expectations, and take photographs of your breasts for your medical record.

The breast reduction procedure is performed under general or regional anesthesia. After making the incisions, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo will remove excess breast tissue and accommodate the remaining tissue to provide projection to the breast before repositioning the nipple and areola. If the breasts have excess fat deposits, liposuction can also be done in certain areas. In very specific cases, when the distance to be moved by the areola and nipple is a lot (more than 10 cm), the doctor may have to completely remove the areola and the nipple to be able to change their position and reposition them as a graft, avoiding more possible its loss due to lack of circulation. Then the doctor will carefully close the incisions with absorbable internal sutures.

You should notice the volume difference immediately, however, the final shape of the breast, since you have to wait for the tissues to deflate and take their position approximately one year. Although, breast size may change over time, they are unlikely to return to the size prior to surgery.

After the Procedure and Recovering

Immediately after surgery, your breasts will be covered with a gauze dressing or bandages, there may be minimal discomfort inflammation that can be controlled with medication and Dr. Rodolfo Castillo will make recommendations regarding physical activity and return to work.

For the first days or week after surgery, your breasts will probably feel tender and sensitive, also, your breasts might be swollen and bruised, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo might recommend an elastic compression bra to protect your breasts.

After that you will need to limit physical activity for two to four weeks while the breasts heal. Scarring usually fades over time. You will need a follow-up visit with Dr. Rodolfo Castillo to remove stitches and check your recovery.

Self-care

Following your breast reduction surgery, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo will recommend you to:

  • Do not massage too heavily before the suture removal
  • Must wear a sports bra or support bra after the surgery
  • Do not lift heavy objects
  • Wound should not be in contact with water for 8 days
  • Avoid sexual activity for at least one to two weeks
  • Keep your breasts out of the sun. Afterward, protect your incisions during sun exposure
  • In case of any infection, wash the wound with soap and water. If discomfort persists, contact your Patient Care Coordinator