Breast reduction has one of the highest satisfaction rates of any plastic surgery procedure. And it’s really no wonder-less neck, shoulder and back pain, shoulder grooving from bra straps, rashes under the breasts and the reduced ability to exercise.
The breast reduction procedure involves designing a skin incision, removing breast tissue from around the pedicle, or remaining breast tissue that contains the nipple/areolar complex, then closing the reduced skin and breast. The more modern technique that I use, a pedicle from the top rather than the bottom of the breast, gives outstanding long lasting results. (See breast reduction photos.)
So when I saw a young woman recently in consultation with large sagging breasts who told me that other plastic surgeons had suggested liposuctioning the breasts instead of a formal reduction I had to discuss it.
First, usually one of the significant problems with large breasts is that the nipple is too low or rather the breast is ptotic (sagging). This is an unappealing appearance for the patients. Formal breast reduction surgery not only reduces the breast size but also returns the nipple to its proper position, on a level just above the breast fold or crease.
Liposuction can reduce fatty tissue in the breast but does nothing to elevate the nipple. Second, liposuction will remove fat and little else. So in young patients who tend to have fibrous glandular tissue mixed with fat the fat will be removed leaving the fibrous tissue. Unfortunately, these tissues aren’t evenly distributed and the breast will end up with a lumpy bumpy empty sack appearance. Not my idea of artistic surgery.
So for the most part liposuction breast reduction doesn’t work with young sagging breasts. However, in patients where there is significantly less fibrous or glandular tissue, the nipple is in the correct location and the skin has great tone liposuction may have a role. But these patients are few and far between. My advice to this patient was get the correct surgery that will give the best, aesthetically pleasing and predictable results.
If you’d like to discuss breast reduction, liposuction or any cosmetic issue contact our office at 703.752.6608 or click here to arrange a complementary consultation.