Breast Reduction

Women with large breasts, disproportionate to their body, may seek physical relief from the symptoms caused by the excessive weight of their breasts. Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, will alleviate these symptoms by reducing the size of a woman’s breasts through the removal of excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin. The removal of excess breast tissue can help ease both the physical and emotional discomfort associated with overly large breasts. You may be a good candidate if you have any of the following issues:

  • back, neck or shoulder pain due to breast weight
  • large heavy breasts with low nipple/areolar position
  • skin irritations under breasts
  • physical limitations with above conditions

Choosing Breast Reduction Surgery

If you experience the above conditions, breast reduction give you smaller firmer breasts and improve physical activity. Good candidates should be in good physical health and have realistic expectations. Discuss in details your expectation with Dr Vu. During your consultation Dr Vu will examine your breasts, and take detailed measurements. He will evaluate your breasts shape and size, skin quality, and nipple/areolar location. He will discuss different options as well as potential risks involved so that you can make an informed decision. If you are considering breast reduction, please contact Dr Vu for a personal complimentary consultation.

To view Dr. Vu’s breast reduction photo gallery, click here.

The Procedure

Breast reduction is generally performed on an outpatient basis under IV sedation or general anesthesia in our certified AAAASF surgical suite. Typically the surgery takes 3-4 hours. It involves surgically removing excess fat, glandular tissue and skin of the breasts. The specific technique that will be used to reduce your breast size will be determined based on your body. Your breast composition, the amount of reduction desired and your personal preferences will all be taken into consideration. Excess fat is occasionally removed through liposuction in conjunction with the techniques described below. In cases where excess skin is not an issue, liposuction may be used alone. On occasion drains might be placed in order to remove excess fluid and blood.

There are three common incision patterns:

  • A circular pattern around the areola
  • A circular areolar incision and a vertical incision from areolar down breast crease
  • A circular areolar, vertical incision and horizontally along breast crease

Tissue Removal and Repositioning

After making the incision, the appropriate breast and fatty tissues are removed. The breast is lifted and recontoured. The areolar might be reduced if needed and nipple/areolar complex is lifted upward. Majority of cases the nipple/areolar complex blood supply is preserved on a pedicle bridge; however, on extremely large pedunculous breasts they might need to be removed and grafted to new position. Dissolvable sutures are used to close the incisions.


Breast reduction is performed on an outpatient basis. Dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions following your surgery and an elastic bandage or support bra will need to be worn to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal. Dr Vu will provide you with postoperative instructions. You can be up and about after 24-48 hours after surgery. Most patients will return to work after 1 week. Normal swelling and bruising are expected in first few weeks. Strenous exercises should be refrained for 4-6 weeks. Supportive bra should be worn for 4-6 weeks to allow shaping of breasts. Incisions will begin to fade over period of months. The results are long lasting but changes do occur as a result of weight changes, pregnancy, gravity and aging. Due to these changes, you may choose to have a breast lift to restore the contour and shape of your breasts in the future. After having a breast reduction, many women are able to participate in physical activities that had been limited due to their large breast size.

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