Women seek to have the size of their breasts reduced for two reasons that can be interrelated: functional and aesthetic. Most commonly breast reductions are sought out because of the symptoms that are associated with markedly enlarged breasts such as neck, back and shoulder pains, headaches and rashes. Even with reductions where the intent is to alleviate symptoms, there is an aesthetic component as the result will be lifted, smaller and perkier breasts.
Most of the time that women seek a reduction solely for aesthetic reasons, it is where the breasts are a little larger than ideal but not massively enlarged where they would be associated with discomfort. For example a woman may feel self conscious and uncomfortable with all the attention and comments that she may garner with enlarged breasts. Even though she may not be experiencing physical symptoms related to the increased size, by undergoing a breast reduction her breasts will be less conspicuous.
Another example of an aesthetic reason for a breast reduction are breasts that are droopy (ptotic) and larger than she desires. A small reduction and a lift would be the treatment of choice.
There may be some confusion between what constitutes a breast reduction versus a breast lift or mastopexy and some of this relates to insurance company mandates for coverage. An intrinsic component of most breast reductions is a lift. By the same token, a mastopexy or breast lift can be performed with a small reduction in size. Both procedures often employ the exact same incisions. The difference essentially is in the amount of breast tissue removed though there is no exact amount that distinguishes one from the other. In the past, a reduction in size of less than 300 grams per side along with the lift was considered to be a mastopexy with a small reduction.
In essence, this is just semantics as no matter what it is called, the surgical outcome is smaller, lifted and rejuvenated breasts.
If you would like more information on breast reduction or mastopexy surgery or any other cosmetic surgery procedure, you can contact my office at 480-451-3000 or send us an e-mail.
Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona