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As a group, women who have had a breast reduction are at the top of the list of the happiest patients for any plastic surgery procedure. This is a well-known fact especially in polite plastic surgery circles.

There is a great reason for this – the benefits from surgery are extremely positive and long lasting. Some of these include:

• Resolution or marked improvement of neck, back and shoulder pains and related headaches.
• Disappearance of rashes, skin irritation and foul odors.
• Fewer unwanted stares and unsolicited breast size comments.
• Improved self-esteem.
• Easier and more comfortable to engage in exercising, sports and other desired physical activities. No more wearing three sports bras or wildly bouncing breasts.
• More likely to find bras that fit and are attractive
• Greater variety and availability of clothes and outfits that fit
• Improvement of body proportionality

Despite these permanent benefits from breast reduction, the breasts rarely maintain that same postoperative shape long term. In fact, there is often deterioration of results even within the first few months after surgery independent of surgical technique or the usage of meshes or other internal support approaches.

There are several reason for this.

To begin with, the intrinsic quality of the tissues is generally not good and much of this is related to major loss of elasticity and collagen damage. This will be exacerbated by the effects of gravity. Other damaging factors include hormonal influences, weight fluctuations, substantial weight loss, aging, lack of wearing a supportive bra on a regular basis, certain vigorous physical activities, sun exposure, tanning booth usage, stress, smoking and various medical issues.

Nevertheless, there are long term results that do absolutely defy the odds.

The following patient of mine, in her late 40’s, was experiencing neck, back and shoulder pain as well as other symptoms related to the large size of her breasts. Her bras size as a 36DD/36DDD (photos A and B).

She successfully underwent a bilateral reduction mammoplasty (breast reduction) using an anchor shaped incision. All her breast related symptoms completely resolved following the surgery which decreased her breast size to a 36C (photos C and D are at two and a half months).

A) before breast reduction

B) before

C) ten weeks after surgery

D) at ten weeks

E) five and a half years after surgery

F) at five and a half years

Feeling much better and able to exercise more and without discomfort, she started working out more and taking better care of herself. This included better eating habits. As a consequence, she ended up losing 40 pounds after her breast reduction.

Five and a half years following surgery AND 40 pounds lighter, she still maintained excellent breast shape and, amazingly, without drooping. With the weight loss, her bra size was a 34C (photos E and F are at five and a half years).

Though her results are not typical of those experienced by women so many years later OR after such a substantial weight loss, 40 pounds in her situation, they do illustrate what may be possible in appearance following breast reduction surgery.

If you have large breasts and have been contemplating breast reduction surgery, you can contact our office by email or by calling (480) 451-3000.

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