Breast Reduction, in medical language Reduction Mammoplasty or Mamma Reduction, describes a commonly surgical reduction of the breast. In today’s society an aesthetic breast is part of the female beauty ideal. Besides a symmetric shape many women also wish for a harmonious ratio between breast size and remaining body silhouette.
The most frequent indication for a breast reduction is mamma hypertrophy. This is defined as a disproportionate big breast compared to the body, which can cause both physical and mental complaints for women concerned. Reasons can be genetic predisposition, hormonal problems during the growth phase, or overweight.
If women are – for whatever reasons – unsatisfied with the size of their breasts, surgical breast reduction, liposuction in the breast area, or in some patients a medically-assisted weight loss could provide remedy. Breast reduction can also be combined with a breast lift.
Health Consequences of a Big Breast
Although many women wish for a big breast – unaware of the consequences – women affected often suffer because their big breast is dominating their external appearance. Besides the visual aspect the high weight of the breast commonly leads to physical stress:
Chronic overload due to high weight of the bust mostly causes a malposition of the spine, which is subsequently getting more and more curved. The consequences are chronic tensions and pain, which mean a significant decrease in quality of life.
Frequent treatments at a physiotherapist or mechanical measures for an optimal support or load distribution of the breast can improve symptoms. In extreme cases disc prolapses can occur due to the enduring spine’s malposition or incorrect loading.
But a too large breast can even evoke problems in addition to physical complaints. Due to the loss of the skin’s elasticity and the effect of gravity the breast is losing shape and firmness. This procedure is even accelerated by the high weight of big breasts, whereby sagging breasts are developing at an earlier date. That is why especially young women are feeling less attractive and therefore often hiding their breast under oversized clothes.
Surgical Methods for Breast Reduction
Depending on shape, size, and the desired result different techniques are used for a breast reduction. Surgical methods vary according to the type of incision. Depending on this a more or less extensive breast reduction can be carried out with the aim of keeping scars as small as possible in each case. Breast reductions are usually performed under general anesthesia and require an inpatient stay.
With the so-called Stroembeck or T method a lot of breast tissue can be removed owing to a big T-shaped incision. The same also applies for the L method, in which the incision is a bit smaller. Both methods cause visible scars.
For breast reduction with minimal scarring the Lejour or I method can be used. In sagging breasts, but also when a lot of breast tissue has to be removed, this method is only suitable in some cases.
In case of a medium size breast with basically satisfactory shape the low-scar technique called Benelli method can be employed. By using this incision technique only one scar around the areola is remaining after surgery. The drawback of this method is that there is quite little room for shaping because breast tissue can only be removed narrowly through the small opening.
Breast Reduction by Liposuction
In women with an increased amount of fat tissue inside the breast two treatment options which can be performed without general anesthesia exist:
If the patient is generally suffering from overweight or obesity weight loss can primarily help to reduce breast volume. If the fat deposits are mainly located in the breast area liposuction with microcannulas can contribute to downsizing of the breast. This outpatient treatment is performed under local anesthesia; the result can already be seen the next day.