For many years now, breast reduction surgery has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States. The procedure removes excess fat, skin, and tissue from the breast. As the term implies, the procedure is meant to improve a woman’s physical appearance, but also provides psychological benefits such as improved self-esteem and confidence.
The sudden popularity of breast reduction is a stark contrast to more widely known procedures such as breast augmentation surgery, which improves the shape and size of the breasts through the use of implants.
In fact, breast reduction was the second most performed cosmetic surgery procedure in the United States in 2015 and 2016, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). Based on the study, women are now considering a more “natural” look for their body and, in the process, opting to reduce their breast size. Interestingly, the ASPS explained that in 2017, the number of breast reduction surgeries increased by 11% from the year before.
Reasons Why Women Opt for Breast Reduction Surgery
Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction is done for a number of reasons, that include:
In instances where a woman’s breasts may have developed too large for her body to support, a lot of strain can be placed on the back and neck, resulting in discomfort and in rare cases, injury.
- Some women are uncomfortable with big breasts
Breasts that too large can be embarrassing for some women, leading them to experience cases of harassment and unwanted attention. In fact, this has led to a number of Hollywood celebrities to undergo this very procedure.
- Reverse the effects of aging and childbirth
Natural events in the body such as aging, childbirth, and menopause can cause the breasts to sag. This has inspired many women to opt for breast reduction in the hopes of rejuvenating their breasts to a more youthful shape and contour.
- Improve her self-esteem
Finally, women undergo breast reduction to provide a psychological boost to their sex appeal and overall confidence. This can allow women to wear more comfortable and fitting clothes while enabling them to enjoy a more active lifestyle.
What Risks are Involved in Breast Reduction Surgery?
Before deciding on breast reduction, patients should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who has spent years specializing in the cosmetic and reconstructive treatment of the breast. This will enable patients to fully understand the surgical process, it’s benefits, and of course, the risks that entail with any surgical procedure.
Risks potential patients must consider include:
- Partial loss of sensation in the nipples and areola
- Minor scarring
- Temporary bruising
While breast reduction is available to women regardless of their age, women of a certain age must exercise caution. For teenage girls, a doctor may recommend postponing surgery until the patient’s breasts fully develop; otherwise, she may require a follow-up procedure later in her life. For women 50 years or older, there are possible complications tied to longer healing time and a higher likelihood of infection.
Women who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant are advised to wait, as it may present difficulties during breastfeeding. Patients who are dieting or planning to lose weight must consider how weight loss will affect their breast size.
Are there any non-surgical alternatives to breast reduction?
If a breast reduction procedure is not an option for a patient — due to her health condition, financial situation, or other reasons — there are a number of non-surgical alternatives available. The most practical of these is a proper balance of diet and aerobic exercise, including cycling, jogging, and walking. Though results aren’t guaranteed, an overall decrease in body weight can have a tangible effect in reducing a woman’s breast size by a half-cup or more.
Similarly, weight training can help alter the appearance of a woman’s breast. While there are no exercises designed to actually change breast size or shape, there are workouts that can tighten and tone chest and back muscles, which can change how a woman’s breasts appear relative to her upper body.
A more organic option is the use of natural medicine, namely herbal supplements and vitamins. Again, results aren’t guaranteed, and patients are urged to consult their physician before taking herbal medicines as an alternative to breast reduction surgery.
Safe Breast Reduction Surgery
If a woman gets clearance from her doctor to proceed with breast reduction surgery, the procedure can yield life-changing benefits, both physical and psychological. The ASPS even acknowledges that breast reduction surgery consistently gets high satisfaction ratings from patients because of the ways it can positively impact a woman’s health, lifestyle, self-esteem, and confidence.
For many women, the journey begins by consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in the cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the breast. Under the guidance of a skilled and qualified surgeon, women can enjoy satisfying results that will last a lifetime!