Breast Reduction FAQs

Many of breast reduction faqs can be answered by understanding the history and techniques of breast reduction surgery.The traditional method for reduction mammoplasty was first described in 1956. Although modifications to the procedure have been made over the last 40 years, the technique essentially remained unchanged until 1990. The traditional methods for breast reductions or breast lifts, leave the patient with an inverted T shaped scar. The scar goes around the nipple and areola, vertically down the central part of the breast, and there joins a long scar that goes along the infra-mammary fold, or bra line. The ”new“ method for breast reduction, developed by a Belgian surgeon, Dr. Lejour, allows for reduction and lift of the breast with minimal scars; there is no further need for the large horizontal scar under the breast! Scars are found only around the areola and vertically down the center. Dr. Tavallali was personally trained by Dr. Lejour to perform this technique.

Importantly, the new technique also changes the whole concept of breast reductions and the anatomical basis for the operation. In the traditional technique, the weight of the breast is carried by the skin of the chest wall which, is pulled tightly around the breast tissue forming a sling upon which the breast can rest. As we all know, skin will stretch with time, leading to droopiness and flatness of the breasts.

The new technique of vertical mammoplasty, is based on the surgeon sculpting the breast tissue itself into the desired youthful shape, and then allowing the skin of the chest wall to drape over the breast tissue mound, without any tension on the skin or need for it to support weight. The result is a long lasting change in breast shape that is not affected by the changes in the skin elasticity that occurs with age.

Breast reductions are  outpatient procedures that can be performed under general anesthesia. Drains are sometimes required, and patients are asked to wear supportive bras for several weeks. Breast reductions can significantly alter patient’s lifestyles allowing them to resume to a more active life without the hindrance of large breasts and the painful symptoms they produce.

The new techniques in breast reduction allows for an improved breast shape that is longer lasting and which leaves the patient with substantially smaller scars. Dr. Tavallali will be able to give you more information regarding these techniques.

How long is the recovery?

Initial recovery is surprisingly rapid. Most patients resume activities of daily living within 3-4 days. Final recovery for all swelling to abate and the final shape of the breast to be visible is about 4 months.

What are the risks of the surgery?

As with all surgeries there are small risks of infection and bleeding. With breast reductions in particular there is an added risk of nipple loss in up to 4 % of cases. This is usually due to poor circulation or aggravating factors such as smoking, which is a absolutely forbidden during the peri-operative period. Scars are usually minimal with the techniques I use but may require revisions in some patients.

What type of anesthesia is used?

The surgeries are performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure.

What technique is used?

I have been using the Lejour vertical mammoplasty for over 20 years. This technique allows for breast reduction and breast lifts to be performed with minimal scarring. The resultant scar is a lollipop shaped scar around the areola and vertically down the center of the breast. There is no need for the long, unsightly and painful scar that some older techniques use under the breast.

Is there much discomfort with the surgery?

As with the recovery, the discomfort is again surprisingly limited with these procedures. The greatest discomfort is with the breast augmentation and lift, which has the discomfort of the chest muscles being stretched by the breast implants. This pain though is well controlled with medication and usually lasts no more than 3 days.

Breast reduction photo