The Pros and Cons of Breast Reduction: Exploring Different Breast Shapes and Sizes

Scarring & Swelling after a Breast Reduction

1. Scarring can be minimized by following the post-operative instructions closely, including keeping the incision area clean and dry, avoiding heavy lifting, and avoiding direct sunlight. Your surgeon may also suggest using silicone scar sheets or ointments to help reduce the appearance of scars.

2. Dead tissue can occur when the blood supply to the area is compromised. This can be caused by the tissue being stretched too much during the surgery, or if the incisions were too deep.

3. Breasts can remain swollen for up to several weeks after surgery.

Blonde woman wearing a blue bikini

4. Patients typically sleep in the recovery bra for the first few days after a breast reduction. After that, they should wear a supportive sports bra for the next few weeks.

Do all Breast Reductions require Skin removal?

A breast reduction typically requires removal of excess sagging skin when the patient has a significant amount of excess skin and tissue. In some cases, the sagging skin may need to be cut out and removed in order to achieve the desired result.

However, there are non-invasive alternatives that can be used to reduce the size of the breast without leaving scars. These alternatives use laser technology, radiofrequency energy, or ultrasound to break down fat and stimulate collagen production. The quality of the results of these non-invasive alternatives vary depending on the patient, but they can provide a mild reduction in breast size with minimal downtime. The non-invasive reduction procedures can be recommended for patients who could be satisfied with a mild reduction in size, and don’t want have any scars.

Breast Types, Reduction and Implants

There is no set size for a breast reduction. The amount of tissue that needs to be removed will depend on the individual and the desired outcome. Generally, a reduction can reduce the size of the breasts by two to four cup sizes.

The placement of the areola can change after a breast lift, depending on the technique used. Common techniques used include the inverted T scar, the keyhole technique, the vertical scar technique, and the wise pattern technique.

Combining a lift with implants is an option for some patients. This may be beneficial for women who have lost a substantial amount of breast volume due to age, weight loss, or pregnancy. It can also be used to create symmetry in cases where one breast is significantly larger than the other.

Types of Breast Shapes and Sizes

1. Bell-shaped: A bell-shaped breast has a full lower pole and a narrow upper pole.

2. Athletic: Athletic breasts have a round shape and are slightly wide at the top and bottom.

3. Teardrop: Teardrop breasts have a full lower pole and a narrow upper pole with a slight point at the top.

4. Tubular: Tubular breasts are thin and long with little fullness at the top.

5. Asymmetrical: Asymmetrical breasts are different sizes or shapes.

6. Slender: Slender breasts are thin and narrow with little fullness at the top.

7. Pendulous: Pendulous breasts have a full lower pole and a narrow upper pole with a slight sagging.

8. Ptotic: Ptotic breasts have a full lower pole and a narrow upper pole with a significant amount of sagging.

9. Constricted: Constricted breasts are narrow with a tight base and lack of fullness at the top.

10. Hypoplastic: Hypoplastic breasts are underdeveloped and lack fullness.

Breast shape is round with equal fullness in the upper, lower and sides of the breast.
Tear Drop
Breast shape is full in the lower half and tapers to a point at the nipple.
Breast shape is flatter in the upper half and fuller in the lower half.
Breast shape is uneven with one breast being larger than the other.
Breast shape is fuller in the lower half and slightly tapered at the nipple.

Did the stitches dissolve after a breast reduction?

Yes, the stitches used for a breast reduction typically dissolve on their own over the course of several weeks.

Are benign lumps common after a breast reduction/lift?

Yes, benign lumps are relatively common after a breast reduction/lift. The lumps can be caused by swelling, fluid accumulation, scar tissue, or fat necrosis. It is important to have any lumps checked out by a doctor to make sure they are not caused by something more serious.

What activities are limited after breast reduction surgery?

After breast reduction surgery, it is important to limit strenuous activities, such as running, weight lifting, and contact sports, for at least 6 weeks. Additionally, patients should avoid swimming, hot tubs, and saunas for at least 4 weeks. It is also important to avoid lifting anything heavy for at least 3 weeks, and to wear a supportive bra for at least 6 weeks.

What kind of bra should I wear after the wrap is taken off following a breast reduction?

It is best to check with your doctor for specific instructions, as the type of bra you wear after a breast reduction will depend on the type of surgery you had and your individual needs. Generally, you should wear a supportive, non-underwire bra with wide straps for the first few weeks following your surgery. Your doctor may also recommend a post-surgical bra or a sports bra for additional support.

When can I stop wearing a bra after a breast reduction?

It is important to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions regarding when you can stop wearing a bra after a breast reduction. Depending on the type of procedure and your individual healing process, your surgeon may recommend that you wear a supportive bra for up to 6 weeks after the surgery.


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