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Breast Reduction and Lift

Breast reduction and lift are generally achieved through the same procedure called a mammaplasty. In terms of breast reduction and lift, there are two types of procedures that involve similar techniques, but vary greatly in their purpose. A breast reduction is done for medical reasons, and a breast lift (mastopexy) is done for cosmetic purposes. When performed for medical purposes, the mammaplasty often achieves breast reduction and lift simultaneously.

The breast reduction and lift procedure known as reduction mammaplasty is one of the top five most popular reconstructive plastic surgeries that is performed in the United States. In 2003 more than 100,000 women had this breast reduction and lift procedure performed. Because this breast reduction and lift procedure is done for medical purposes, most health insurance companies will cover the costs associated with this surgery.

Choosing A Breast Reduction and Lift

There are a number of reasons a woman would seek a breast reduction and lift procedure. Women with large breasts often suffer from agonizing back and neck pain, skin irritations, skeletal deformities, trouble breathing, and shoulder problems. The burden of large breasts often restricts a woman's activities and can cause self-consciousness.

Because breast reduction surgery decreases the size and weight of a patient's breasts, breast reduction and lift often have a causal relationship. In addition to removing excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin from a patient's breasts, breast reduction surgery also repositions the nipple to enhance the appearance of the breast after surgery. Breast reduction and lift procedures can also include a reduction in areola (the brown skin around the nipple) size.


The breast reduction and lift procedure is performed usually as an outpatient procedure done under a general anesthesia. The procedure usually takes two to four hours. In order to achieve breast reduction and lift the surgeon will make an anchor-shaped incision that surrounds the areola, extends down the breast and runs horizontally along the breast fold. Scarring will occur after the procedure, though there are some techniques that can be utilized to reduce the appearance of scars. Once this incision is made the surgeon will remove the excess tissues from the breast area and reposition the nipple. Sometimes a patient runs the risk of losing the ability to breast feed in the future as a result of this breast reduction and lift procedure.

Before undergoing this procedure, it is important that a patient fully understand the risks and benefits associated with this breast reduction and lift surgery. Patients should have a realistic understanding of what to expect before, during, and after the plastic surgery. The results of this breast reduction and lift plastic surgery mitigate the pain a patient previously suffered and yields life improving results.