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Breast Reduction

A large breast size can pose many problems, ranging from debilitating physical strains to emotional and psychological turmoil. Common concerns include back, shoulder, and neck pain, as well as a reduced ability to stay active. Utah plastic surgeon Dr. Garlick is very familiar with the difficulties presented by excessive breasts and customizes the breast reduction procedure to help women achieve a lighter, more proportionate breast size to their body frame. Breast reduction stands out as one of the most transformative procedures to improve a patient’s confidence and self-image, and individuals who feel limited by an excessive breast size almost universally voice their satisfaction after surgery.

Is Breast Reduction Right for Me?

If you dislike your large breast size or struggle with mobility due to the weight of your breasts, breast reduction may be able to help. Many patients who consider breast reduction experience symptoms such as: 

  • Back, shoulder, and neck pain
  • Bra strap indentations
  • Skin chafing and irritation
  • Inability to find clothes that fit
  • Posture problems or labored breathing
  • Difficulty exercising or engaging in physical activity
  • Self-consciousness caused by a large breast size

The best candidates for surgery are usually healthy patients who are near their ideal weight and have a BMI less than 30. Dr. Garlick will thoroughly review your concerns, goals, and medical history in a consultation to help you determine whether breast reduction is the most beneficial treatment option for your needs.

How is Breast Reduction Surgery Performed?

Dr. Garlick customizes each breast reduction according to each patient’s needs. Incisions are typically placed along the areolas and/or inframammary fold (breast crease), although the specific technique is chosen according to each person’s anatomic indications. Once incisions are made, excess skin and glandular tissue are removed while the remainder is tightened/repositioned to achieve a firmer, more proportional breast shape. Dr. Garlick also utilizes the advanced “internal bra” techniques, which can provide support to the lower breast pole and reduce the likelihood of breast sag in the future. If the areolas are stretched, they can be resized and moved to a more central position on the breasts while remaining attached to the underlying tissue. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia and typically takes three to four hours.

What Can I Expect During the Recovery Period After a Breast Reduction?

After breast surgery, patients usually return home with the help of a friend or loved one. Swelling, bruising, tenderness, and a general feeling of weakness is expected immediately after the procedure and should subside as you heal from surgery. Dr. Garlick encourages plenty of rest to help facilitate the healing process. Lifting the arms above the head, exercise, and strenuous activity are prohibited until Dr. Garlick instructs otherwise, which is usually around six weeks post-surgery. Patients can typically return to non-strenuous work after one to two weeks, while more demanding jobs may require a recovery period of 10 to 14 days off. Dr. Garlick will provide you with detailed post-operative instructions in person and monitor your recovery through regular follow-up appointments. 

Breast reduction is considered one of the most rewarding cosmetic surgeries available for women who feel held back by a large, heavy breast size. Don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Garlick to book a consultation at our practice, or to have a more thorough discussion of how breast reduction may help you achieve your overall goals. 

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