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Breast Reduction

Women who have larger than desired breasts may consider a breast reduction procedure to reduce their breast size and improve overall breast shape. This is a very common surgical procedure that Dr. Critelli specializes in. It is not uncommon for women to find their large breasts interfering with everyday activities. Women with large and heavy breasts often feel self-conscious, find difficulty in doing physical activities such as exercising and complain of symptoms like back pain, skin irritations and painful shoulder grooving from tight bra straps. It can also cause headaches and numbness in the fingers. Breast reduction removes excess tissue makes the breasts lighter, lifts and reshapes the breasts to improve shape and body proportions. The most common comment from patients I see after surgery is, “I wish I would have done this sooner.” There is no reason to go through life in discomfort.

About the Surgery

It is important to find a highly skilled surgeon who has experience with this procedure. Dr. Critelli uses the latest surgical techniques to create a breast with improved shape, nipple position and cleavage, while minimizing and hiding surgical scars. It is important to maintain a good blood supply to the nipple areola complex as there is risk of discoloration and loss of sensation when blood flow is restricted. Liposuction is also implemented to aid in excess fat removal, while the loose skin is excised and tightened to form the newly shaped breasts. Asymmetry in breast size, as well as overly large areolas can also be addressed with this procedure.

Incision Placement

The most common incision for breast reduction is what they call “the anchor” or a vertical T. With this kind of approach, the incision is made around the areola, extends vertically down to the breast crease, and then is followed by another horizontal incision along the direction of the fold. The areola will be repositioned once the breasts have been resized and reshaped. A lift will also be done to allow the breasts to be placed higher on the chest.

During/After Surgery

Breast reduction is done at UT Health Tyler, an accredited surgical center, under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. The surgery usually takes two to four hours. There are no drains. For the first several weeks, the surgeon will recommend the use of a compression bra to protect the breasts. Post-operative pain is usually mild. Most patients can go back to work within seven to ten days and may resume physical activities, such as exercise, between six to eight weeks post-operative. Results following a breast reduction are usually visible immediately after the surgery. Nipple sensitivity will gradually return within the first year.

Expected Cost

Insurance does not normally cover cosmetic procedures. However, patients with larger breasts have tendencies to experience physical problems, which can provide medical health conditions of which insurance may cover. Schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Critelli to determine if this procedure is covered for you. Our billing and insurance coordinator will work with the insurance company to confirm what is covered and provide a final estimate.


Will results last?

Breast reduction is a long-term solution for patients who are affected with excessively large breasts. In cases where there is significant weight gain, the results may be compromised just like any cosmetic procedure that modifies body shape. Natural aging and gravity will take their toll over time and will still affect the breasts with or without the reduction. It is important to maintain a good health routine so that the enhancement lasts for a long time.

Smaller areola?

For women with larger breasts, the areola is also excessively large. In a breast reduction surgery, an areola reduction is also considered. As an incision is made surrounding the areola, the excess skin will also be trimmed so that it is proportional to the breasts’ new shape.

What size can I be?

This varies depending on the doctor’s initial evaluation and the patient’s preference, but often the patient can choose their desired size. The reduction can vary from one or two cup sizes smaller, up to more than half the breast volume.