Dr. Steven Fagien & Dr. Elbert Vaca

Breast Reduction

Breast Procedures

Breast reduction is a surgical procedure that reduces the overall size of the breast. In addition, a breast reduction can improve the shape of the breast, raise the position of the nipple, and reduce the size of the areola. Genetically or with age, some women can develop breasts that are overly large in proportion with the rest of their body. Large breasts can result in back and neck pain, grooving in the location of the bra straps, skin irritation, difficulty with athletic activities and a negative effect on your self-image.

The downside of a breast reduction is that scars are placed on the breast. There are different ways to perform a breast reduction, some with longer incisions than others. The decision of which technique to use is highly individualized and partly based on the amount and location of excess breast tissue and skin.

What is the difference between a breast reduction and breast lift?

There are many similarities between the two procedures. Both a breast lift and breast reduction can use the same or similar incisions; however, a breast reduction also includes removal of a significant amount of breast tissue.

How long does a breast reduction take?

A breast reduction takes approximately 4 hours.

What are the limitations of a breast reduction?

While a breast reduction is very effective at reducing the size of the breast, shaping the lower portion of the breast and raising the position of the nipple, a breast reduction achieves minimal improvement on the upper part of the breast. If one of your main concerns is that the top of your breasts appear flat or deflated, than a breast implant may help improve the appearance of the upper portion of your breasts.

Am I a good candidate for a breast reduction?

Good candidates are healthy nonsmokers with realistic expectations. Younger women can also experience physical problems due to very large breasts and are candidates for breast reduction once the breasts have completed developing (age 18 or older). During your consultation, Dr. Vaca can help answer your questions and both of you will determine if you are a good candidate for breast reduction surgery.

What are the risks of a breast reduction?

All surgical procedures carry a degree of uncertainty and risk. The principle risk with breast reduction is scarring and asymmetry between the breasts. Poor healing can occur – this is more common in smokers. Unfavorable scarring is more common in patients who experience poor healing. Infection and bleeding are rare but can occur. After surgery, there will be a change in sensation in the breast and nipple. Sensation recovers over time in most patients; however, loss or decreased sensation can be permanent in some areas. A breast reduction may also affect your ability to breast feed. Very rarely, a portion or the entire nipple may be lost.

Meet Dr. Vaca

Dr. Vaca

Dr. Elbert E. Vaca is a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon who completed his medical training at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
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Meet Dr. Fagien

Dr. Fagien

Dr. Steven Fagien is one of the foremost oculoplastic surgeons in the United States and the world. He completed his medical training at the University of Florida and a fellowship in oculoplastic surgery at the University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary.
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