Named Among the Best Plastic Surgeons in Boston
Dr. Taylor & Dr. Sullivan, Board-certified Aesthetic, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and Experts in Breast Reduction in Boston, Massachusetts
Large breasts, or macromastia, can cause significant physical pain and limit physical activity. Breast reduction surgery helps alleviate the physical and psychological issues associated with large breasts. While breast reduction may be considered medically indicated to remove excess weight from the chest, it simultaneously lifts and enhances breast shape and position on the chest wall.
Breast Reduction is reconstructive surgery for women with breasts that are disproportionately large relative to their body, and who have significant, back, neck and or shoulder pain. Breast reduction decreases the size of a breast by removing excess breast glandular tissue, fat, and skin. At the same time, similar to a breast lift, the breasts are lifted to a more youthful position with improved projection and lift.
Breast reduction has one of the highest levels of patient satisfaction among all plastic surgical procedures. It can significantly improve a woman's quality of life, enhance breast appearance, and restore breast harmony and proportion, while simultaneously reducing breast weight and discomfort. Breast reduction can also help restore a sense of confidence by improving asymmetries when one breast is larger than the other.
Breast reduction is most commonly performed as an outpatient surgery under general anesthetic. There is a multitude of techniques for breast reduction which can be distinguished by the scar pattern on the skin, as well as the blood supply to the nipple. Most breast reductions will necessitate a lollipop or anchor / inverted T scar. Most commonly, the inverted-T or anchor breast reduction is used for women who need significant tissue removed, correction of significant sagging, and skin tightening.
During the procedure, skin is removed from the inferior breast and around the areola to help create a narrower, better contour of the breast. The areola are usually reduced in size and relocated more superiorly while maintaining their connection to the breast tissue beneath. The anatomy of your breasts, chest wall and the amount of breast tissue will determine the best technique. It is often beneficial to use liposuction to contour excess fat deposits laterally and in the armpit area. Long-acting local anesthetic is instilled for post-operative comfort, and the incisions are closed with dissolving sutures. We rarely use drains. Patients are placed in a soft surgical bra and typically go home that same day feeling good.
Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan care about your recovery and want to ensure you have the most effective rehabilitation. They will talk to you about when you can expect to return to work depending on the specifics of what you do on a regular basis. On average, patients take two weeks off from work, with some returning sooner, and some later.
You may shower the day of or the day after surgery. It will be normal to feel fatigued and not have the same amount of energy that you are used to. You can expect some tightness in your breasts and soreness for a few days. We often infuse the tissues with a long-acting numbing medicine (Exparel™) and pain medication will be prescribed for your comfort. We encourage a non-narcotic regimen, with narcotics reserved for breakthrough pain. More than half of our patients do not require narcotics postoperatively.
You may have a reduced range of motion in your chest and shoulders for a few days. You may also have some decreased feeling in your breast skin and nipples for a few weeks. We will provide a supportive bra, which can help reduce swelling and ease pressure.
If your breasts are disproportionate to your frame you may well be an appropriate candidate for breast reduction. Patients who have significant symptoms of back, neck, and shoulder pain, and or grooving from their bra straps, may qualify for insurance coverage depending on their plan’s requirements. The ideal candidate should be otherwise healthy, and with a body mass index (BMI) in the healthy range, ideally less than 30. Because breast reduction requires an adequate blood supply to the tissues, smoking, smoke exposure, steroid use, sickle cell disease, and systemic illness may disqualify you.
Many men suffer from gynecomastia or male breast growth. Gynecomastia is often genetic in origin and frequently runs in families. It can be a significant source of embarrassment, limiting wardrobe choices, activities, and time at the beach. Male breast reduction, or gynecomastia correction, can be an excellent option for men who have tried other approaches, like weight loss, without resolution of their gynecomastia. Most insurance policies consider gynecomastia surgery a cosmetic procedure.
We encourage early gentle ambulation starting the day of, or a day after, surgery. This is good for the mind and body. Typically, we recommend avoiding heavy lifting or upper body straining for the first several weeks. When you do restart your exercise regimen, try low-impact activities like a stationary bicycle or Peloton to allow your breasts the proper time to recover. Patients don’t typically have significant pain, but they feel tight, and sore, and tired. High impact activities are not desirable for the first few weeks after surgery.
Patients who proceed with breast reduction are trading shape and size for scar. While the scars fade with time, there is significant individual variation in scarring. Bleeding and infection are risks of all operations but are thankfully rare with breast reduction. Changes in the nipple sensation and reactivity can occur but are also uncommon. Problems with wound healing, particularly at the T-junction of the anchor incision, are one of the most common issues that require attention in the postoperative period, but these can be managed with simple wound care. Loss of the nipple is the dreaded complication of breast reduction surgery. This is extremely rare but is the reason we avoid this operation in high-risk patients like smokers.
Breast reduction trades the size, shape, asymmetry, and position of the breasts for scars. While scars are unavoidable, we work hard to position them in the most cosmetically appropriate locations and keep them as short as possible. Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan take care to make the scars as minimal as possible, knowing that there is tremendous variability in scarring from one patient to another. Initially, the scars may be firm and pink, but as they mature they typically soften and fade. It may take up to one to two years for the scars to mature.
Breast reduction incisions and scars are determined by the type of procedure. The most common types are a Wise pattern (also known as inverted T or anchor pattern) and circum-vertical (also known as vertical or lollipop pattern). Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan will meet with each patient to determine the ideal type of breast reduction.
Most patients do not experience significant changes in nipple sensation, but some women may experience increased or decreased nipple sensation following breast reduction. Sensations like numbness, shooting, pain, and burning are common during the healing process, may last several weeks, and gradually disappear. Some patients initially have nipples which are hypersensitive to touch or temperature. If the nipples are sensitive, it is best to desensitize them with gentle touch. If the nipples have less sensation, be patient as it may recover or improve with time.
Many patients do successfully breastfeed after breast reduction surgery. The data on breastfeeding after breast reduction is inconsistent. Because we preserve the nipples’ connection to the breast tissue, we encourage patients to try breastfeeding if they want. Even with breast surgery, breastfeeding can be unpredictable. While breast reduction does separate the nipple from some of the breast tissue, often the remaining “pedicle” of tissue is adequate to produce sufficient milk supply. It is possible that after breast reduction a woman may have a hard time breastfeeding, but it is hard to know whether this is a result of the breast reduction or not.
Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan can evaluate your condition to determine if you might qualify for coverage by your insurance company. Depending on your insurance policy, as well as the size of your breasts relative to body mass index and body surface index, you may qualify for coverage by your insurance company. If Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan find your breasts are disproportionately large relative to your body, and you suffer from symptoms including neck pain, back pain, shoulder grooves from bra straps, or skin irritation, your insurance company may consider coverage for your procedure based on the amount of breast tissue that is removed. Each policy has its own requirements for coverage, so we will apply for preauthorization from your insurance carrier.
It is important to be seen by Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan after your operation. They will often see you in follow-up appointments at approximately 1 week, 1 month, and 1 year and as often as needed. Call to schedule your appointments at 617.492.0620. We are always available for postoperative concerns and ask that you please call us through our paging service 24 hours per day at 617.492.0620
If you are interested in a breast reduction procedure, contact us to set up your consultation with Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan, named among the best Board Certified Plastic Surgeons in Boston. While one doctor will be your primary surgeon, they usually operate together as a team to optimize your care and safety.
When it comes to expert Breast Reduction Surgery in Boston, you can trust the experienced and caring team of Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan, named among the best Board-certified Plastic Surgeons in Boston by Boston Magazine each year since they began practicing in the area.
Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan trained at some of the finest medical institutions in the world, including Harvard Medical School, where they now teach medical students and residents. They strive to provide honest and informative consultations and perform surgery with precision and care with an emphasis on safety.
During your consultation, Dr. Taylor and Dr. Sullivan will listen to your concerns and discuss the details of your Breast Reduction. Excellence with compassion is the motto of Mount Auburn Hospital, which we aspire to exemplify.
Call Today 617.492.0620
To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Taylor or Dr. Sullivan, please call the office or request an appointment using our form. We welcome your visit and your questions.
300 Mount Auburn St. Ste 304, Cambridge, MA 02138