The condition of oversized breasts is called breast hypertrophy. Breast hypertrophy may develop at any time: at puberty, during teenage growth years, or after childbirth. The condition often causes problems such as back pain, bra strap pain and irritation of the skin under the breasts. Patients with very large breasts may have difficulty with physical activities such as tennis or jogging. They also may have problems dressing, particularly in today’s popular athletic wear. Patients as young as 14 and as old as 70 have had successful breast reduction. In younger patients, the surgery may be performed once breast size has been stable for at least one year.

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Common Reasons For Undergoing Breast Reduction Surgery

  • Chaffing at bra strap
  • Back, shoulder, or neck pain
  • Decreased physical energy
  • Trouble fulfilling childcare duties
  • Rashes and breakouts
  • Disproportionate silhouette
  • Unhappiness with breast appearance
  • Poor fit in clothing and swimwear
  • Embarrassment when unclothed
  • Low self-confidence or self-image
  • Breast asymmetry

Breast hypertrophy is characterized by three anatomic problems: excessive glandular tissue; excessive and/or loose skin over the gland; and low placement of the nipple areolar complex. Breast reduction surgery (reduction mammoplasty) corrects all three by reducing the size of the gland, repositioning the nipple and reshaping the breast. Based on your age and breast size, the surgeon chooses one of several possible techniques to reposition the nipple. Then, a portion of the glandular tissue is removed and the loose skin tightened to support and shape the reduced breast. The resulting scars are located around the nipple and in front of and under the breast, in the breast crease.

Reduction mammoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis. After surgery, a large, bulky dressing will be placed around your chest, and very rarely a small tube, called a drain, may be used to remove blood or fluid (serum) from the surgical area. The dressing will be changed and the drain (if used) removed two or three days after surgery. You will be given a soft postoperative bra to wear continuously for three weeks, except during bathing.

You should not wear underwire bras or participate in impact exercises or athletics during this time. Patients usually return to work, school or other routines 10 to 14 days after surgery. Complications from reduction mammoplasty are unusual. Occasionally, there may be a change in nipple sensation, but this is usually temporary. There have been rare instances of nipple damage.

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Breast Reduction Before & After


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If you think you might be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery, why not schedule your confidential consultation in the comfort and privacy of Dr. Gardenier’s Portland, Maine offices today? During this first session, the Dr. Gardenier will examine your breasts, review your medical history and any cosmetic treatments you have undergone, and then will begin to formulate your unique, customized plan of action for resolving those aesthetic issues you are unhappy with. You will have access to our extensive library of before and after photography, with clients of all ages and backgrounds as examples of the surgeons’ outstanding outcomes. This will help you to form realistic expectations about what is possible for your body type.

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