“My experience with Dr. Hall-Findlay and her staff was exceptional from the time I walked in on my first consultation for my breast reduction to today with my follow up appointments. Dr. Hall-Findlay was extremely forthcoming with all information I need to know regarding the surgery and any possible complications that may result from the surgery. Everyone in the office was extremely friendly and informative and more than happy to answer any questions I had at any time. Dr. Hall-Findlay did not give me any false/inaccurate expectations, she was very upfront when explaining what shape and size will be most realistic and visually appealing with my body type and my pre-surgery breast size. I am thrilled with my final result and would recommend Dr. Hall-Findlay to anyone considering this type of surgery.”
– From a review posted on RateMDs.com on 05/02/11
“Breast reduction surgery can restore confidence as it restores proportion. Breast reduction surgery both reduces and lifts the breasts, freeing patients from feeling matronly. And a breast reduction can increase both clothing options and the confidence to explore new styles. Most patients say that their biggest regret was not doing the surgery earlier.
My focus is to give you as natural a result as possible while taking into account your particular issues and desires. What is right for one person may be very different from what another person is trying to achieve. I want to work with you to determine what is best for you as an individual with your own particular desires.”
Is Breast Reduction Right for You?
Breast reduction involves excision of both skin and breast tissue. We use a “vertical” approach which results in a “lollipop” scar around the areola and down to the fold. The nipple is “moved” not “removed” in order to reposition it. The excess skin and breast tissue is then removed and the final closure resembles a squash racquet or lollipop. All extra tissue is sent to the lab for analysis. Liposuction is also performed in the fold in front of the armpits and along the sides of the chest to shape the breast.
In some cases we can perform breast reduction through liposuction alone. Candidates for this procedure tend to be older, when the breasts are more fatty and less glandular.
A good candidate for breast reduction is close to her ideal body weight, is healthy and has realistic expectations. If you have poor quality skin or have lost a great deal of weight, then more extensive scarring may be inevitable. You must quit smoking because nicotine can interfere with blood supply and healing
Age is not a restriction. We have performed breast reduction surgery on teens as young as 14 and women in their 80’s. If a teenager is close to her ideal body weight, surgery may be indicated since weight loss will not alter breast size. For older women, it is health, not age, that help determine eligibility for surgery.
Many of our patients feel that the size of their breasts makes them look overweight and they desire to be in better proportion. They want to wear clothing more comfortably, and feel more comfortable out of their clothing. The typical patient simply does not want to feel matronly. She wants to feel confident in her looks.
Good candidates must also have realistic expectations. The shape that you end up with is determined by the shape that you start with. The shape you have also determines the amount of tissue that can be removed.
Being in good health, both physically and mentally, is important for optimal results, and it may be appropriate to wait. Your own schedule is an important consideration as well. While recovery from breast reduction is surprisingly easy, you will need time to recover. It takes about two weeks to get back to normal activities of daily living and about four weeks to get back to a more active lifestyle. Patients who have small children are worried about lifting them or being hit or kicked. Lifting may hurt but it won’t damage your results.
Breast reduction surgery can interfere with the ability to breast feed. We tell patients that there is a 50/50 chance of being able to breast feed after surgery. If breast feeding is very important to you, then you may want to wait until after having your children before considering breast reduction surgery.
Breast Reduction Frequently Asked Questions
How can I find out if I’m a candidate for breast reduction?
Breast reduction is one of the most common operations that we do, and in fact Dr. Hall-Findlay is world-renowned for her vertical breast reduction technique. She taught the same technique to Dr. MacLennan many years ago. Our patients often complain of back, neck and shoulder discomfort associated with large breasts, as well as breasts that are simply too large for their frame, their lifestyle, or their cosmetic desires. A consultation in person is the best way to ensure that you’re a good candidate.
Does breast reduction include a lift?
Yes, the breasts are lifted and reshaped in the process of reduction.
What are the different types of breast reductions?
Vertical (“lollipop”) technique
This is by far the most common technique in our practice. The incisions go all the way around the areola and then vertically down to the bottom of the breast. This way, the areola can be made smaller, sagging breast tissue can be removed, and the skin can be redraped. This technique lifts and cones the breast, and is versatile for many breast sizes and shapes.
Inverted T technique
There are many ways to do an inverted T breast reduction. In our practice, we add the T infrequently, primarily if there is simply too much extra skin to have a good result with only the lollipop scar. The extra breast tissue is still removed in a similar way, the nipple is elevated, and the breast is reshaped, but additional skin is also removed along the crease under the breast, adding the additional scar.
Liposuction breast reduction
Breasts can occasionally be reduced with liposuction alone, without traditional breast reduction scars. The best candidates for this technique are older women with fattier breasts who want to have less volume but don’t need too much lifting or reshaping. Young women often have denser breast tissue that isn’t amenable to reduction with liposuction alone. These women are often better candidates for our vertical breast reduction, although we often add liposuction to help us shape the sides of the breast and the area in front of the armpit.
Are there age limits for breast reduction?
We have had breast reduction patients as young as 14 and as old as 80. Symptomatically large breasts are common for many women, regardless of age. Good health is more important than age when determining eligibility for breast reduction. Our older patients often tell us that they wish they’d had the surgery years ago!
Will breast reduction interfere with breastfeeding?
Breast reduction is done with the goal of reshaping the breast, but preserving its function. The nipple is left attached to the underlying tissue. Every attempt is made to preserve breastfeeding ability and nipple sensation, but some women are unable to breastfeed even without having breast surgery.
Should I wait until after pregnancy to have a breast reduction?
Pregnancy and breastfeeding can change breast size, shape, and consistency. While there is no medical contraindication to pregnancy after breast reduction, if you plan to have babies in the next 1-2 years, it may be better for you to wait until after you are finished having children so that your result will be more stable.
What are the potential complications associated with breast reduction?
As with any surgery, bleeding and infection are concerns, but happen infrequently. Difficulty breastfeeding and loss of nipple sensation are also concerns that we discuss with our patients. Scars can be raised, red, or itchy, and it can be challenging to get symmetry between the two breasts. Breasts will always change shape and re-droop to some extent with time, so it is important to have realistic expectations.
What is the recovery from breast reduction like?
The surgery is done as an outpatient, in our accredited office surgical facility or in the Banff Mineral Springs Hospital. We recommend taking 1-2 weeks off work and 3-4 weeks off athletic activities. The recovery is usually very well-tolerated.
Do you use drains?
In most cases, we don’t find it necessary to use drains in our breast reductions.
Are breast reduction results permanent?
Your breasts will continue to age over time, and you may, over time, notice that your breasts are drooping again to a lesser extent. With significant weight gain, your breasts could enlarge. We like to follow patients over the course of many years, and find that vertical breast reduction has predictable staying power.