Breast augmentation with implants is one of the most popular plastic surgeries, enhancing the shape and size of the breasts with the use of saline or silicone implants. For women with smaller breasts who have always wished they were larger, this surgery can truly be life-changing and help them feel more confident and beautiful every day. However, there is also a population of women who have the opposite problem, where their breasts are too large. This can lead to health problems like chronic back and neck pain, difficulty exercising comfortably, and struggling to find clothes that fit well. These women often find themselves increasingly frustrated and unhappy, feeling trapped by a body that negatively impacts their quality of life. Luckily, the field of plastic surgery offers a solution in the form of breast reduction surgery for those women who are tired of dealing with the negative consequences of their breast size and ready to make a change. This blog post will give an overview of this surgery as well as answer a common question many women have who are considering breast reduction, which is “How many cup sizes can I go down with breast reduction without impacting the nipple?”
First, I will briefly explain the steps of breast reduction surgery. The first step is for board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Temmen to meet with the patient one-on-one to discuss the patient’s goals and plan the surgery. During this visit, Dr. Temmen performs a thorough physical exam, reviews the patient’s medical history, and discusses the patient’s goals for surgery. Often times, Dr. Temmen also encourages patients to look at real patient before and after pictures on this website and identify some examples of the kind of results they are hoping for. During this consultation, Dr. Temmen and the patient create a surgical plan together, as well as address any questions or concerns the patient has. All of this prep ensures that the patient feels safe, comfortable, and fully informed well in advance of the day of surgery. During surgery, Dr. Traci Temmen first carefully removes the excess breast tissue in order to decrease breast volume to the size that the patient desires. Removing this tissue also reduces the weight on the patient’s back and neck, helping to lighten the burden and reduce chronic pain. Once the tissue has been removed, Dr. Temmen raises the position of the nipple-areola complex and surgically tightens the skin of the breasts. This works to create a full and youthful shape and reduce sagginess. Depending on the degree of sagging the patient has, Dr. Temmen may need to make an additional incision that runs vertically from the bottom of the breast to tighten up the tissues. Although many patients are initially concerned about this scar, it fades and becomes barely noticeable with time, and the vast majority of patients are very happy with their final appearance.
One of the questions at the forefront of many patients’ minds who are considering surgical breast reduction is how many cup sizes they can go down without impacting the nipple. One point to note first is that patients tend to underestimate their cup size and might think their breasts are smaller than they actually are. Generally, Dr. Temmen is able to decrease a patient’s breast size up to about three cup sizes before the nipple will be impacted. Most patients want a reduction within this range, and therefore there is no need to reposition the nipple-areola complex. However, in some cases where the patient’s breasts are very large and she desires greater than a three cup size reduction, removing such a large amount of breast tissue may threaten the blood supply to the nipple. In these cases, Dr. Temmen recommends removing the nipple and then reattaching it to the breast as a skin graft. The grafted nipple will grow a new blood supply, but may be flatter and have reduced sensation. Nevertheless, this is a good option for women whose excessively large breasts are negatively impacting their quality of life, and would get great benefit from substantial reduction to reach a size that is much lighter and more comfortable.
Breast reduction surgery is popular among women who are negatively affected by their large breast size, alleviating many of the associated issues such as chronic back pain, difficulty finding clothing, and discomfort while exercising. Dr. Traci Temmen is experienced in this procedure, and works hand-in-hand with every patient to tailor each surgery to the individual patient’s anatomy and desires. To learn more about if you may be a good candidate for breast reduction, call 813-877-2277 to book your one-on-one consultation with Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Traci Temmen, MD, today!