Type of Surgery
Last updated: 02/17/2009
Breast reduction is a surgical procedure performed to decrease the size of the breasts.
Breast reduction or reduction mammoplasty is an outpatient surgical procedure which involves the reduction in the size of breasts by excising fat, skin, and glandular tissue; it may also involve a procedure to counteract drooping of the breasts. As with breast augmentation, this procedure is typically performed on women, but may also be performed on men afflicted by gynecomastia.
The surgery, which the Food and Drug Administration has called "good medicine", is quickly gaining popularity. In 2005, over 113,000 women had breast reductions, an increase of 11 percent from 2004.
Breast reduction surgery is oriented toward women with large, pendulous breasts, especially gigantomastia, since the weight of their breasts may cause chronic pain of the head, neck, back, and shoulders, plus circulation and breathing problems. The weight may also cause discomfort as a result of brassiere straps abrading or irritating the skin. For these reasons, the surgery is usually covered by insurance. Even if physical discomfort is not a problem, some women feel awkward with the enormity of their breasts in proportion to the rest of their relatively smaller bodies. Except in unusual cases, this procedure is performed on individuals with fully-developed breasts, and it is not typically recommended for women who desire to breastfeed.
Males with common condition of gynecomastia may feel embarrassed and upset with their condition, usually developed during adolescence. They may get the surgery for restored confidence.
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