Raleigh, NC based plastic surgeon, Dr. Zenn explains why some women, and some men, would want to undergo a breast reduction surgery procedure. The proper name for a breast reduction is reduction mammoplasty.

In many patients, overly large and heavy breasts cause pain that may be severe and chronic in nature. The constant pulling and heaviness of the breasts causes pain in the neck, back, shoulders, upper arms and the breasts themselves. Patients often gain weight because their large breast prevent them from exercising and doing many of the activities their friends do easily. Patients try weight loss, physical therapy and pain killers to relieve their symptoms. Often, these pains can be relieved or greatly improved by having breast reduction surgery.

What is the Purpose of a Breast Reduction Operation?

A breast reduction is a functional and cosmetic surgery designed to reduce the size, shape of the breasts to take weight and pressure off the back and neck while also improving the appearance of the breasts. A plastic surgeon accomplishes this by carefully and artistically removing excess breast tissue and breast skin, leaving smaller more manageable breasts.

Can Breast Reduction Surgery Also Fix Breast Asymmetry

Breast asymmetry or different size or shaped breasts is actually the norm, some subtle, some more severe. Breast reduction surgery can even out noticeable breast asymmetry by removing different amounts of skin and breast tissue so the final result is a more even match.

The majority of patients who undergo breast reductions also ask if their nipple will be lifted as well since the larger the breast, the more natural droop there is. Well it turns out that a Breast Reduction is also a breast lift procedure. While the extra breast and skin is removed, the nipple stays attached to the remaining breast and is positioned higher on the chest, giving an uplifted and more perky appearance.

What Type of Anesthesia is Used for Breast Reduction

Administration of general anesthesia for this elective plastic surgery procedure is standard.  An anesthesiologist will see the patient before surgery and review in detail the anesthesia plan and answer any questions.

How much Pain Should I Expect After a Reduction Mammoplasty?

Breast reduction is an outpatient surgery that takes place in ambulatory surgery center. There is surprisingly little pain or discomfort after surgery and most patients can be managed with OTC pain medication like Tylenol or Motrin. Patients go home after surgery and are seen the next day by Dr. Zenn for a post-operative exam. Patients may shower the first day after surgery and activities are curtailed for the first 4 to 7 days.

Common Reasons Women and Men Opt for Reduction Mammoplasty Surgery

There are a number of different reasons why patients opt for this surgery. These reasons include:

Relief of neck, shoulder, back pain caused by large & heavy breasts Cosmetic improvement Improve body image & self-esteem Elevate quality of life by enabling the ability to play sports & participate in physical activities previously unable to enjoy due to large breasts Create more balanced body proportions Fit better in clothing Fit more easily into clothes in standard sizes Decrease under the breast skin irritations and rashes due to large breasts Give breast appearance a more youthful look Fix noticeable breast asymmetry Improve posture Why Would Men Ever Undergo a Reduction Mammoplasty Surgery?

Sometimes, males develop breast tissue due to naturally changing hormones, hormone use in athletics, massive weight loss, medication side effects, marijuana use, and other genetic causes. It is actually quite normal for boys in their early teens to develop breasts that they will grow out of through puberty. But sometimes they don’t grow out of it and it becomes a source of embarrassment.

The ideal male chest is flat and should match the contour of the underlying ribcage and muscles.

Males that spend a lot of time at the gym bulking up their muscles may actually make any breast tissue lying over the muscle look even more prominent. This is especially true when they have little body fat and great muscle definition, which makes any breast tissue present even more obvious.

For men who gain weight, that chest flatness can change. Extra skin and fat can often look like breasts, even when wearing a simple T shirt.

All types of enlargement of the breasts in males is called gynecomastia. Boys, male teens and adult men may be so bothered by their enlarged breasts that they avoid activities and certain clothes where their abnormal breasts/chest would be visible to others. This can lead to depression, lowered body image and a decrease in body image confidence and self-esteem. Surgery for gynecomastia can involve liposuction for any excess fat and also breast gland removal through hidden incisions. In severe cases, actual skin removal may be necessary. The surgery is an artistic endeavor to create a natural, masculine look to the chest that does not look surgical.


Women can find immediate relief from the unwanted symptoms that large, sagging and/or heavy breasts may cause. More females are discovering the benefits of undergoing a breast reduction, also termed reduction mammaplasty, to change their breast size, shape and volume and to relieve associated pain and other adverse symptoms.

Many women today include breast reduction surgery in their mommy makeover plans.

For males, the problem is not neck and back pain. Rather, it is more cosmetic in nature. Of course the goal is to create a flat chest. This way both boys and men can be comfortable shirtless and wearing all types of clothes. By restoring a more masculine chest region, gynecomastia surgery also gives men confidence and improvement in their self esteem.

Learn more by contacting Zenn Plastic Surgery in Raleigh, NC at (919) 480-3885

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