Women’s breasts often lose their shape and sag as a result of aging, gravity, pregnancy, and changes in weight. Some women may want to have a breast-reduction procedure to relieve back, shoulder, and neck pain caused by overly large breasts. Dr. Jay Fine in Pembroke Pines, Florida, is a board-certified plastic surgeon who can help both groups of women, as well as men with enlarged breasts, with either a breast lift or surgical reduction.

Breast Lift and Breast Reduction Q & A

What is a breast lift?

Over time, breasts can lose their shape and firmness for a variety of reasons. One of the biggest factors is the loss of estrogen, which causes dehydration and loss of elasticity in the skin and connective tissue of the breasts. Combine those changes with the force of gravity, the impact of weight gain and loss, and changes during pregnancy, and the net effect is skin that stretches leading to sagging breasts.

A breast lift is surgery is designed to reshape the breasts. By removing excess skin and tightening or restoring the surrounding connective tissue, patients can regain the youthful shape of their breasts. Sometimes the areola or nipple also gets larger, so its size can be reduced to match their newly lifted breast. A breast lift does not increase overall breast size, but Dr. Fine can perform a breast augmentation to add an implant at the same time as the lift.

What is a breast reduction?

Surgery to reduce breast size, called breast mammoplasty, consists of cutting away breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin until the breasts reach the size patients desire. Women often choose to have breast-reduction surgery when overly large breasts interfere with physical activity, cause emotional distress, and lead to physical discomfort including pain in their back, neck, and shoulders. Some women simply want breasts that are in proportion to their body size.

Men sometimes develop enlarged breasts, which is called gynecomastia. Gynecomastia can develop at any age and may be caused by genetics, a hormone imbalance, the use of certain medications, and a variety of health conditions including hyperthyroidism and liver or kidney disease. Dr. Fine can help men with gynecomastia determine whether liposuction or breast reduction is the best option for treating their condition.

Patients who are considering a breast lift or a breast reduction are welcome to view Dr. Fine’s extensive photo gallery of completed procedures to view his past results while learning about what kind of changes they can realistically expect.

What can patients expect during and after surgery?

The surgery takes about an hour, then dressings are applied to the incisions. Dr. Fine may recommend wearing an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling. For the first week, patients need to keep their elbows down at their sides and avoid straining, bending, or lifting. After about two to three weeks, they can gradually resume their normal activity, as long as the activity is comfortable. Patients can generally expect full recovery in three to four weeks, which is when they can get back to their normal activity, as long as you’re cleared by Dr. Fine.