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Can I have my breast reduction performed by liposuction?

The concept of having a breast reduction performed by liposuction alone is an immediately attractive idea. Having only a scars of a few millimeters long and therefore potentially less healing time sounds great and for some women it is an appropriate option but for a lot of women when their individual situation is assessed liposuction by itself will not reliably address all their concerns.

So how do we decide if liposuction by itself can achieve your desired result from a breast reduction procedure?

There are 2 critical factors in assessing your suitability for a liposuction alone breast reduction.

The first factor and the most common reason why women ultimately decide against liposuction alone procedures is the extent of droopiness of their breasts. ( The medical term for  breast droopiness is breast ptosis).  If you have a breast reduction performed using liposuction alone  your nipples are not surgically repositioned on your breasts. This may be sufficient if you do not have very much ptosis because when liposuction is performed and some of the weight of your breast tissue is removed your nipples will often move up to some degree. The problem is this can be unpredictable and if you have ptosis of more than 4cm it is very hard to give you certainty prior to surgery that after surgery your nipples will be at a level which is acceptable to you.

The second factor is the composition of your breast tissue. In young women considering breast reduction often the breast tissue is dense , thick breast gland tissue. This tissue is not  able  to be removed with liposuction techniques .This tissue can be just too dense to pass a liposuction cannula through to remove it. If you wish to have this dense tissue removed with any degree of certainty you often have to have it surgically removed. In older groups of women ( after pregnancy and breast feeding ) much of the breast gland tissue has melted away ( atrophied) because it has completed it's purpose. If this describes your situation you are usually very well aware of the post breast feeding changes which have occurred in your breasts.

In these age groups the breast tissue is often largely fatty tissue. This tissue is potentially treatable with liposuction but ironically it is in these women that the droopiness ( ptosis) tends to be more severe. These women are almost always seeking repositioning of the breast tissue ( " a lift") as well as reduction . Thus the requirement for both reduction and a lift usually means they choose to have a traditional breast reduction procedure.

Dr Jamie BurtAuthor:Dr Jamie Burt
About: Dr Jamie Burt was born and educated in Melbourne, attending the University of Melbourne and graduating with MBBS in 1998. He is a member of the Senior Medical Staff at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, and was Head of Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute until 2004. Known for his respectful, informative, and caring approach, Jamie has been caring for women with breast reduction concerns for over 15 years. During this time, one moment stands out as defining what he aims to achieve with The Breast Reduction Clinic.
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