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Breast Procedures
Breast Procedures

Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction

Does it feel like sometimes Mother Nature was a little too generous? If you have very large breasts, you may have a variety of medical problems caused by the extra weight of your breasts. If you experience neck and back pain, skin irritation, skeletal deformities, difficulty breathing and/or indentations in your shoulders caused by bra straps, it might be time to consider breast reduction surgery.

What Is Breast Reduction?

Breast reduction, technically known as reduction mammoplasty, is designed for women with large, pendulous breasts. The procedure removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts, making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. It can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple. The goal is to give the woman smaller, better-shaped breasts in proportion with the rest of her body.

The following images are presented for educational purposes only and should be interpreted subjectively. They do not represent the opinion or view of any patient regarding their result, and they are not intended to suggest the result that may be achieved by any other patient. The images are presented as factual guidelines and merely represent results that have been achieved by others. No two patients are alike and no two results are necessarily alike. Only a personal consultation with your surgeon can provide you with a reasonable expectation of the results you may achieve from any specific procedure.

Experience and Innovation to Improve Patient Outcomes

At the Plastic Surgery Clinic we perform approximately 200 breast reduction procedures per year. This makes Dr. Lista one of the most experienced breast reduction surgeons in Ontario and in Canada.

Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin worked together to pioneer their revolutionary method for greatly reducing the scarring associated with this procedure. As a renowned breast reduction surgeon, Dr. Lista has lectured extensively worldwide regarding this advanced surgical technique. Together, Toronto plastic surgery specialists Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin have one main goal: to ensure all their breast reduction patients have the most real, soft and natural look possible.

Empower Yourself with Knowledge

If you are a breast reduction patient considering this life-changing surgery, please explore the links on the left to learn more. If you have more questions about whether breast reduction is for you, please contact us to set up a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin.

How a Breast Reduction Is Performed

How a Breast Reduction Is PerformedBreast reduction surgery usually takes about 2 hours. The most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision circling the edge of the areola, straight down into the bra crease, and then along the bra crease. Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin have pioneered a revolutionary operation that eliminates the long scar in the bra crease. This leaves the patient with much less scarring. This operation is often called the “stop sign” or “lollipop” procedure because the only scars are around the edge of the areola and straight down to the bra crease.

As a leading plastic surgeon in Toronto, Dr Lista has performed more than 2500 of these operations and has given lectures describing this technique to other plastic surgeons in Canada and the United States.

During breast reduction, excess skin is removed above the nipple. The nipple is then moved up without removing it. Breast tissue is removed to make the breast lighter and smaller. Often liposuction is performed at the same time to further reduce and refine the breast

Your breast reduction can be performed right on site in the state-of-the-art facilities of The Plastic Surgery Clinic. If you prefer, breast reduction patients can choose to have their surgery at one of the hospitals where our highly skilled plastic surgeons, Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin, enjoy privileges. These include the Mississauga site of the Trillium Health Centre, where Dr. Lista was Past Chief of Plastic Surgery, and the University Health Network, where Dr. Ahmad continues to provide his services.

Where your Breast Reduction is performed

No matter where you choose to have your surgery, there is always a surgeon on call to respond to your concerns. In addition, a board-certified anesthesiologist will administer your anaesthetic, stay with you during the entire operation, and will be there as you wake up.

The Best Candidates for Breast Reduction

The Best Candidates for Breast ReductionMost women who have breast reduction surgery feel that the size of their breasts restrict their activities and cause them physical discomfort. They are more interested in physical relief than simply cosmetic improvement.

In most cases, breast reduction isn’t performed until a woman’s breasts are fully developed. It can be done earlier if large breasts are causing serious physical discomfort. The best breast reduction candidates are those who are mature enough to fully understand the procedure and have realistic expectations about the results. Breast reduction is not recommended for women who want to breastfeed.

Preparing for Breast Reduction

The first thing we do is listen: we listen to your needs; we ask you to describe your ideal look; we have you bring in photos of women whose shape you admire. Toronto plastic surgeon Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin will spend as much time as you need to make sure both you and your breast reduction surgeon know exactly what you want. It may not always be possible to meet all your expectations with surgery, so it crucial that you understand what is a realistic outcome.

Recovery After Breast Reduction Surgery

After your breast reduction surgery, a friend or relative will need to pick you up and stay with you for 24 hours.

You will need to wear an elastic bandage or a surgical bra over gauze dressings. Your breasts will be bruised, swollen, and uncomfortable for a day or two, but the pain shouldn’t be severe. Any discomfort you feel can be relieved with medications prescribed by your surgeon.

Within a few days, the bandages or surgical bra will be replaced by a soft support bra. You’ll need to wear this bra around the clock for three to four weeks, over a layer of gauze. The stitches will be removed after a week or two.

You should plan to take a week off after your surgery, limiting your activities to staying home, watching TV or reading books. This important time of rest will allow your body to devote its energy to the healing process. It can be of great benefit to make arrangements in advance with a friend or family member for help with activities such as driving. If you are currently looking after small children, plan for an alternative childcare arrangement during this week to help limit the time you will need to spend on your feet. We understand it can be hard to stop completely, but staying quiet in the first week actually speeds healing and helps achieve the best results from the surgery.

About two weeks after your surgery you can start to exercise gently: walking and stairmaster is allowed, but no upper body workouts, running or high-impact workouts should be done for one month.

You can expect some loss of feeling in your nipples and breast skin caused by the swelling after surgery. This numbness usually decreases as the swelling subsides over the next six weeks or so. In some patients, however, it may last a year or more, and occasionally it may be permanent.

Breast Reduction: Risks & Complications

A breast reduction is not a simple operation, but it’s normally safe when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon. Nevertheless, as with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications or a reaction to the anesthesia. Bleeding and infection following a breast reduction are uncommon and may necessitate further surgery. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s advice both before and after surgery.

Please keep in mind that at The Plastic Surgery Clinic, we will fix any problem or treat any complication for free. If you have an unsatisfactory result and we think additional surgery will help solve the issue, we will perform the surgery for free.

Breast reduction does leave noticeable, permanent scars, although they’ll be covered by your bra or bathing suit. The procedure may also occasionally leave patients with slightly mismatched breasts, unevenly positioned nipples, or a permanent loss of feeling in their nipples or breasts. In very rare cases the nipple and areola may lose their blood supply and the tissue will die. If this happens the nipple and areola can usually be rebuilt using skin grafts from elsewhere on the body.

Breastfeeding may not be possible after breast reduction, since the surgery removes many of the milk ducts leading to the nipples.

Did You Know?

Dr. Lista and Dr. Ahmad are two highly respected and cosmetic surgeons. Dr. Lista has presented his new “lollipop” breast reduction technique that reduces scarring at prestigious national plastic surgery meetings, such as The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Pan Arabic Plastic Surgery Society, The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Lista and Dr. Ahmad have also co-authored an article describing their unique breast reduction technique and reviewing their results. These papers were published in the prestigious peer-reviewed Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

Learn more about their vertical scar breast reduction publication and find out how their comprehensive research has allowed Dr. Lista and Dr. Ahmad to perfect their vertical scar breast reduction technique.

Breast Reduction Photo Gallery

Most of the swelling and bruising will disappear in the first few weeks, but it may be six months to a year before your breasts settle into their new shape. Even then, their shape may fluctuate in response to your hormonal shifts, weight changes, and pregnancy.

As dedicated breast reduction surgeons in Toronto, Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin will make every effort to make your scars as inconspicuous as possible. While the resulting scars are much less obvious than those left by other breast reduction surgery methods, it is important to remember that the scars are extensive and permanent. They often remain lumpy and red for months, then gradually become less obvious, sometimes eventually fading to thin white lines. Fortunately, the scars can usually be placed so that you can wear even low-cut tops.

More than anything else, as much as you may have desired these changes, you will need time to adjust to your new image – as will your family and friends. Be patient with yourself and with them. Keep in mind why you had this cosmetic surgery procedure, and chances are you’ll be pleased with the results.

The Photo Gallery

Browse our breast reduction photo gallery to learn more about this procedure. In our collection, you will find a selection of pictures from a few of our patients. We have many more photos to show you in-clinic during your free consultation with your surgeon.

Repeat Breast Reduction

Women with large, heavy breasts can suffer from symptoms including back, neck and shoulder discomfort, breast pain, and bra strap grooving. This is referred to as symptomatic mammary hypertrophy. Breast reduction is a frequently performed procedure to address these symptoms. During breast reduction, breast tissue is removed to unweight the breasts, the breasts are reshaped and the nipple is typically moved upwards to a more appropriate location. Breast reduction is a very common procedure. Some women choose to undergo this surgery as early as in their late teens, while other women may undergo breast reduction later in life. In general, breast reduction is associated with relief of these bothersome symptoms and is associated with a high degree of patient satisfaction. At the Plastic Surgery Clinic, Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin are considered experts in vertical scar (short scar, lollipop scar) breast reduction and have published their experience extensively in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as lectured around the world about their technique for breast reduction. At the Plastic Surgery Clinic, over 2500 women from Toronto and around Canada have been treated using our technique for vertical scar breast reduction.

To learn about Dr. Lista and Dr. Ahmad’s scientific journal articles on the vertical scar technique, please see this breast reduction publication and this article on breast reduction.

Following breast reduction, albeit infrequently, there is a small percentage of women that have recurrent symptomatic mammary hypertrophy – their breasts become large again leading to recurrence of symptoms. Recurrent mammary hypertrophy may occur due to age-related or postpartum (after childbirth) breast changes and weight gain. Additionally, repeated breast reduction may be required due to inadequate volume reduction during the first breast reduction, poor postoperative shape, and/or breast or nipple-areola complex asymmetries. Historically, repeated breast reduction was associated with significantly higher complication rates than the first breast reduction surgery. The complications were mainly related to poor wound healing of the breasts and/or nipples. In 2012, Dr. Lista and Dr. Ahmad published the Plastic Surgery Clinic’s experience with our technique for repeated breast reduction in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. This remains the most extensive experience performing repeated breast reduction in the world. Using our technique for repeated breast reduction with a vertical scar and extensive liposuction, we continue to achieve excellent results while maintaining a record of very few complications and none of the major complications that had been historically described following repeated breast reduction.

Read about Dr. Lista and Dr. Ahmad’s seminal scientific journal article on repeated breast reduction using the technique pioneered at the Plastic Surgery Clinic in Mississauga and Toronto.

If you have had breast reduction previously and have experienced recurrent symptomatic mammary hypertrophy, you may benefit from repeated breast reduction. You can schedule a consultation with Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin at the state-of-the art Plastic Surgery Clinic in Mississauga. Plastic surgeons Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin will spend as much time as you need to make sure both you and your breast reduction surgeon know exactly what you want. It may not always be possible to meet all your expectations with repeated breast reduction surgery, so it crucial that you understand what is a realistic outcome.

To learn more about repeated breast reduction at the Plastic Surgery Clinic, please contact us by phone or e-mail. You can also contact us by filling out the Request for Information form at the bottom of this page. The cost of this procedure can vary due to the specifics of each patient’s particular needs, but a more exact estimate will be given to you by your surgeon after your free consultation.

Cost of Breast Reduction

Breast reduction can be performed for a number of reasons. For some women, these reasons are functional: to prevent pain in the shoulders and back, to alleviate shoulder grooving caused by bra straps, or to eliminate painful rashes from forming under the breasts, for example. Other women chose breast reduction for aesthetic reasons. This might be because they have difficulty fitting particular clothing or because they find that their body appears out of proportion. Due to these varying reasons, OHIP considers coverage for this procedure on a case by case basis when the underlying motivation for surgery is primarily functional. Those who are not approved for OHIP or company insurance plan coverage typically find that the cost of surgery is in fact very affordable, especially with the help of financing plans we offer. When they experience an improved quality of life post-operation, many patients have told us they now consider it to be a worthwhile investment in their comfort and confidence as opposed to an expense.

To learn more about the price of breast reduction, please contact us by phone or e-mail. You can also contact us by filling out the Request for Information form on this page. The cost of this procedure can vary due to the specifics of each patient’s particular needs, but a more exact estimate will be given to you by your surgeon after your free consultation.

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