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Liposuction of Breast (Female)

Reasons for Breast Reduction

  • To attain aesthetic size and shape
  • To attain symmetrical cup sizes in the case of asymmetrical breasts
  • To temporarily alleviate the problem of breast hypertrophy, an abnormal condition where the breasts grow disproportionately large

Arrival of Breast Liposuction Surgery

Among women, breast reduction through liposuction procedure is quite favored. Initially, breast reduction involved altering the breast shape and then neatly placing the skin over it. However, this technique left long and unpleasant scars on the breast and in some cases made them look uneven. Since 2004, lipo suction or lipectomy gained popularity among plastic surgeons as one of the best techniques for breast reduction minus scars. In addition, surgical liposuction of the breast poses much less threat compared to other surgical breast reduction procedures.

Benefits of Breast Liposculpture

  • Aesthetic Contours: The process helps attain proportionately sized and moderately firm breasts. The fat removal triggers the natural elasticity of the skin, which helps elevate them.
  • Health Alleviation: Neck and shoulder pain, backaches, etc., are sometimes aggravated due to exceptionally large breasts. There may be physical limitations as well, especially during exertion. Breathing problems may also occur. The size reduction helps alleviate these health problems.
  • Skin Infection between the Breasts: In the case of women with large breasts, the skin rubbing with each other (breast and the area beneath it) is likely to develop Candida yeast infections. Reduced size due to liposculpture aids in averting it.
  • Poor Posture: Large breasts can adversely change the posture of a woman. There can even be a skeletal deformity due to this. With the small size of breasts, the posture can be improved.
  • Temporary Scarring: Liposculpture of breast leaves just a slight scar after the surgery, which diminishes after one or two months, a maximum of 1 year. However, women with deeper skin color may develop some surgery marks, which vanish in 1-2 years. This is unlike a surgical excision – where the breast is operated upon and the fat is cut away, which can cause large permanent marks called kleoids.
  • Controlled Swelling: With the use of microcannulae (1mm thick), small holes (adits) are made into the skin for liposuction of breast. After the surgery, these adits help drain away the residual fluids easily, thereby reducing swelling.
  • Intact Mammary Functions: In the case of pregnancy after liposuction of the breast, breastfeeding is not affected. Liposculpture does not injure the mammary glands or the lactiferous ducts. However, surgical excisions usually damage these glands while cutting and removing the breast fat and tissues. The nipple also stays intact in liposuction, whereas it is repositioned in the case of surgical excision.
  • High on Effectiveness Index:  Liposuction of breasts delivers quite satisfactory results. The breast size is usually even.
  • Less Tissue Trauma: Due to target precision of liposuction, only the targeted fat cells are touched. The adjacent tissues and blood capillaries are just slightly affected. This helps prevent any loss of sensation in the nipples, bleeding due to the operation, blood clot (hematoma) formation, fluid accumulation (seroma), or cyst formation, which are common in a surgical excision.

Risks of Liposuction of Breasts

  • Breathing Complication: If the cannula punctures the lung, that can lead to air leakage into the chest and may cause breathing problems. This can especially be hazardous if the surgery is conducted under general anesthesia. However, breast liposuction is usually performed with local anesthesia.
  • Bruising: Contusion may occur due to inadequate compression provided to the surgery site.

Realistic Goals

Liposuction may improve breast size and elevation, but will not transform them. The patient needs to understand this fact. You should be looking for size reduction and not sag improvement.

Eligibility for Breast Liposuction

First, the patient’s eligibility for liposuction in general is established. If qualified, specific breast evaluations are needed. Some of them are:

  • Women with Fibrous Glandular Breast Tissues: Fibrous glandular tissues are dense and are difficult to remove through liposuction. The procedure specializes in removing fatty tissues. Breast tissues after menopause are highly fatty and less fibrous and glandular. Therefore, liposuction works easily on them. Similarly, women in their reproductive phase and who are slightly overweight make good candidates. Thin and young women have more fibrous tissues than fatty ones in their breast. Therefore, liposuction may not be the best treatment mode for them. Similarly with sagging breasts. Mammogram helps determine the quantity of fat in a woman’s breast.
  • Breast Size: Liposuction can achieve a maximum of 55% reduction of the breast size. Although the proportion is significant it may not bring about any noticeable difference in the case of large breasts. For a bigger difference, it is better to undergo surgical excision. Usually, moderate sized breasts measuring up to DD, are the ideal targets.
  • High Skin Quality: Good skin elasticity considerably enhances the liposuction results. The breasts get a nice, firmed up shape.
  • Breast Examination: The breast health in particular is examined to rule out any malignancy. A mammogram is essential and if required a biopsy may be done. Women with a family history of breast cancer may need further evaluations for being eligible. The woman should demonstrate a negligible probability of developing breast cancer after plastic surgery.
  • Fibrocystic Disease: This condition obstructs the liposuction procedure and the results obtained are not up to expectations. Women with slight to moderate condition can undergo the process.

The Procedure

Liposuction of breasts is most often performed via the tumescent technique with local anesthesia, using microcannulae. The process lasts for approximately an hour. Here are the steps:

  • Sizing: Liposuction of breast is similar to that of any other body part, except for the initial measurement stage. Since both the breasts need to be symmetrical after the surgery, it is important to chart the volume of each breast accurately. The water displacement technique helps here. Each breast is immersed in a water-filled beaker and the volume of water displaced is recorded as the volume of the breast.
  • Marking the Target Area: Surgical guiding lines are drawn with a pen, on the breasts.
  • Incision: A small incision is made to infuse local anesthesia.
  • Fluid Administration: The tumescent fluid (a mix of local anesthesia + epinephrine + saline solution) is next injected into the skin.
  • Adits: Approximately 10 small incisions measuring 1mm are made on each breast using a biopsy punch.
  • Fat Dislodging: After the target area is numb, fat is dislodged using a microcannula measuring 1.5mm-2.7mm in diameter.
  • Suctioning: After displacing the fat, it is vacuumed out with another cannula.
  • No Suturing: The adits are left open to allow quick drainage of the excess fluid.
  • Compression: Post liposuction, superabsorbent pads are placed over the adits to absorb the fluid and then the site is covered with compression garments.  Then binders are put over the garments to further compress.

Breast Liposuction Recovery

Due to the use of microcannulae and tumescent fluid, the cell trauma is quite reduced. Therefore, pain, bruising, slight lumpiness, and scarring are quite limited and usually go away completely in 2-4 months. Change compression garments twice a day. They are usually required in the full first week. The recovery overall is prompt and the patient can resume routine within 2-3 days of the surgery. However, any physical exertion should be avoided for at least 2-3 weeks after the procedure. Women with deeper skin color may develop some surgery marks, which vanish in 1-2 years.

Post Operative Care

  • Use of Absorbent Pads: After breast liposuction, superabsorbent pads must be placed on the surgical site to remove all the blood-tinged fluids.
  • Proper use of Compression Pads: Use compression garments over the surgical site for as long as the doctor recommends. Often this period is 1-2 weeks. These pads help in speedy healing and reduce the chances of swelling and contusions. Make sure the compression is adequate and comfortable. It should not be too much as it may cause breathing trouble.
  • Regular Mammograms: Do monitor the growth or lumps in the breast after any surgical procedure. Regular mammograms every 3-4 months may help detect any form of calcification in the breasts due to any cancerous growth. Calcifications are normal after breast reduction surgeries. However, such occurrences are rare after tumescent liposuction.
  • Support Bra: Often doctors recommend a special support bra, to be worn for a minimum of 6 months after the surgery.

Cost of Liposuction of Breasts

Usually, the price of liposuction surgery varies from $2600-$7000. Liposuction cost is a total of several factors. Since breast liposuction is often conducted on medical grounds, most health insurance companies provide coverage for at least part of it.