Breast Reduction Surgery

Surgical Techniques

Clare Vogt

by Clare Vogt

Published: October 14th, 2020

There are several typical features of breast reduction surgery which almost never change. For example, breast reduction surgery will always last between 60 minutes and 3 hours, and it is almost always performed under a general anaesthetic.

There are, however, numerous incision methods and also a number of different surgical techniques which your surgeon can use. These variations will be recommended to you to cater to you, your body and your desired outcome. These options will always be discussed in your consultation with a Medbelle surgeon.

Breast reduction surgery requires your surgeon to make incisions on each breast to remove breast tissue and skin. These incisions are where then scarring will be after you recover from your surgery.

While scaring can be a barrier to having surgery, it is worth noting that patients who choose to have breast reduction surgery with Medbelle report overwhelming that their surgical scars heal extremely well. The scarring will always remain apparent for several weeks, perhaps even months after surgery. This is completely normal. However, in general, they will fade to become almost invisible around 6 months to 1 year after the operation. You can see some of our before and after photos here.

Nevertheless, you should always follow the recommended steps as advised by your Medbelle surgeon and stick as closely to our aftercare guidelines as possible.

Read on to discover what breast reduction surgery variations exist and what their purpose is.

Types of Incisions for Breast Reduction Surgery

The type of incision your surgeon will use during breast reduction surgery depends on how much skin and tissue will be removed. The more that is removed, the larger the incision must be.

There are three types of incisions used for breast reduction:

  • Circumareolar also called a donut incision that goes around the areola
    • Suitable for small reductions
  • Vertical also called a lollipop incision that goes around the areola and down to the crease of the breast
    • Suitable for small to moderate reductions
  • Inverted-T also called an anchor incision that goes around the areola, down to the crease of the breast, and then continues across the crease of the breast
    • Suitable for large reductions

Types of Breast Tissue Removal Techniques

A pedicle is a surgical technique that keeps the nipple and areola attached to an amount of breast tissue that remains untouched during surgery.

This method ensures the nipple and remaining breast tissue have a constant connection to a blood supply and nerves while the excess breast tissue is removed.

There are two types of pedicles used during breast reduction surgery:

  • Inferior pedicle at the lower part of the breast
    • Tissue removed comes from the upper part of the breast
    • Very popular technique especially when combined with an anchor incision
    • Suitable for very large reductions
  • Superior pedicle at the top part of the breast
    • Tissue is removed from the lower part and sides of the breast
    • Mostly used in combination with lollipop incisions

Free Nipple Graft

The free nipple graft is now a very uncommon technique. A free nipple graft requires the nipple and areola to be completely detached from the breast. They are reattached after breast tissue has been removed.

Medbelle surgeons do not commonly use this method as there is poor preservation of nipple sensation and the ability to breastfeed is completely stopped.