Breast Reduction Using Liposuction, The Young Woman's Choice

Lawrence N. Gray, MD

by Lawrence N. Gray, MD | August 16, 2010 @ 09:00AM

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A young woman facing the need for breast reduction will likely have concerns about the appearance of her breasts and breast function after reduction mammaplasty. Breast Reduction using liposuction meets the woman's needs and eliminates all symptoms. This method of breast reduction is good for all patients and all ages, but is particularly important for young women.

A young woman may delay having reduction mammaplasty to relieve her symptoms because of fear of scarring. Liposuction Breast Reduction is a significant improvement over the traditional method because it relieves the backache, shoulder pain, neck pain, and headaches caused by oversized breasts without the scarring. This method leaves only a ¼ inch scar instead of the 12 full inches of scarring left on each breast by the traditional method. The lack of scarring is very important for the woman's self-image. No young woman needs to go through life with 12 inches of scarring on each breast.

Breast reduction using Liposuction appeals to younger patients because it does not interfere with breastfeeding. The procedure removes the fat in the breast without disturbing the mammary glands necessary for lactation. For patients 40 years and over, it is particularly appealing because it does not interfere with mammograms as traditional surgery often does. In fact, mammograms can be read more easily with this method.

A young woman may worry about losing nipple sensation, an important part of sexuality. In the over 450 cases of breast reduction using liposuction I have performed, there has been no nipple numbness. Liposuction removes only fat without injuring sensory nerves. The instrument used in the procedure does not cut nerves.

Liposuction Breast Reduction allows for quicker recovery. There is minimal aftercare, so most patients return to work in a few days and are back to full activity in a week. For those women with children and/or jobs, the quick recovery is key to balancing their active schedules.

There are virtually no complications with this method, so results are better. The traditional method produces complications in up to half the patients and includes infection, hematoma, fluid collection, skin loss, and opening of scars and bleeding. Conventional surgery may result in poor shape, inadequate removal of tissue, inability to breast feed, numbness, and painful or unsightly scars. Complications are eliminated using the liposuction method.

Why it Works and How it's Done

The key to relief of painful symptoms associated with oversized breasts is weight removal. The breast is surprisingly over 70 percent fat, that means that there is a good amount of fat that can be taken out. When you reduce the weight of the breast, symptoms are relieved.

The skin shrinks after removal of weight, regardless of the patient's age or breast size. All skin tightens in response to the removal of the weight it would have previously supported. The removal of weight has the added benefit of drawing the nipple upward, sometimes as much as three inches.

The procedure is preformed on an out-patient basis using intravenous sedation, which feels the same to the patient as being completely asleep. There is no need for general anesthesia. Two small incisions are made on each breast. The patient's breast are flooded with fluid, which pushes the tissue apart so the fat surrounding the mammary glands can be suctioned more easily. A thorough suctioning of the fat is then performed. The procedure takes approximately 25 minutes per breast.


There has been complete elimination of symptoms in all patients. Areolas that had been enlarged due to excessive weight of breast tissue shrink to a more normal size. The skin of the breast tightens in all patients. The average reduction is two cup sizes. Patients wear a surgical bra for one week, day and night, followed by a sports bra for one month. Massage is generally done for a few months until the breasts are soft and feeling comfortable and back too normal. There is little chance of significant breast change with weight gain in the future.

Breast Reduction using Liposuction is often covered by insurance. Because it's a  brief procedure performed in less than one hour, compared to the four hours of conventional surgery, costs are lower. The operation room, recovery, and anesthesia charges have been greatly reduce with essentially no post-operative care, supplies, or medications. For those women whose health insurance may not cover breast reduction, the lower cost of the liposuction technique is especially helpful.

Dr. Gray, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is the originator of this procedure. He has been selected to teach a course on this procedure at the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in New York, May 4th-9th, 2001. He has performed more than 500 cases, published numerous articles, and has appeared on breast panels at national professional conferences. Dr. Gray is gaining international attention and has been asked to participate in a formal medical study of his procedure at Uppsala University in Sweden. Patients have come to him from other countries such as Turkey and Egypt. 

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