About Breast Reduction Surgery

A breast reduction is also referred to as a reduction mammaplasty. Dr. John Michael Thomassen is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Fort Lauderdale who performs breast reduction surgery for his patients. Women frequently choose a reduction mammaplasty to alleviate the discomfort commonly associated with overly large breasts. This discomfort may include back pain, neck pain, numbness in the fingers and hands, shoulder pain, migraines as well as shortness of breath.

What is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast ReductionAlso known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts. Click here to view before and after pictures from our actual breast reduction surgery patients.

This site features many tools to assist you in your search for plastic surgery information, including breast reduction videos, stories from real patients discussing their experiences with breast reduction surgery, and breast reduction before and after photos of patients who had their procedures performed by ASPS Member Surgeons.

What happens during breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is usually performed through incisions on your breasts with surgical removal of the excess fat, glandular tissue and skin.

In some cases, excess fat may be removed through liposuction in conjunction with the excision techniques described below. If breast size is largely due to fatty tissue and excess skin is not a factor, liposuction alone may be used in the procedure for breast reduction.

The technique used to reduce the size of your breasts will be determined by your individual condition, breast composition, amount of reduction desired, your personal preferences and the surgeon’s advice.

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during breast reduction surgery. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – The incision

Incision options include:

A circular pattern around the areola. The incision lines that remain are visible and permanent scars, although usually well concealed beneath a swimsuit or bra.

A keyhole or racquet-shaped pattern with an incision around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease.

An inverted T or anchor-shaped incision pattern.


Step 3 – Removing tissue and repositioning

After the incision is made, the nipple-which remains tethered to its original blood and nerve supply-is then repositioned. The areola is reduced by excising skin at the perimeter, if necessary.

Underlying breast tissue is reduced, lifted and shaped. Occasionally, for extremely large pendulous breasts, the nipple and areola may need to be removed and transplanted to a higher position on the breast (free nipple graft).

Step 4 – Closing the incisions

The incisions are brought together to reshape the now smaller breast. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts; sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape close the skin. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time.

Step 5 – See the results

The results of your breast reduction surgery are immediately visible. Over time, post-surgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover.

Breast Reduction Surgery Steps

The technique that Dr. Thomassen uses depends on each patient’s personal preference, particular condition, the composition of her breasts, as well as the final breast size she desires.

1. Anesthesia

Patients receive medications (general anesthesia or intravenous sedation) to ensure they remain asleep during their breast reduction procedure.

2. Dr. Thomassen Makes the Incision

There are several incision options used for a breast reduction procedure:

  • The racquet-shaped or keyhole incision is an incision that is made around the areola and another that runs vertically down to the crease of the breast.
  • The anchor-shaped or inverted T incision is created by making an incision around the areola, vertically down the middle of the breast to the crease and then along the crease itself.
  • A circular incision around the areola.

Although incision lines are permanent and will be visible, these incisions are placed in areas of the breast that are concealed beneath a bra or swimsuit. Furthermore, incision lines will fade with time.

3. Nipple Repositioning

Following the incision, the nipple is repositioned. Dr. Thomassen takes great care to ensure the nipple remains tethered to its original nerve and blood supply.

Reduce the Size of the Areola

If necessary, he will reduce the size of the areola by excising skin from its perimeter.

4. The Tissue is Reduced, the Breast is Lifted and Reshaped

Dr. Thomassen reduces the underlying breast tissue, lifts and reshapes the breast.

When Necessary, a ‘Free Nipple Graft’ is Performed

On occasion, when a woman has overly large, sagging breasts, the nipple and the areola will need to be completely removed, and then relocated to a position higher on the breast.

5. The Incisions Are Closed

To support the patient’s newly shaped breast, Dr. Thomassen layers the sutures within her breast. He uses skin adhesives, sutures and/or surgical tape to bring the skin together.

A small, thin tube may temporarily be placed beneath the skin. This tube is used to drain excess fluid and/or blood away from the breasts.

6. Bandages and/or Dressings Are Applied

Following closure of the incisions, the patient’s incisions are bandaged: Dressings may also be applied. To reduce inflammation and support the breasts while they heal, patients receive a support bra or an elastic bandage.

7. Results

Patients will see results immediately following their reduction mammaplasty with Dr. Thomassen in Fort Lauderdale. As time passes and the post-surgical inflammation resolves itself, patients will eventually see the full results of their breast reduction surgery.