Vistnes Plastic Surgery of Palo Alto, Dean Vistnes 1515 El Camino Real, Suite B, Palo Alto, CA 94306

Breast Reduction Palo Alto

Breast reduction surgery, technically known as reduction mammoplasty, is designed to reduce the size of the breasts and create a more attractive breast shape and form. Women with very large breasts often suffer from breast pain; back, shoulder, and neck pain; posture problems; shoulder grooves from bra straps; and skin rashes under the breasts. In addition, women can experience embarrassment and be limited in a number of physical activities. Breast reduction surgery may help alleviate some or all of these common problems.

The traditional procedure removes excess skin, fat, and glandular tissue from the breasts, and repositions the nipple and remaining tissues to create smaller, lighter, and firmer breasts. The goal is to make the breast size more proportional to the rest of the body, and relieve physical and emotional discomforts. Patients having this procedure tend to be among the happiest patients a plastic surgeon will care for.

What to expect:

The operation can be done in a variety of ways, depending on the skill and expertise of the surgeon, and the anatomy and desires of the patient. Predefined incisions are made on the breast, and excess skin, fat, and breast tissue are removed. The nipple is then elevated to its new position on the breast mound, and the remaining tissues are closed around it. Some liposuction of adjacent areas may be performed at the same time to improve the shape of the new breast. The scars on the breast will depend on the pattern that is used for the reduction.

The traditional operation is about 4 hours in duration and requires a general anesthetic, meaning you will go to sleep for the operation. Most patients will go home same day. Some swelling and bruising is common, but this tends to resolve by the time the stitches are removed in about 10 days. Pain and discomfort tend to be minimal and are easily controlled with oral pain pills.

A new alternative:

The recent introduction of ultrasound assisted lipoplasty or ultrasonic liposuction, has allowed plastic surgeons to reduce the size of one or both breasts without the extensive cutting and scarring associated with the traditional operation.

A small incision is made under the breast and around the areola (nipple area) to allow insertion of an ultrasonic liposuction cannula. After the cannula is inserted, the fatty portion of the breast is liquified and removed, reducing the size and volume of the breast.

This technique has limitations in terms of the amount of volume reduction that can be obtained. It may produce some elevation of the nipple, but cannot approach the volume and lift that can be achieved with the typical reduction methods described above. Nevertheless, it may be an excellent option for some women wishing small reductions in size, without scarring. For more information on Ultrasonic Liposuction, click on this link.


Although the operation is usually straight-forward and uncomplicated, problems can infrequently happen as with any operation. These possible complications include bleeding, infection, change in sensation around the nipple, scarring, asymmetry, and nipple or tissue healing problems. Inability to breast feed in the future is also a possibility because of the nature of the surgery. This should NOT be a problem with the ultrasonic breast reduction. Although all of these complications are unusual, it is important that every patient be well informed about the procedure, the options available and the potential problems. Write down a list of questions and concerns that you’ll want to discuss with your doctor at the time of your visit.

>> click here to see before and after photos

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