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What Should Female Athletes Know About Breast Reduction?

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It stands to reason that some female athletes want to have voluptuous appearing breasts and still be able to beat their opponents. 

Woman with voluptuous breasts in maroon bra

Undergoing breast reduction surgery to improve physical performance is a complicated subject that women participating in sports should consider thoughtfully.

Of course, the overwhelming majority of female “athletes” are not involved in important competitions but simply want to be very active physically.

Do Large Breasts Interfere With Athletic Performance?

Many well-known female athletes have turned to breast surgery to improve performance. Tennis player Simona Halep of Romania had hers reduced in 2009 because “they hurt her reaction time.” The impact can also be quite significant in other sports such as swimming, track and field and golf. 

According to the ancient Greeks, the Amazons (a group of legendary female warriors — not those who deliver your packages, even on Sundays!) amputated one of their breasts to shoot arrows from their bows more easily. 

A “modern study” by the University of Portsmouth found that without adequate breast support, women’s running kinetics are negatively impacted, affecting physiological performance. 

Certainly, a sturdy and well-fitting sports bra is a must during intense physical activity, but it is truly not enough for athletes with a large breast size.

How Is Breast Reduction Plastic Surgery Performed?

Breast reduction surgery decreases the size of the breasts by removing excess breast tissue and skin. The remaining breast tissue is recontoured and elevated, and the size of the nipple-areola complexes are reduced and elevated to a more natural position.

This approach is also designed to preserve at least some sensation and sensuality of the nipples.

What Kind of Incision Is Used in a Breast Reduction?

The most commonly used incision used in a breast reduction is the inverted-T (anchor shaped incision), which extends from around the nipple-areola complex and then down the breast to the crease at the bottom of the breast and continuing along that crease. 

When skillfully performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, these scars can blend in with the breast skin nicely and become less noticeable over time.

Is a Breast Lift Included With Your Breast Reduction?

Yes, a breast lift is an intrinsic component of breast reduction surgery. Not only is there a reduction of the breast size but also a lifting and recontouring that also entails the repositioning of the nipple-areolar complexes higher up on the chest for a truly rejuvenated and perkier appearance. 

What Is Recovery From a Breast Reduction Like?

There are a number of factors that will determine your personal recovery experience. However, in general, discomfort is relatively mild, with most patients taking pain medication only for a few days at most. Some even go out to dinner the same night as their surgery. Many are out walking the very next day.

Doing work from home can be even in just a few days. However, there are various restrictions related to certain physical activities that can extend up to eight weeks postoperatively. These are designed to minimize risks for complications and maximize results, including scar healing. Often, there are individual variabilities that would be specifically discussed with you.


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Interested in Learning More?

If you want to know more about cosmetic breast surgery, including breast reduction and lift, or to schedule a consultation with me, please call my office at (480) 451-3000 or contact us by email.

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