Breast Reduction Pittsburgh

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Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery applies the arts of plastic surgery to remove breast tissue and excess skin thereby reducing an enlarged or over-sized breast to a more comfortable breast size and shape.

Breast reduction surgery is indicated for women with extremely large breasts who suffer from the following symptoms:  upper back and shoulder pain, shoulder grooving from bra straps, neck strain with associated tension headaches, and rashes or fungal infections beneath the breast.  The surgery is also appropriate in cases of profound psychological discomfort associated with large breast size, especially in younger women and teenagers.  Women who need surgery for breast cancer sometimes undergo a breast reduction on the unaffected breast to attain symmetry.

Breast Reduction Methods

It is the goal of plastic surgery to minimize scarring or make scarring as discrete as possible. In the case of breast reduction surgery, Dr. Pautler will use one of the following breast reduction methods to reduce scarring:

Vertical breast reduction

Scars from the plastic surgery are limited to around the areola and an up-and-down scar from the areola to the crease beneath the breast. This is also known as the “Lejour or Hall-Findlay mammaplasty”.

Wise-pattern breast reduction

This plastic surgery incorporates the scar around the areola, up-and-down from the areola, and underneath in the crease beneath the breast.

How Breast Reduction Works

How long does breast reduction take?

The surgery usually takes up to three hours (1.5 hours per side) and is done using general anesthesia. This is typically done on an outpatient basis.

Before The Surgery

Before performing the reduction, Dr. Pautler draws a pattern on the breast with the patient in the upright position.  During the surgery, breast gland and skin are removed according to this pattern, and the nipple areola complex is repositioned higher on what ends up being a smaller breast mound.  Prior to closing all the incisions, Dr. Pautler sits each patient up vertically to allow the breasts to drop and to make sure the breasts are as symmetric as possible.  A small drain is inserted into each side, the wounds are sutured closed, and a compressive surgical bra is placed before awakening the patient from anesthesia.

After The Surgery

After the surgery, discomfort is controlled with either oral medication. The drains are most often removed the day after surgery, either in the hospital or in Dr. Pautler’s office.  The compressive bra is worn for about 4-6 weeks, and afterwards most patients can return to normal activities.

Breast Reduction Reasons

Women may need breast reduction surgery due to:

Chronic pain

Women with extremely large breasts often suffer from upper back and shoulder pain, neck strain with associated tension headaches and the pain of shoulder grooving from bra straps due to the weight of the enlarged breasts.


Women with large breasts can be prone to rashes or fungal and yeast infections in the area beneath the breast known as the “inframammary fold”.


Women, particularly young women, with large breasts can feel psychologically uncomfortable or awkward about extremely large breast size.


A breast reconstruction patient or a breast lift patient may choose to have breast reduction surgery in one breast to create a more even or balanced appearance to both breasts.

The best way to learn how a breast reduction can help fulfill your personal goals is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pautler.

» Read more about breast reduction surgery

Breast Reduction Benefits

The benefits to breast reduction surgery are:


With breast reduction surgery, women can ease their pain, both physical and psychological, control painful and irritating rashes and infections and achieve the benefits of cosmetic surgery with a smaller but more attractive breast size and shape.

View our Glossary of Breast Surgery key terms Here.

Notes Regarding Breast Reduction Surgery

The following notes detail various issues relating to breast reduction surgery:

Breast cancer

Studies show that a breast reduction can reduce cancer risk by 40% but it cannot eliminate the risk. It has been documented in the literature that on RARE occasions, a cancer has been detected in the breast during breast reduction surgery. A mammogram is obtained prior to the breast reduction surgery to see if there are any breast areas that should be studied prior to breast reduction surgery, but an occasional lump can be missed. Should this unusual circumstance arise during breast reduction surgery, it is possible that breast conservation surgery may not be possible and that eventually a mastectomy may need to be performed

Breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery

Many women are able to nurse successfully after breast reduction surgery; however, it cannot be guaranteed. If breastfeeding is something you absolutely wish to do, you may want to consider holding off on the breast reduction surgery until finished with childbearing.

Stop smoking

If you are a smoker, Dr. Pautler will strongly urge you to cease as soon as possible.  It is important for you to stop smoking at least 8 weeks prior to and 6 weeks after your planned surgery.  Cigarettes contain nicotine, a powerful substance that decreases blood circulation especially in the areas that need it the most:  surgical wounds.  Wound healing is slowed, infections risk is increased, and recovery from surgery may be prolonged.

Breast Reduction Photos

See the results for yourself

Featured Testimonials

Here’s what our clients have to say

"Dr. Pautler is fantastic. I had a breast augmentation and lift in December 2017 after one of my implants ruptured from a previous augmentation done about 15 years ago (with a different doctor). The results are exactly what I was hoping for! Dr Pautler also has a great bedside manner, is very patient and answers all your questions, works with you to figure out what you're looking for, and is extremely talented. I don't have enough amazing things to say about her and my experience. I also had a pretty quick recovery. Was up and moving around a day or two after surgery with minimal pain. The office staff is also so helpful!  I'm adding this review because I did a ton of research when looking for a plastic surgeon and I'm posting this for the next person who isn't sure which doctor to choose. Choose Dr. Pautler. She's amazing."

"In all aspects of the surgical experience over a five month period of time from initial consultation to most recent followup appointment, each and every aspect of my experience with this entire professional office stands as a model for what all patients deserve who place their trust and well being in the hands of medical professionals. Please continue to offer this exemplary standard of care, respect, support, and medical expertise that made for such a personal positive experience and result."

"Dr. Pautler is the best! I had a tummy tuck and liposuction of my sides. My results are better than I could have ever dreamed of!! I finally have my body back! Dr. Pautler spent a lot of time with me before the surgery explaining all the ins and outs. I saw her and her nurse a lot after the surgery and they were always available to answer any questions. I highly recommend her!"


"She is amazing. A truly careful, competent and artistic plastic surgeon who is also a good and decent person. I met with all the top plastic surgeons in the area and went with Dr. Pautler. She will take good care of you and you will love the results. I know people who have come in from far away for procedures after seeing her results. Seriously the best decision I made was choosing her for this procedure."


FAQs for Breast Reduction

Have a specific question? Contact us!

There is a 50-50 chance you will be able to breastfeed after a breast reduction. Breast reduction surgery changes the internal breast architecture and can affect the mammary ducts attachment to the nipple.

Many factors can affect the duration of breast reduction. The biggest factors are losing or gaining weight. If you lose a significant amount of weight, the breasts may become flabbier. If you gain a significant amount of weight, the breasts will become enlarged again. Prior to surgery, it is recommended to be at the weight that is easiest for you to maintain which is not necessarily your ideal weight.

Every individual is unique. Some women heal quickly and some heal slowly. In general, skin type determines the quality of the scar. Despite the most meticulous technique, some individuals heal poorly, while others heal beautifully. Age can also play a factor in healing time after breast lift surgery. The older you are the less red and tender your breast lift scars may appear while younger women may have pink or reddish scars that will be tender for several months and may take up to a year to fade. A patient should massage the scars a few times a day with a product such as vitamin E oil or cocoa butter applying pressure while massaging the scars. The pressure during the massage is more important than the type of cream product used.


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