"No Scar" vs. Traditional Breast Reduction: Know the Differences

Some cosmetic surgeons are promoting less invasive procedures such as “liposuction” breast reduction as substitutes for the traditional surgical approaches. While some of these techniques can be effective for certain patients, women who are considering breast reduction and/or breast lift in the Walnut Creek / San Ramon area need to understand that less invasive approaches differ significantly from traditional methods and are meant to achieve much more subtle cosmetic enhancement.

Know the Basics: How Is Breast Reduction Performed?

There are three basic approaches for the traditional breast reduction procedures I perform – known as the “donut,” “lollipop,” and “anchor” incisions. I select from these methods based on factors such as a patient”s breast size, skin quality, and the extent of ptosis (sagging). Any additional combination surgery such as a San Ramon breast lift will also influence my selection of surgical approach.

In each of these approaches I create an incision on the breast itself to remove the loose skin and excess breast fat. If necessary, I also may reposition the nipple for a more attractive appearance. Once recovery is complete, the firmer skin is able to hold the smaller breast mound in a higher and more youthful position. While each approach will involve some scarring, fully healed scars typically appear very thin, flat, and relatively close to the patient”s natural skin tone.

Liposuction Breast Reduction: What Is It?

Liposuction breast reduction, also called “no scar” reduction by some cosmetic surgeons, aims to eliminate the risk of surgical scars by minimizing incisions through the use of liposuction to remove excess fat from the breast. Because the surgeon does not address the skin and nipple position directly, he or she has to trust that the patient”s skin will contract sufficiently post-operatively to lift both the breast mound and the nipple to a more natural position. However, many candidates for breast reduction will not experience optimal results with this procedure because their loose or excess skin will not contract properly.

Using liposuction to achieve a smaller breast size is really most appropriate for women who are happy with their breast position and who only want a slight reduction in their overall breast volume. Here are a few other factors to consider:

  • Breast shape – For certain patients, this procedure may result in a more “horizontal” look to the breast, rather than the pleasing, rounded contour that most women prefer.
  • Skin smoothness – Depending on your skin elasticity and breast tissue quality, you may be left with loose skin following a “no scar” procedure.
  • Surgical safety – Liposuction is still cosmetic surgery, and while a good cosmetic surgeon will aim for balance in every procedure, many patients unfortunately are less discerning in their choice of doctors because they wrongly assume that less invasive procedures require less skill to maintain safety.
  • Breast position – For many women, breast reduction becomes necessary because their breasts have gained volume and begun to sag significantly after weight loss or pregnancy. For patients with poor skin elasticity, however, liposuction could only worsen the effects of loose skin, making it much less effective than traditional breast reduction and breast lift in Walnut Creek.

Making an Informed Choice

Patients in San Ramon and Walnut Creek considering breast lift or breast reduction should approach it as they would any other plastic surgery. Talk with more than one plastic surgeon, be sure to research your procedure thoroughly on your own, and take that surgeon”s past-patient photos (as well as your own natural skin sensitivity and healing tendencies) into account before you decide on an approach that will be able to offer the results you want.

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Information provided on this site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Cosmetic Surgery Chronicle and affiliate doctors strive to provide accurate information about real issues, but the information and opinions provided on this site are only meant to help clarify your larger research efforts.

Doctors' posts and comments are not meant to constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Any type of surgical procedure carries risks, so readers should always consult with their own physician to help them understand their risks, choose a surgeon, and prepare themselves for the results of their procedure.