Breast reduction surgery is supposed to be effectively permanent. You undergo the procedure, your breasts become smaller (thankfully), and that’s that. Right? But maybe there’s a lingering question in the back of your mind: will your breasts grow again after a breast reduction? In other words, will that tissue ever come back? Or will your breasts be permanently smaller?
Will Your Breasts Grow Again After a Breast Reduction Procedure?
In order to answer that question, it’s helpful to know a little bit more about how breast reduction operates and what the procedure is intended to do. It’s also helpful to talk to your surgeon–after all, everyone’s body is a little bit different and will respond to surgery in unique ways. And it’s your surgeon’s job to know your desired final results as well as your body.
This article, of course, is not intended to replace any medical advice you might receive from your surgeon (or any other medical professional, for that matter). Instead, we’re here mostly for entertainment purposes (and we like to think we do a pretty good job at that). If nothing else, our hope is that our answers to these questions will prompt you to have a discussion with a highly qualified surgeon in order to find out the answers that are suitable to you and your body.
What Happens During a Breast Reduction?
A breast reduction procedure is designed and intended to decrease the overall size and volume of the breasts. Patients might want to undergo this procedure for a variety of reasons, including health and aesthetic concerns. For some patients, breast reduction will offer some welcome improvements in the proportions of the body. For others, breast reduction is designed to mitigate a significant amount of physical pain.
Overly large breasts can cause chronic neck and back pain (to start). This is due to the constant pull of gravity and, therefore, strain on the upper body that overly large breasts can produce. A breast reduction removes a significant amount of that excess tissue, ensuring that the breasts are a much more proportional size.
In many cases, a breast lift is performed concurrently with a breast reduction, in order to return the breasts to a more youthful orientation. This is because breast reduction often occurs as a result of the effects of aging. Gravity exerts constant pressure on the breasts, stretching them–and the tissue surrounding the breasts has no choice but to stretch and grow. Eventually you end up with a considerable amount of tissue and, therefore, larger breasts. At least, until you undergo a breast reduction.
How Could Breast Tissue Grow Back?
Plastic surgery procedures are permanent–in that they permanently change the body. If we’re looking at a breast reduction, those permanent changes are pretty easy to spot: once the tissue has been excised, it’s gone from your body forever.
So that answers the question, right? Once the tissue is gone, it’s not coming back? Well, not exactly. And here’s where the term “effectively permanent” comes into play. Because the changes are permanent, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the results are.
That’s because biological processes keep going. There are a wide variety of factors that could cause your body to continue creating excess skin in your breasts:
- You could lose a significant amount of weight (substantial changes in your weight in either direction can significantly influence the longevity of your results).
- Generally speaking, the larger your breasts remain, the more quickly they will succumb to the effects of gravity (that said, there are a large number of variables to consider when discussing your final breast reduction size preferences with your surgeon).
- If you become pregnant or nurse, your breast size may change significantly (in one direction or another).
Talk to Your Surgeon About Your Future
In many ways, a breast reduction procedure is a–for some patients–a kind of rejuvenating procedure. It makes you look like you’re young again. But it’s not the fountain of youth. The procedure doesn’t make it so you never age, it just sets the clock back a bit. So you’ll continue to age.
And, slowly, your breasts will continue to regain that tissue all over again because the same natural processes are at work. But you’ll have a significant amount of time to enjoy your smaller breasts, both physically and aesthetically.
If you want to know more about what a breast reduction procedure can do for you–especially in the long term–it’s important to spend some time talking about your options with your plastic or cosmetic surgeon.
About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about cosmetic and plastic surgery for over four years. This article was written in conjunction with the team at Chicago-based Ogilvie Plastic Surgery.