Vertical breast reduction: less scars, better shape

Many women would like to have a Breast reduction to relieve symptoms of back pain, neck pain, or breast pain. Most insurance companies will cover Breast reduction surgery if a certain amount of breast tissue is removed.

If insurance will pay for it, why are many women still reluctant to undergo the procedure? I have asked that question to many patients and referring physicians such as gynecologists. The answer is that although many patients are relieved of symptoms, many are turned off by the large amount of scars (“anchor” or “T” shaped scar) and flattened breast shape after reduction. The horizontal scar at the bottom of the breast ensures that the breast is spread and flattened over the chest wall. That is represented by the photo on the left above, ‘The Weiss pattern – a long horizontal scar.

The irony is that there is a technique available right now that delivers a shapelier breast with less scars!

The vertical scar technique (or Lollipop scar)

The vertical Scar Technique even looks better on the Operating Room table!

-Dr. Rodriguez

This technique isn’t well known by physicians or patients because not many plastic surgeons are not familiar with it. They are not familiar with it because it is not taught routinely in plastic surgery residency training programs.

I have been doing the vertical scar Breast reduction since 1989, having learned it in Nice, France, from Dr. Claude Lassus, a French plastic surgeon, who is the originator of the technique. When I left France, I started doing the technique at Yale, where I was a faculty member in the plastic surgery department. I presented the first scientific paper on the technique in the US in 1992 at the 25th anniversary meeting of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.

Even the few surgeons that do perform the vertical technique it say that it is appropriate only for smaller breasts. Having performed hundreds of these procedures in all types of breasts, large and small, I can state without a doubt that the technique gives better results than the traditional technique.

The reason the vertical technique works so well is because it works like a wire rim bra. A wire rim bra uses the wire base to push the breast tissue from the lower and outer side of the chest to the front of the chest. It doesn’t make your breast bigger, it just looks bigger and rounder because it is bunched up in the front of the chest. The vertical scar technique works also by tightening the skin envelope the same way a bra wire does.

A collage of photos showing the different scar techniques.
Traditional Weiss pattern (left) vs. Vertical Scar technique with less scars (right)

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, the following comparison will make things very clear. The photos shown are of patients who have each undergone breast reduction surgery with each one of the techniques. The patient on the left had the traditional Weiss technique (with a long horizontal scar) and the patient on the right had the vertical scar reduction (single scar).

Which scar would you rather have?

Even on the operating table it is clear that the Vertical Scar Breast Reduction gives less scarring and a better shape!

By Dr. Ricardo L. Rodriguez MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Cosmeticsurg Baltimore, Maryland Ricardo L. Rodriguez on American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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