‘Scarless’ Breast Reduction using Liposuction: What patients need to know
You may have heard of “Liposuction Breast Reduction” or seen this advertised using words like “scarless breast reduction.” Advertisers often describe this breast reduction method as a ‘quicker, lower downtime procedure’ than typical breast reduction surgery options. So does the lipo-only method of breast reduction work? Can you adequately reduce your breast size using liposuction or lipo-sculpting alone?
The truth is, Liposuction Breast Reduction only suits a small percentage of breast reduction candidates. Plus, liposuction is an invasive surgery and may still leave scars. Find out more about this type of breast reduction procedure below.
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So, is the ‘no scar’ breast reduction method accurate?
No, it is not accurate to describe a Liposuction Breast Reduction procedure as ‘no scar’ or ‘scarless’. Liposuction is a serious and invasive surgical procedure, and all invasive surgery will leave a scar. However, you can expect any scarring from a Lipo-only Breast Reduction to be less visible as it’s often smaller and tends to fade over time. In saying this, every patient is unique and may experience different levels of scarring post-surgery.
If Liposuction Breast Reduction is a surgical procedure, why is it ‘less invasive’?
There are a number of reasons that Liposuction methods for Breast Reduction are often referred to as ‘less invasive’:
- Liposuction doesn’t involve extended incisions.
- Unlike a Tummy Tuck, for example, long incisions needing stitches/surgical sutures are not involved.
- Liposuction Breast Reduction only involves small, circular-style scars made by a cannula.
Why do they advertise Liposuction Breast Reduction as being ‘scarless’?
- Scars for Lipo Breast Reduction simply tend to be less conspicuous or smaller in size than traditional Anchor methods or Le Jour incision Breast Reduction scars.
- This is because the incisions made by a cannula (circular cuts in the skin to remove tissues) during Liposuction are smaller than long incisions made during traditional Breast Reduction surgery. These longer incisions are made to remove or reduce excess skin and provide a firmer, tighter skin appearance.
- Advertising that promotes Liposuction Breast Reduction as ‘scarless’ can often be deceptive. Therefore, it’s important to be wary of what you’re reading and being told.
While Lipo Breast Reduction may sound appealing, the experience and long-term success of a Liposuction Breast Reduction procedure is variable. The procedure is still invasive and will require downtime.
Does Liposuction hurt less than other surgical procedures?
Liposuction does not necessarily hurt less than other surgical procedures. Why is that?
Well, firstly, Liposuction is often combined with a more extensive shaping procedure that uses excisions to reduce or remove tissues.
- This equals two major procedures and potentially extended recovery times.
- Most liposuction patients have a great deal of swelling, bruising and discomfort or pain. However, this does vary and your Surgeon may have methods to help reduce your discomfort as you heal.
- E.g. Tummy Tuck, Arm Lift or Full Breast Reduction performed properly will often involve shaping with liposuction, as well as the removal of redundant skin folds.
What if Liposuction is used alone? You’ll still need recovery and downtime, although your wound care is often easier to manage than a longer incision line.
Healing and Recovery after Liposuction
Due to the work being done beneath the skin during Liposuction, your body has less healing to do. As a result, wound care is potentially easier to manage.
However, it can still take weeks to months for the internal area of your body to heal and recover. Like any other invasive surgical procedure, recovery times are variable from patient to patient.
Does Lipo Breast Reduction cost less than Full Breast Reduction surgery?
Surgery costs vary depending on numerous factors. Typically, the more complex the surgery and the more time spent in theatre = the higher the cost. A patient’s needs and desired surgical outcome, and where surgery is performed will have an effect on cost. You can find out more about the factors which impact Breast Reduction surgery costs on our Cosmetic Surgery pricing page.
One price does not fit all when it comes to Cosmetic Surgery
When researching pricing for Liposuction Breast Reduction surgery, you may come across a one-price-fits all, cookie-cutter offer advertised. This indicates that the doctor only offers one particular style of procedure which often will not suit every patient.
For example, the doctor/surgeon may not fully customise a Breast Reduction procedure, which is a recognised deterrent to a good surgical result.
Therefore, when inquiring about Liposuction Breast Reduction surgery, it is important to remember that:
- Surgery risks from Liposuction are often higher if you choose an inexperienced, less-qualified Surgeon or a Doctor who’s not allowed to operate in Hospitals.
- If a Surgeon only operates in a clinic backroom or private facility, they are most likely not allowed to admit patients to a hospital. This could be extremely dangerous should something not go to plan.
- It also means the Surgeon wouldn’t be able to manage post-operative hospital admissions or use a general anaesthetic.
When comparing Surgeons or looking for cheap liposuction prices, be sure you watch the four corners video investigation into the Australian cosmetic surgery industry. In addition, be sure to learn the differences between less-qualified doctors vs elite trained FRACS Plastic Surgeons. Remember that cheap surgery by a non-Specialist is never worth the risk.
Anchor, Le Jour or Liposuction Breast Reduction – which surgical method is best?
The answer to this question is simple: there is never one solution that fits all patients.
- The more customisation of your procedure, the better.
- The best Breast Reduction Surgeons in Melbourne tend to use both, not one or the other – but this varies from patient to patient.
- All surgical methods have pros and cons and risks involved.
- Like most cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, good results rely on careful research and selection of your Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
- Review the Top 5 factors that influence your surgery results – good or bad for more information.
In saying this, surgical excisions will often provide a far better result than liposuction alone, particularly for procedures like Breast Reduction, where the size and position of the breast are often part of the patient’s complaints.
For example, Breast Reduction performed with Liposuction alone could fail to address nipple ptosis and sagging of the skin, and would likely worsen the degree of overall breast ptosis or drooping.
Pros and Cons of Liposuction Breast Reduction
Liposuction only Breast Reduction pros:
- Incisions for liposuction are smaller than surgical Breast Reduction, such as a Le Jour procedure or an Anchor Technique.
- There still needs to be entry-point incisions to insert the cannula (a hollow metal tube used during Liposuction).
- Therefore, you will typically have several small entry-point scars if you opt for Liposuction Breast Reduction.
- This procedure may work for minor breast reductions, but is typically not the best solution for treating heavy breast tissue.
Liposuction only Breast Reduction cons:
- One of the common complaints made by women with heavy breasts is discomfort caused by breast weight and position.
- Liposuction Breast Reduction may not accomplish enough tissue reduction to help relieve back, neck or shoulder pain/discomfort.
- In addition, your skin might sag further if collagen levels and elasticity has been compromised by ageing.
- Where nipples are situated on the overall breast mound is also a common concern for women. However, downward-pointing nipples cannot be treated with Liposuction alone.
Before & After – Surgical Breast Reduction with Liposuction vs. Liposuction only
Notice the location of the ptotic nipples in the before image on the left (see illustration below).
Reduction Mammoplasty Surgery can reposition your nipples and breast mound to a more central area on the chest, resulting in:
- Reduced problematic breast weight.
- A more aesthetically pleasing shape.
- Alleviated neck, pack or shoulder pain.
So, can you get a good result with Liposuction only Breast Reduction?
Some patients may be suitable for a Liposuction only Breast procedure, however, most people seek results more akin to what a Surgical plus Lipo Breast Reduction can provide. Most women with large breasts simply have more breast tissue to remove than may be effective with liposuction alone.
In summary, the condition of your skin is likely to contribute to whether Liposuction Breast Reduction is right for you.
If you are considering a Breast Reduction, we recommend scheduling a consultation with a FRACS Plastic Surgeon who can help you achieve the balance and shape you desire, using advanced full Breast Reduction approaches with liposuction rather than lipo on its own.
Medical Information Resources
- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency AHPRA (Register of practitioners),
- Health Victoria (The Department of Health and Human Services).