Breast reduction surgery at our practice can help women who suffer from discomfort or health problem attributed to overly large breasts, including pain in the back, neck, or shoulders. In addition to remedying the physical staring cause by large breasts, breast reduction can also address cosmetic issues such as breast asymmetry, low nipples, large areolas, and breasts that are proportionately too large for a woman’s body. Because over-sized breasts cause considerable pain, hygiene problems, embarrassment, restrictions in activity, limited clothing options and more, breast reduction can be a highly rewarding and therapeutic surgery.
Are You a Candidate for Breast Reduction?
If you are healthy, mentally stable, realistic about the limitations of breast reduction, and suffering discomfort or health problems as a result of oversized breasts, you are a good candidate for this procedure.
Breast reduction is not recommended for:
- Women who intend to breastfeed in the future – Unlike breast augmentation and breast lift, breast reduction surgery removes many of the breasts’ milk ducts, affecting a woman’s ability to breastfeed.
- Women who do not have fully developed breasts – However, breast reduction can be performed on girls experiencing extreme physical discomfort shortly before their breasts are fully developed.
The Breast Reduction Procedure
Breast reduction is usually performed through an anchor-shaped incision that surrounds the areola, extends downward to the breast crease, and follows the natural horizontal breast crease. The surgeon removes excess fat, skin, and breast tissue, sometimes using liposuction to aid in fat removal. In rare cases, breast reduction can be performed using liposuction only. In this case, no significant incisions will be needed.
Next, the nipple and areola are lifted and sewn into place, usually without needing to detach them from their blood supply and the underlying tissue. After the appropriate amount of skin is removed, the sides of the incision are drawn together to create the new breast contour and lending the breast a lift.
In the majority of cases, breast reduction is performed under general anesthesia. The surgery is often performed as an outpatient procedure with patients going home the same day, though sometimes patients will be admitted to the hospital for a short time.
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Things to Consider Before Undergoing Breast Reduction
Those considering breast reduction surgery should be aware of the following:
Breast reduction surgery can lead to mismatched breasts or uneven nipples. While additional surgery can address these problems, these factors can still diminish your satisfaction with the surgery. In addition, if your breasts were not symmetrical before surgery, it is unlikely they will be symmetrical afterwards.
Breast reduction surgery can diminish or eliminate the ability to breastfeed
For this reason, women who plan to breastfeed in the future are advised to postpone breast reduction surgery.
Breast reduction is usually covered by health insurance, as it is a surgery that addresses serious health issues as well as cosmetic concerns. However, you should check with your health care provider to learn about the extent of your coverage.
Breast reduction surgery brings on swift and significant improvements in body image
The changes made during breast reduction surgery can dramatically affect your lifestyle, self-esteem, and overall level of comfort. While this shift may take a period of adjustment, these changes are positive, and breast reduction surgery has an extremely high satisfaction rate.
Scars left by breast reduction surgery can be extensive and permanent. Even with optimal healing, scars will be visible, though they will fade over time and are located in places that will allow you to wear swim suits, low-cut tops, and similar clothing with confidence.
The waiting period for results
It will take six months to a year for the breasts to settle into their final shape after breast reduction surgery.
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What Are Some of the Risks of Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction typically is a safe surgery, but complications can always occur and are impossible to predict. We urge you to become aware of potential complications before deciding whether breast reduction is right for you.
Loss of sensation
While some temporary loss of sensation following breast reduction is to be expected, sometimes this numbness will be permanent.
Bleeding and infection
These are universal surgical risks. Infection can usually be treated with antibiotics; a bleeding episode during or after surgery might require a hospital stay.
Reaction to anesthesia
Patients can react, sometimes fatally, to the anesthesia used during surgery.
Poor healing/wide scars
While abstaining from smoking aids healing, the risk of poor healing or obvious scars is always a risk. Breast reduction surgery will leave scars, though these will fade over time.
Mismatched breasts/uneven nipples
These complications can usually be treated with additional surgery, but they will probably decrease your satisfaction with your surgical results.
If liposuction is used during breast reduction, or if the surgery is performed solely through liposuction, another set of possible complications are introduced. One of these is a permanent change in your skin’s pigmentation.
Complete Pre- and Post-operative Instructions for Breast Reduction Patients
Breast reduction surgery can be simplified if you follow all pre- and post-operative instructions. Our experienced plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles Perry, has prepared this comprehensive guide as a helpful service to our patients. We ask that you review the instructions before surgery, and print them out so that you can bring them with you on your surgery day.
Breast Reduction Instructions (printer-friendly)
To learn more about the breast reduction procedure, or to schedule a consultation, please contact our cosmetic surgery practice today.