By lifting and reducing the size of the breasts, a breast reduction can help alleviate the neck and back pain, skin irritation and sweating associated with disproportionately large breasts.
Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery removes excess breast tissue and skin to achieve a desired breast size and to alleviate discomfort. The procedure takes approximately three to four hours and aims to preserve nipple sensitivity.
Reasons to Choose Breast Reduction Surgery
Most doctors prefer to wait until after a woman's breasts are fully developed — around 18 or 19 years of age - before performing this procedure.
For some women a cosmetic breast lift, not a breast reduction, is all that is needed to improve their breast shape and appearance.
Men with over-development of breast tissue have a condition called gynecomastia. The surgery to correct the condition is considered a cosmetic procedure.
Every type of surgery has risks, but the risk of complications can be reduced by carefully following all instructions before and after the procedure. The most common postsurgical problems are infections and scarring. Each, when identified and treated early, can be managed successfully.
Women who plan to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery may produce less milk. Changes in the breasts during pregnancy or as a result of weight fluctuations can alter the results of a previous breast reduction surgery.
Before the Procedure
A mammogram or breast x-ray may be performed before the surgery. To help prepare for a breast reduction it is important to stop smoking for at least two weeks before and after surgery. Certain drugs and medications, such as aspirin, need to be discontinued as well.
Realistic surgical goals are determined based on each patient's individual desired outcome during a pre-operative consultation.
It is important to know that not all breast reductions are covered by medical insurance. Some women who have been turned down by their insurance carrier elect to pay for the procedure out of their own pocket.
Recovery After the Procedure
Breast reduction patients can expect to spend the night in the hospital or may be required to have a post-operative office visit the day after surgery.
Following surgery, the typical patient has a permanent "lollipop" shaped scar around the nipple with a straight line down toward the crease under the breast. Initially, the scars will be red but will gradually fade over a 10 to 12 month period.
Swelling and pain can be managed with prescribed medications. Some pain or discomfort may last for one to two weeks. Patients should avoid any form of heavy lifting or straining and take sufficient time off from work and other responsibilities to allow for a full recovery.
To schedule a consultation call 800-789-7366 or request an appointment online.