Breast Reduction SurgeryOverly large breasts can cause some women to have both health and emotional problems. In addition to self image issues, you may also experience physical pain and discomfort.
The weight of excess breast tissue can impair your ability to lead an active life. The emotional discomfort and self-consciousness often associated with having large pendulous breasts is as important an issue to many women as the physical discomfort and pain.
Also known as reduction mammaplasty, this procedure removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts.
Is it right for me?Breast reduction is a highly individualized procedure and you should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
Breast reduction is a good option for you if:
- You are physically healthy
- You have realistic expectations
- You don't smoke
- You are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too large
- Your breasts limit your physical activity
- You experience back, neck and shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts
- You have regular indentations from bra straps that support heavy, pendulous breasts
- You have skin irritation beneath the breast crease
- Your breasts hang low and have stretched skin
- Your nipples rest below the breast crease when your breasts are unsupported
- You have enlarged areolas caused by stretched skin
Surgical techniqueIncision options include:
- Your facial growth is complete and you are 13 years of age or older
- You are physically healthy
- You stop smoking
- You have specific, but realistic goals in mind for the improvement of your appearance
The risks include:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
- Anesthesia risks
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Blood clots
- Poor wound healing
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
- Skin discoloration, permanent pigmentation changes, swelling and bruising
- Damage to deeper structures - such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and lungs - can occur and may be temporary or permanent
- Breast asymmetry
- Fluid accumulation
- Excessive firmness of the breast
- Potential inability to breastfeed
- Potential loss of skin/tissue of breast where incisions meet each other
- Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
- Pain, which may persist
- Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injectable agents.
- Fatty tissue deep in the skin could die (fat necrosis)
- Possibility of revisional surgery
You should know that:
- Breast reduction surgery can interfere with certain diagnostic procedures.
- Breast and nipple piercing can cause an infection.
- Your ability to breastfeed following reduction mammaplasty may be limited; talk to your doctor if you are planning to nurse a baby.
- The procedure can be performed at any age, but is best done when your breasts are fully developed.
- Changes in the breasts during pregnancy can alter the outcomes of previous breast reduction surgery, as can significant weight fluctuations
My recoveryWhen your procedure is complete, dressings or bandages will be applied. An elastic bandage or support bra may be worn to minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal.
A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.
You will be given specific instructions that may include: How to care for your surgical site(s) following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.
The results will be long-lastingThe results of breast reduction surgery will be long-lasting. Your new breast size should help relieve you from the pain and physical limitations experienced prior to breast reduction.
However, over time your breasts can change due to aging, weight fluctuations, hormonal factors and gravity.
How much will breast reduction surgery cost?
The Cost may include:
- Surgeon's fee
- Hospital stay and operation theatre charges
- Anesthesia charges
- Medicines and consumables
- Pressure garments
Breast reduction surgery is generally considered a reconstructive procedure and may be covered by health insurance when it is performed to relieve medical symptoms.
Many insurers define breast reduction surgery as reconstructive based on the amount of tissue that will be removed.
However, pre-certification is required for reimbursement or coverage. Each insurance policy varies greatly. Carefully review your policy to determine coverage.