Breast reduction is also known as reduction mammaplasty. It’s the procedure to remove excess breast skin, fat, and glandular tissue to achieve a smaller breast size in proportion to your body. You can undergo breast reduction due to medical issues like macromastia or aesthetic reasons.
However, in any situation, enlarged breasts have several effects on women, which we will address in the next topic.
What Are Drawbacks of Large Breasts
Enlarged breasts cause both emotional and physical distress to women — conditions such as macromastia cause physical discomforts like chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain. The pain makes it difficult for most patients to perform physical activities.
Other patients get shoulder grooves from bra straps due to heavy breasts, chronic rashes on the skin under the breasts, and trouble fitting into clothing. Also, patients suffer emotional distress and more severe mental health problems.
Breast Reduction Candidacy
You are the best candidate for breast reduction surgery if you:
- Are physically healthy (you don’t intend to lose more weight)
- Are not planning to have children because breastfeeding can be challenging after breast reduction.
- Are planning to quit smoking for a certain time before the procedure.
- Have large breasts that limit your performance in physical activities.
- Experience low self-esteem once you interact with other people.
- Experience back, neck, and shoulder pain as well as under-the-breast skin irritation
How to Prepare for Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast reduction procedure requires an experienced surgeon. As such, you must research the best surgeon and visit for consultations before undergoing the procedure.
Discuss with the surgeon your expectations about the breast size and other things you want to achieve. Visit the clinic prepared to undergo several tests and open up about your family health history.
Afterward, the surgeon will explain how the procedure will be performed and advise you regarding your body examination results. You can then plan on the day of surgery and how to prepare yourself. You will have to quit smoking to make the procedure and healing easier.
Breast Reduction Procedure
The procedure is carried out in steps. It normally involves anesthesia, incisions, tissue and fat reduction, and skin tightening. Below is a detailed process of how the procedure is carried out:
Step 1: You will get general anesthesia to avoid discomfort. That’s why you need someone to drive you home and take care of you before your body resumes normal functioning. Normally, you will feel tired and dizzy due to the medication.
Step 2: The surgeon makes the incisions on your breasts. They can be made in three ways. First, the surgeon can make concentric incisions around the areola. It depends on the amount of tissue and skin to be removed.
Another option is making incisions around the areolas and then vertically down the lower poles of the breasts. And the final option is the anchor or inverted-T method. It involves incisions around the areolas, vertically down the lower breast poles, and around the inframammary fold under the breast.
Step 3: Excess fat is removed from the breasts. Liposuction is done with a thin hollow tube known as the cannula. It’s inserted under the skin through incisions.
Step 4: The surgeon will remove excess tissue and skin on the breasts and later tighten the skin. The surgeon will reposition your areolas and close the incisions using removable sutures.
What to Expect After Surgery and Self-Care Tips
After the surgery, the breasts will be covered with bandages and surgical bras to hold them in place. The surgeon will fix a tube under the arms to drain excess blood and fluids. You may also receive some medications to prevent infections. The breasts will feel tender, swollen, and bruised. Limit the physical activities for around four weeks for the breasts to heal.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Breast Reduction Cost?
According to a report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average breast reduction cost for aesthetic patients is $5,913. However, the prices can vary depending on the procedure and the clinic type. Consult your surgeon about the costs and ask for other details.
Does Health Insurance Cover Breast Reduction Surgery?
Many health insurance plans cover breast reduction. All your surgeon needs is a letter of authorization from the insurer. You will have to pay the costs if the health insurance does not cover breast reduction.
Is Breast Reduction Painful?
Breast reduction is performed under general anesthesia. As such, you will not feel the pain, but you will feel tired and have dizziness after the surgery. Afterward, you may experience bruising and swelling, but it will disappear after a few days. The surgeon will prescribe you pain medications.
Can Breast Reduction Surgery Be Combined With Any Other Procedures?
Yes. You can rectify other body parts together with breast reduction surgery. The procedures combined with breast reduction are tummy tuck, breast lift surgery, and liposuction body contouring.
Will I Have Scars After Breast Reduction Surgery?
Scarring is inevitable since incisions are made on the breasts. But if you choose an experienced surgeon, they will try to conceal the scars. Most scarring fades with time but cannot disappear completely.