- Breast Reduction Center
- Antiaging Tips & Secrets to Look Younger Slideshow
- Cosmetic Surgery Slideshow Pictures
- Skin Quiz: Test Your Skin IQ
- Patient Comments: Breast Reduction - Preparation
- Find a local Plastic Surgeon in your town
- Your consultation for breast reduction surgery
- How is breast reduction done?
- How to prepare for the breast reduction
- Recovery and follow-up care for breast reduction
- Complications and side effects of breast reduction
- When should I call my doctor after breast reduction surgery?
- Does insurance cover breast reduction?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there are more than 90,000 breast redction procedures a year. The procedure carries tremendous psychological effects and most women who undergo breast reduction are very satisfied with the results.
It is also important to note that this surgery isn't just for women, either. Men who have conditions such as gynecomastia (where male breasts are enlarged abnormally) also may seek a breast reduction. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there are more than 20,000 breast reduction procedures in men.
Your consultation for breast reduction surgery
Before getting breast reduction surgery, you will go in for a pre-operative consultation, during which time your surgeon will take a detailed medical history, including whether or not you've ever had a lump removed from your breast or any other medical conditions affecting your breasts. He or she also will take a detailed family history. You should be in good physical and mental shape in order to undergo this surgery.
It's important that you are completely honest during this consultation. That includes being completely open with your medical history. It also means being very open as to why you're seeking a breast reduction . You should expect to discuss the emotional issues you've dealt with; that is, how have you felt dealing with your breast size? How has it made you feel, physically? What types of physical conditions have you experienced?
Your surgeon may take photos of your breasts and measure them. During this time, the surgeon also will discuss how much breast tissue should be removed to achieve the desired results. You also will learn about how to prepare for the surgery and how to plan for your recovery. Your surgeon may prepare you for this procedure by performing a mammography and breast exam.
How is breast reduction done?
Depending on your personal situation, the procedure can be performed in an outpatient facility or you may have to stay at least one night in the hospital. In either case, you will be given general anesthesia, which means you will sleep through for the procedure. It's important to have someone with you who can drive you home and stay with you at least the first night if you're not staying in the hospital.
The surgery itself will take about three to five hours. Your surgeon will make an incision around your nipple, then downward on the breast, in a keyhole form. The excess skin, tissue and fat are removed and your nipple is relocated for cosmetic purposes. Your surgeon may use drainage tubes and the incision site is then sutured. Your breasts will be wrapped in special gauze. If required, you may also wear a surgical bra.
How to prepare for the breast reduction
You need to be in good physical shape to ensure proper healing, so follow your surgeon's instructions on vitamins you can take before and after the surgery. Likewise, it's very important to eat well-balanced meals. This is no time for a diet!
During your preoperative consultation, your surgeon will ask about your habits, including whether you smoke or what medications you take. You may have to quit smoking for a period before and after surgery to ensure proper healing. You may also be asked to lose weight because being overweight can increase your risk for complications after breast reduction.
Before you undergo surgery, you'll need to get your home ready for your recovery. This should include:
- Plenty of ice
- Gauze and clean washcloths and towels
- Loose, comfortable t-shirts and blouses
- Soft bras. Your surgeon can recommend where to buy these
- Special ointments or creams as recommended by your surgeon for incision site
- Telephone within reaching distance of your primary rest area
- Magazines, movies, or other quiet forms of relaxation.
Recovery and follow-up care for breast reduction
You will need to take at least one week off from work or school. Some patients require two weeks, but each situation varies. Your surgeon will instruct you on follow up appointments to remove bandages and sutures.
If you are a physically active person, you will not be able to resume your activity for at least one month after surgery. It is very important that you realize the emotional impact of surgery. A lot of people experience depression, but this is normal! Make sure you communicate with your doctor about all your concerns.
Complications and side effects of breast reduction
You should expect to feel tired and you will have breast pain. This is normal!
Your surgeon will give you a prescription antibiotic ointment and oral painkiller to ease you through the first few days after surgery. You should avoid heavy lifting at all costs, as this can promote scarring.
It's important to note that a breast reduction will cause scars as a normal side effect. However, the scars can be made worse if you lift heavy objects prematurely. Though they are rare, some people may experience certain complications such as inadequate healing of the nipple area, which may require a skin graft.
When should I call my doctor after breast reduction surgery?
- At the first sign of infection, including fever
- If you have any unusual discharge from the incision site (including pus)
- If any of the sutures come out before you are due to have them removed
Latest Skin News
Does insurance cover breast reduction?
The good news is yes, in most cases. Breast reduction is considered reconstructive, your chances of getting insurance coverage are good. however, you must be sure to follow all the procedures set forth by your carrier's policy.
Your surgeon can take photos of your breasts, detailing your physical symptoms caused by enlarged breasts in a letter. Begin communicating early with your insurance carrier and make sure you understand exactly what the carrier will cover, such as lab costs, anesthesiologist, and other expenses. This will save you a headache in the long run, when you have more important things to do, like focus on your recovery.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Breast Reduction Related Articles
Breast AnatomyThe breast, or mammary gland is made up of lobules, milk producing glands, and a system of ducts to transport milk. Both males and females have breasts. Abnormal enlargement of breasts in men is referred to as gynecomastia. In women, during pregnancy the breasts grow larger and produce milk. Common medical conditions that affect the breasts include breast cancer, breast lumps, fibrocystic changes and cysts, mastitis, and benign tumors (fibroadenomas).
Breast Cancer SlidesLearn about breast cancer causes, symptoms, tests, recovery, and prevention. Discover the types of treatments such as surgery and drug therapies as well as the survival rate for breast cancer.
Breastfeeding (and Formula Feeding)It's important to know whether you will breastfeed or bottle-feed your baby prior to delivery, as the breasts' ability to produce milk diminishes soon after childbirth without the stimulation of breastfeeding. Breast milk is easily digested by babies and contains infection-fighting antibodies and cholesterol, which promotes brain growth. Formula-fed babies actually need to eat somewhat less often since formula is less readily digested by the baby than human milk. This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of both forms of feeding.
Cosmetic Surgery PicsThinking about getting plastic surgery? Check out before and after pictures of popular cosmetic surgery procedures, including: liposuction, tummy tuck, breast implants, rhinoplasty (nose job), neck lift, and more.
Is Mastopexy a Major Surgery?Breast sagging occurs with aging, hormonal changes, weight loss and breastfeeding. The breast lift, also known as mastopexy, is a procedure designed to lift and shape sagging breasts. Generally, mastopexy is less painful than other cosmetic breast procedures and requires minimal follow-up care.
Plastic Surgery (Cosmetic Surgery)Cosmetic surgery and procedures include interventions to improve one's appearance and fight the effects of aging on the outside. Breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, and liposuction are examples of cosmetic surgical procedures. Botox injections, laser hair removal, and laser skin resurfacing are examples of cosmetic nonsurgical procedures.
Is a Muscle Cut Necessary During a Submuscular Breast Augmentation?Submuscular breast augmentation surgery involves changing the shape of the breasts and enlarging them by placing an implant below the breast muscles. The muscles are spread apart to accommodate the implant, but the surgeon does not cut through them. This preserves the insertion of the breast muscles at the sternum.