What is Breast Reduction?
Reduction mammaplasty, or breast reduction surgery, is a body contouring procedure to remove excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts. Commonly requested by women with excessively large breasts and men with overly developed breasts, breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis.
Aside from causing physical pain, people with overly developed breasts often suffer from low self-esteem and other emotional issues.
Large, heavy breasts can cause a host of other problems:
- Neck and back pain
- Difficulty performing physical activities
- Poor posture
It is recommended patients wait until they are passed puberty before having cosmetic surgery in order to avoid having to undergo revision surgery later in life.
Plastic surgery is never a substitute for psychological treatment, but it is hard to deny the sheer joy and relief expressed by breast reduction patients.
Often having suffered from poor self-esteem and poor posture since child hood, patients often come to their follow up appointments standing tall, shoulders back, bearing a smile from ear to ear.
Good News! Your Breast Reduction May be Covered by Your Health Insurance
Patients with a history of pain or skin problems stemming from the size of their breasts may be covered for all or part of the cost of surgery under their health insurance plan.
Those reducing more than two cup sizes or upwards of 500 grams of tissue per breast (about a pound!) and suffer from chronic pain in the neck, back, and shoulders should seek coverage from their health insurance companies for surgery.
Good Candidates for Breast Reduction Surgery
All surgeries require the patient to be in good physical health, at a stable weight, and have a BMI within the surgeon’s maximum allowable range.
Candidates for surgery must lead a relatively healthy lifestyle, and avoid habits which negatively impact their health such as smoking, drug consumption, and excessive drinking or eating. Certain pre-existing medical conditions may also exclude some patients from being a candidate for surgery.
Breast Reduction Consultation
Lux Cosmetic Surgery offers a free virtual consultation using out online tool. Simply complete the information and upload 2 photos, one from the front, the other from the side to begin. Consulting with the surgeon, patients make a plan to achieve their desired results.
A pedicle is a bundle of tissue which is left connected to the body. In the case of breast reduction, the pedicle is the ducts and nerves of the nipple and breast. This technique ensures these stay intact during surgery.
Regardless of the incision pattern, the core elements of the breast remain undisturbed and are repositioned once the skin and fat are removed.
Breast reduction is possible using liposuction in patients who do not have excess skin or sagging in the breasts. Liposuction may be the ideal treatment for men suffering from gynecomastia. Most patients with larger breasts are not candidates for reduction via liposuction.
The location of the excess skin and breast tissue will likely dictate which incision pattern is used. Scars may be located at the areola, a vertical line from the areola to the inframammary fold, a scar at the base of the breast, or a horizontal line on either side of the areola.
The lollipop incision is ideal for moderate reductions and leaves the least visible scars. The lollipop incision is really 2 incisions:
1 around the nipple
1 where the bulk of the tissue is to be removed.
The resulting scar is hidden around the new nipple, and tucked beneath the breast.
Anchor/Inverted T/Wise Pattern Incision
Women with large, drooping breasts require an anchor-shaped incision. This incision includes:
1 circular incision around the nipple
1 horizontal line under the breast
1 incision from the nipple to the inframammary fold
The scar forms and upside letter “T”. This incision is the most effective for removing excess skin.
Male Breast Reduction
Gynecomastia, is a condition which causes men’s breasts to swell , resulting in a rounder appearance. Caused by hormonal imbalance, puberty, aging, medications, steroid use, or other health conditions that affect hormones, gynecomastia can be traumatic for the sufferer.
There is no amount of diet and chest exercise that can correct Gynecomastia. This condition can only be treated with surgery.
Gynecomastia can be treated with liposuction. Using a small metal tube attached to an aspirator, the surgeon targets the excess fatty deposits in the chest.
Once the fat cells are removed, they never return to the area. Liposuction of the make breast results in a more defined and sculpted looking chest.
Tips for Recovery After Breast Reduction Surgery
Everyone recovers at their own pace. At first, most patients can expect pain, swelling, and bruising. Many patients describe feeling as if they are wearing an extremely tight bra.
In the first days moving of the arms is painful which is why each patient should have someone at home to help them for the first few days.
The stiches should dissolve on their own, if not they are removed during a post-operative visit. Stitch removal may hurt, especially around the sensitive nipple area.
The incisions will look… weird, don’t panic!
Incisions heal like every other cut; they go through some pretty grotesque phases. Expect scabs, peeling, itchiness, discoloration, and general oozing. Buy nursing pads to protect clothing and bras. Incisions eventually heal, scarring diminishes, and the skin color will be uniform once more.
DO NOT PICK AT SCAB
And don’t scratch either! Gentle rubbing is ok, but patients should not pick at scabs since it puts them at risk for pain, infection, and ugly scarring.
Talk to your partner. People in relationships should prepare their significant other for a change in their bodies, and to see the chest which is familiar to them go through the healing process which can be a lot to take in for some.
Life After Breast Reduction
Patients who have a breast reduction after years of suffering see their quality of life improve.
After healing, patients can expect:
- Improved excercise
- Better Sleep
- Improved Breathing
- More energy during the day
As with all procedures of the breast, the final FINAL result is not visible sometimes until about six months after surgery once the breasts have settled into their new position.
Don’t buy bras yet
Many patients mistakenly buy bras before surgery, but until swelling is completely gone, the exact bra size is hard to gauge.
Breastfeeding After a Breast Reduction
The majority of patients can breast feed since the milk ducts are never disconnected from the nipple. There is a risk of not being able to breast feed after a reduction.
Breast reduction results are permanent, but the breasts will continue to age and change forever. Fluctuations in weight and pregnancy also change the shape and size of the breasts.
As the healing process progresses, patients can expect their entire figure to change. The most common comment from reduction mammoplasty patients is they wish they had done it sooner. Relief from neck and back pain is almost immediate.
Improved posture elevates confidence levels, and patients are usually overjoyed with their new perky breasts. If you or someone you know is considering a reduction mammaplasty, please take a look through before and after gallery,and contact us for a consultation.