At a time when the most popular cosmetic surgery in the U.S. is breast augmentation, some women cannot understand why a woman would want to decrease the size of her natural breasts. Truth be told, overly large natural breasts can be a burden, impacting a woman’s health and her psyche.
A breast reduction could be the answer. These procedures remove fat, glandular tissue, and excess skin from the breasts. Dr. Reynolds aims to bring the breasts into proportion with the rest of the woman’s body. And he aims to eliminate the pain.
A breast reduction can make a woman feel as if a burden has been lifted, literally. It can provide a boost in confidence and newfound comfort with her body image. These procedures can truly be life changing.
What is breast reduction surgery?
Clinically called reduction mammoplasty, breast reduction surgery removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to reduce the size of the breasts. The procedure also removes the sagging and returns the breasts to a higher position on the chest by doing a concurrent breast lift. Having overly large natural breasts, a condition known as hypermastia, can negatively dominate a woman’s life, and this procedure removes the stigma.
Would I be a good candidate for breast reduction?
Overly large breasts, especially if they are largely due to glandular tissue, can be very heavy. This can lead to a host of serious health problems:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Spinal nerve compression
- Tingling hands
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Balance problems
They can impact a woman’s life beyond the physical aspects. Her breasts can make a woman avoid certain exercise regimens and sports. They can be a distraction at work, and social situations can be so annoying, due to the unwanted attention, that it’s easier to simply stay home.
If these issues sound like what your life is like, it’s time to call Dr. Reynolds for a consultation for breast reduction surgery.
What are the benefits of breast reduction surgery?
For a woman who has been burdened her entire life with overly large breasts, reducing their size to be proportional can really feel freeing. Constant back and neck pain are a thing of the past. Gone is the feeling that it’s hard to stand up straight because of the weight pulling you forward. Buying clothes is fun now, rather than an exercise in searching for cover-up options. It’s great to enter a party, restaurant or bar, or even a meeting and not feel as if eyes focus on your large breasts.
After breast reduction, patients start taking exercise classes they’ve always avoided. Impact sports such as running or playing tennis are an option now. Patients often find themselves reengaging in social situations they’ve not even realized they were avoiding.
Plus, patients love the look of their reduced breasts. Sagging skin is removed and the breasts are lifted to a higher position on the chest. With severe sagging, nipples may even have pointed downward, but now they sit high on the chest. The reduced breasts are firm and don’t have the flattened, sagging appearance that was so depressing.
This can be a new beginning for a woman who’s had to deal with her overly large breasts since high school.
How is breast reduction performed?
Breast reduction surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia and takes from two to four hours. Dr. Reynolds may use either of two typical incision types. He’ll discuss your options during your consultation, but the method he’ll use will be dictated simply by your unique situation.
- Traditional incision breast reduction — In this method, Dr. Reynolds creates an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola, runs down to the breast crease, and follows the breast crease a few inches in each direction. This incision is normally used for women with extremely large breasts, as it allows the most tissue removal.
- Vertical incision breast reduction — This incision doesn’t add the two horizontal extensions along the breast crease. Instead, the incision is more like a lollipop, circling the areola and running straight down to the breast crease. This is used for women with moderately large breasts and creates a smaller scar than the traditional method. Actual tissue can be removed in a keyhole shape and then the two sides can be brought together to form the single vertical line. This is the method preferred by Dr. Reynolds, if possible, due to the lesser visible scarring.
In both cases, fat, excess glandular tissue, and skin are removed. The nipples and areolae are usually relocated to a higher position, as well. The areolae will likely be made smaller.
What is recovery like after breast reduction?
This procedure involves repositioning of the breast and some swelling and bruising isn’t unusual for the first 1-2 weeks. Pain is usually a 2-3 out of 10 and most patients can return to work or school in a few days. You can shower the day after surgery and we will give you a bra that opens in the front. Dr. Reynolds uses non-dissolvable stitches around the areola because they heal so beautifully in this area so these will be removed 2 weeks after surgery. The other sutures are dissolvable. sensation usually returns to normal a few months after surgery.
Probably the most important single aspect of your recovery is your bra. Dr. Reynolds will first have you in a surgical bra immediately after surgery. You will transition from that to a full support bra, and then into a strong sports bra. These will need to be worn 24 hours a day for at least one full month. These can seem tedious, but it’s necessary to avoid placing any stress on your incisions. By being diligent with this your scars will stay as thin as is possible and will heal better. It’s likely Dr. Reynolds will need to move the nipples with this procedure, but he makes every effort to maintain nipple sensation and breastfeeding function after breast reduction, but this is not always possible.
What are the risks involved with breast reduction?
Most patients experience temporary sensation changes but these usually resolve several months after surgery. Bruising usually resolves within 1-2 weeks and it can take 12 weeks for the breasts to assume their desired shape. The incisions improve monthly for 12 months. Bleeding, infection, poor healing, poor scarring are rare.
How much does breast reduction surgery cost?
The degree of change needed can impact your cost. Will you need the full anchor incision, or will the vertical incision be sufficient? Will Dr. Reynolds need to include some liposuction to remove fatty tissue? Will your nipples need to be downsized?
During your consultation for this procedure, Dr. Reynolds will get a much better picture of your unique situation. We can then give you a good estimate of your cost.
Can breast reduction surgery be covered by insurance?
Insurance can cover these procedures if you’ve been shown to be suffering from various physical problems due to your oversized breasts. This can vary, but we will work with your doctor and your insurance company to garner the best compensation for you.