Breast Reduction Tips

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Where can I find out more about breast reduction surgery?

Learning About Breast Reduction

Patients who are considering breast reduction surgery may be concerned about how to learn about breast reduction surgery. This is a very valid concern because misinformation can be quite dangerous. Fortunately for these patients there are a number of excellent resources for learning more about breast reduction surgery before deciding to undergo the procedure.

One of the best ways to learn about breast reduction surgery is through a consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon with a great deal of experience performing this type of procedure. During these consultations the patient can ask questions and have the surgeon describe the procedure, its benefits and the risks involved. Based on this information the patient can decide whether or not to undergo the procedure. It is important to note that a consultation with a surgeon does not commit the patient to undergo the procedure. The patient is still free to opt to forgo the procedure for any reason.

The Internet can also serve as a valuable resource for patients who want to learn more about breast reduction surgery. Forums for patients who have undergone the procedure or are interested in the procedure can provide useful information. Additionally, informational websites as well as commercial websites can also contain valuable information. However, one caveat to using the Internet to research breast reduction surgery is the patient should be aware there is some misinformation as well as outdated information available on the Internet. For this reason, patients should rely on reputable websites and verify the information they obtain from the Internet with a surgeon or other expert.

What type of recovery is required for breast reduction surgery?

Breast Reduction Recovery Period

Patients who opt to undergo breast reduction surgery may be having the procedure performed in an effort to improve their physical health but they will likely undergo a lengthy breast reduction recovery period before they can enjoy these benefits. It is important to note breast reduction is a surgical procedure and recovery from the procedure may take 4-6 weeks. Additionally, there may be swelling and loss of sensation in the nipples for up to six months.

In the first few days of breast reduction recovery the patient will likely experience discomfort, bruising and swelling. The patient will also likely be required to wear compression bandages and may have drains inserted to draw fluids away from the site of the surgery. The drains will likely be removed within the first week postoperatively and the compression bandages may be replaced by a compression bra after a couple of days. Prescribed pain medications should help to alleviate the discomfort associated with procedure and patients who have pain which does not respond to medications should report the sensation to the surgeon.

Most patients will feel well enough to return to work after 2-3 weeks but there may still be some limitations on physical activities which prevent the patient from participating in strenuous activities. After approximately 4-6 weeks the patient may be fully recovered from the procedure but swelling and loss of sensation in the nipples may persist for up to six months. Therefore, patients should refrain from judging the procedure until the swelling is gone to assure they are assessing the procedure accurately.

Is scarless breast reduction possible?

Is Scarless Breast Reduction Possible?

The term scarless breast reduction is somewhat misleading. It is not possible to perform a breast reduction procedure without scars but new techniques make it possible to complete the breast reduction surgery with only minimal scarring. This is accomplished by performing the procedure as a liposuction. In general the scarring which results from a scarless breast reduction will be located in the crease beneath the breast and will be approximately ¼” long. This minimal amount of scarring is appealing to many patients but there are some drawbacks to this type of procedure.

The most significant drawbacks to a scarless breast reduction are the procedure does not include a lift of the breasts, areolas or nipples and does not allow for reshaping of the breasts. During a scarless breast reduction, fat is simply removed from the breasts to create breasts which are smaller in size. For this reason, scarless breast reduction surgery may not be ideal for women who require reshaping of the remaining breast tissue or a breast lift in conjunction with the reduction surgery.

What are the benefits of breast reduction surgery?

The Benefits of Surgery to Reduce Breast Size

Patients who are considering surgery to reduce breast size should carefully consider all of their options before making the decision to undergo a breast reduction surgery. Specifically the patient should consider the benefits she can expect to enjoy from undergoing the surgery to reduce the size of her breasts. These benefits may be either physical or psychological.

For patients who have breasts which are disproportionately large for the size of the body, breast reduction surgery can bring about a number of health benefits. Some of these benefits may include the reduction of pain in the back, neck or shoulders. Additionally, oversized breasts can make physical activities such as sports extremely difficult or uncomfortable. A surgery to reduce breast size can also alleviate problems such as skin irritation beneath the breasts which is common for women with oversized breasts.

The benefits of breast reduction surgery may also be psychological in nature. Women who feel self conscious or inhibited due to breasts which are excessively large may benefit tremendously from surgery to reduce the size of the breasts. This may include women who are self conscious wearing form fitting clothing as well as women who feel the size of the breasts attract unwanted attention. From a psychological standpoint, women who undergo breast reduction surgery should understand the surgery will correct a perceived physical flaw but will not affect any feelings of inadequacy stemming from a psychological disorder.

Will insurance cover my breast reduction surgery?

Understanding Breast Reduction and Insurance Coverage

For many patients considering breast reduction surgery the connection between breast reduction and insurance is a very important issue. This is such an important issue because a breast reduction procedure can be quite expensive and may not always be covered by insurance. The cost of breast reduction procedures can vary widely but will likely cost upwards of $5000. Whether or not your insurance carrier will cover the cost of your breast reduction surgery will depend on a number of factors including the terms of your insurance policy, the amount of breast tissue which must be removed as well as whether or not the size of the breasts are causing pain or other physical problems which can be proven to be related to the size of the breasts. The insurance company may require a letter from the surgeon specifying the reason for the breast reduction surgery before approving coverage for the procedure.

In most cases, breast reduction surgery for purely cosmetic reasons will not be covered by health insurance. This means patients who are simply dissatisfied with the size of their breasts and are not suffering physical ailments as a result of the size of the breasts will not likely be eligible for insurance coverage for the procedure. However, again this will depend on the specific insurance policies and the type of coverage the patient which the patient has under the policy.

What is breast reduction surgery?

Understanding Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery, also known as mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the overall size of the breasts. This is typically accomplished by removal of fat, breast tissue or skin as necessary to create breasts which are proportional to the size of the body. In general women who are ideal candidates for breast reduction surgery have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • The weight of the breasts causes back, neck or shoulder pain
  • The size of the breasts restricts physical activities
  • The size of the breasts causes irritation to the skin beneath the breasts
  • One of the breasts is significantly larger than the other
Although the above characteristics are not the only reasons a woman might opt to undergo breast reduction surgery, they are a few of the most common reasons why a patient may opt for a breast reduction procedure. However, it is important to note breast reduction is a cosmetic procedure and may be chosen by a patient for personal reasons as well as a result of physical complications resulting from the size of the breasts.

What should I expect from cosmetic surgeons who perform breast reduction procedures?

Cosmetic Surgeons who Perform Breast Reduction Procedures

Patients who are considering a breast reduction procedure should conduct a careful search of cosmetic surgeons who are qualified to perform the procedure. This is an important matter because the skill level of the surgeon as well as the amount of experience the cosmetic surgeon has with this type of procedure will have a tremendous impact on the outcome of the procedure. Highly skilled and experienced cosmetic surgeons who specialize in breast reduction procedures may be more expensive than surgeons who have very little experience with this type of procedure but they are also more likely to produce results which are desirable.

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Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.