What is breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) surgery?
Reduction mammoplasty, or breast reduction surgery, is done to provide relief from back, shoulder, and breast pain that is a direct result of excessively large breasts, but can also enhance the appearance of the breasts.
Are large breasts a medical problem?
Breast hyperplasia or large breasts, can cause back, shoulder, and breast pain, improper posture, rashes, skeletal deformities, and low self-esteem. Additionally, large breasts can prevent women from performing all-important breast self-examination as part of the recommended breast cancer screening program. A breast reduction is done to provide relief from these symptoms, but can also enhance the appearance of the breasts. Although there are a variety of different surgical techniques used to reduce and reshape large breasts, all procedures will remove fat and glandular tissue and tighten the skin to produce smaller, lighter breasts that are in a healthier proportion to the rest of your body, giving you a younger, more rejuvenated look.
Am I the right candidate for breast reduction surgery?
The best candidates for breast reduction surgery are relatively healthy women with over-developed breasts, who are experiencing some of the symptoms and signs associated with large breasts. Dr. Glick will carefully consult with you on how to optimize your results, giving your breasts the most natural and elegant look and feel. After careful evaluation of your breasts, Dr. Glick will consult with you on which technique is best for you.
THE BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY PROCEDURE
Initial Consultation Prior to Breast Reduction Surgery
At your initial consultation, Dr. Glick and you will carefully discuss your aesthetic concerns with regard to your breasts, and define a tailored plan to improve their size, shape, and overall appearance. Your goals and expectations will be carefully considered and clarified. Your medical and surgical history will be reviewed in detail, and a physical examination will be conducted. Depending on your aesthetic concerns and anatomy, breast reduction and breast lifting will be discussed. Dr. Glick will advise you which type of reduction mammoplasty surgery technique is best for you.
Preparation for Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast Reduction surgery is major surgery and appropriate preparation is needed accordingly. Dr. Glick may request that you visit your private medical doctor for a check-up and for any necessary lab work, x-rays, and mammogram or other breast imaging. Precise preoperative instructions will be reviewed, and all necessary prescriptions will be given to you in advance of your breast reduction surgery. You will be instructed to avoid smoking, blood thinning medications, and all aspirin, aspirin-containing products, and anti-inflammatory products (Advil® or ibuprofen, and Aleve®) at least ten days before surgery. In order to promote optimal healing, a complete and comprehensive preoperative instructions will be provided for you, detailing which medications to avoid, and which vitamins , minerals, and homeopathic preparations are ok to take prior to and after breast reduction surgery. For your own safety and comfort you will need to designate a chaperon/care taker that can escort you home after the procedure. You should plan to have some help with house-hold chores, such as cooking and cleaning, as these activities are fairly difficult in the immediate postoperative period. Get plenty of rest, and dress in comfortable layered clothing.
What Type of Anesthesia do you need for breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is an ambulatory surgery procedure that is usually performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Glick and our Board-certified anesthesiologists will extensively discuss all aspects of anesthesia, and help you make the necessary decisions for your reduction mammoplasty surgery.
How does Dr. Glick do a breast reduction?
There are several different techniques for performing reduction mammoplasty. Although they differ in various ways, all breast reduction surgery accomplishes removal of breast glandular and fatty tissue, and tightening of the remaining skin of the breast, to produce a smaller, lighter, more perky breast, that is in much better proportion to the rest of your body. The incision lines, and thus scars, are hidden in inconspicuous places, and are well concealed beneath a swimsuit or bra. After the incision is made, the nipple and areola (which remain tethered to their original blood and nerve supply) are then repositioned. The areola is also reduced in diameter by excising skin at the perimeter, if necessary. The underlying breast tissue is reduced, lifted, and reshaped. This will alleviate the symptoms associated with large breasts, and also give you a younger, more rejuvenated appearance to the bust line. After careful consultation, Dr. Glick will help you decide on the best reduction mammoplasty technique to optimize your results.
Recovery and the Postoperative Period
Dr. Glick’s breast reduction surgery is an outpatient procedure that requires only a short rest in our comfortable recovery suite. No overnight stay is needed after breast reduction surgery. Once surgery is completed, you will recover fully from the effects of anesthesia, and be escorted home with your designated caregiver. Dr. Glick will instruct you thoroughly on your postoperative regimen and recovery period. You may have surgical drains and a surgical brazier. You will be encouraged to stay as active as possible at home for several days while maintaining appropriate positioning and posture. In most cases the bruising is minimal and resolves after the first week, at which time the drains are removed. Most patients return to work and social activities after only several days. Dr. Glick recommends avoidance of strenuous physical exercise for approximately 6 weeks following breast reduction surgery. As always, you are encouraged to stay active, eat a healthy diet, and exercise as tolerated. Dr. Glick and our medical team will closely follow up with you to make sure that your healing is going well.
Results of Breast Reduction Surgery
The results of reduction mammoplasty surgery are smaller, perkier, and more proportional breasts. Not only will you look great, you will also notice an immediate change in the way your back, breasts, and shoulders feel. In fact, it is not uncommon for patients report additional weight loss following breast reduction surgery, due to the increased level of physical activity. Breast reduction surgery results are permanent, though various lifestyle and hereditary factors may impact on your long-term results. Dr. Glick’s encourages maintenance of the slimming reduction mammoplasty results with an appropriate fitness level and healthy diet.
What about breast cancer? Are there any risks after breast reduction surgery?
Reduction mammoplasty has no known effect on breast cancer. That is, we do not know the risk of breast cancer is reduced or increased because of breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction does NOT reduce the incidence of breast cancer, as there is a definite risk for future breast cancer in reduced breasts, as there would have been had the breasts not been reduced. The take-home lesson is that after breast reduction, you must continue with your breast cancer screening regimen, as if surgery was never done. This includes regular breast self-examination, as well as periodic check-ups with your breast surgeon or physician, and regular mammography or other breast imaging as determined by your breast surgeon. After breast reduction surgery, there may be areas in the breasts that may pose significant difficulties in acquisition and interpretation of mammographic data. As breast reduction becomes part of your surgical history, you must alert all healthcare personnel of this surgical history, so that they can adjust their radiological technique and provide the best information with regards to your breast cancer screening regimen.
What about breast feeding?
It is not unusual for a breast reduction surgery patient to experience difficulties in breast feeding. There is no way to predict which patients may or may not have these problems. Of note, there is a subset of the female population that has problems with nursing regardless of their history of breast surgery. The ability to produce and express mammary milk is completely unpredictable, and may still be encountered despite our best efforts to avoid future complications.
How much does breast reduction surgery cost? Will my healthcare insurance cover the cost?
Breast reduction surgery costs vary depending on exactly what technique is used. Breast reduction surgery is generally considered a reconstructive procedure, and may be covered by your healthcare insurance company. This will be outlined in detail during your consultation. At Dr. Glick’s Plastic Surgery, we can help you with the process of dealing with your healthcare insurance company to make sure that your surgery is covered when medically indicated. Additionally, we offer excellent no-interest financing options.
What are Dr. Glick’s patients saying after breast reduction surgery?
Dr. Glick’s breast reduction surgery patients are thrilled with their new, smaller, perkier, more youthful breasts. Read what they have to say about the benefits of being a patient at Dr. Glick’s Plastic Surgery.