If you feel that your breasts are too heavy or too big for the rest of your body, and you suffer from back pain or shoulder and neck pain, a breast reduction is a secure way to re-shape and re-size your breasts so they would suit the rest of your body and figure. During breast reduction operation, breast tissue, fat and excess skin is removed, and the breasts are re-shaped to a smaller size. On patients over 40 years old, a mammogram is performed preoperatively. Women who have undergone this surgery claim it frees them up to exercise more and undertake activities which may have been pretty painful before, and restores their confidence. Another name for a breast reduction surgery is a reduction mammaplasty.
Types of Breast Reduction Surgery
Since not all breasts will respond the same way to breast reduction surgery and your skin will respond in a different way to relaxation and stretching compared to other women, there are a few different types of breast reduction surgery which will accommodate one’s particular needs.
Periareolar breast reduction:
This particular type of breast reduction operation (also known as the Benelli breast reduction) results in a scar which is located solely at the junction of the normal breast skin and the pigmented areola. Since this operation involves minimal skin excision, it achieves very good results in breasts with only fat excess and mild laxity. However, it doesn’t address the requirements of breasts that have stretch marks very well. This technique is popular for mastopexy.
Vertical scar breast reduction:
This type o breast reduction surgery has a lollipop “short scar”, and it is adequate for breasts that have moderate excess, as well as reasonable skin quality. This operation relies on skin contraction to help with supporting the breast, and is great in majority of cases, yet it’s not for everyone.
Inverted T breast reduction:
This type of breast reduction is adequate for large breasts with excess of all of its three components. The scars run down the breast, along the infra – mammary fold, and around the nipple, in an anchor shape.
Recovery after the Operation
Most patients will stay and rest in hospital for 1-2 days. You will have drains in each breast as well as stockings on your legs to prevent and avoid deep vein thrombosis. These stockings and drains will be removed before discharge from the hospital. Upon discharge, you’ll be given a prescription for strong painkillers and antibiotics, as well as instructions return for dressings. Regarding your recovery after the operation, you will be advised to wear the support bra for 6 weeks (day and night), and to rest for 1-2 weeks. Also, you should plan a very quiet week immediately after your surgery, and avoid driving for 2 weeks as well as vigorous exercise for 6 weeks. The stitches are dissolvable and therefore don’t need removing. You will need to see your doctor regularly after the operation at 1 week, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and 6 and 12 months.
How Much Time Will I Need Away from Work?
Surgeons suggest that their patients plan to be away from their work and usual duties for 2 or 3 weeks after surgery. Patients can spend a couple of days (two to four) in hospital, and after discharge from the hospital it is vital to rest in the initial post operative phase because this helps recovery. Light housework can be done after the first 2 weeks, and you can go back to your work as long as your jb doesn’t involve any heavy lifting.
Will I Have Scars?
When this type of operation is performed, some scarring is unavoidable. The breast reduction surgery implies removing excess breast skin and tissue in order to re-shape your breast to the preferred shape and size. The alteration to your breast shape might mean that the nipple also has to be shifted to a new level. In some cases, there might be a scar that follows the inframammary crease which forms an inverted T-shaped scar onto the underside of your breast. The scars will fade within 6 to 12 months and even though there is scarring, most of the patients consider this is a tiny price to pay considering benefits they feel after this surgery
Breast reduction surgery today is very safe as well as straightforward procedure, but there are certain risks and complications that can occur. It is always good to be informed on everything related to your surgery, so here are some possible risks and complications related to breast reduction surgery.
Risks of Surgery in General
Scarring – In some patients, the scar might stretch or thicken, and doctors can’t predict how they will manifest, but most of the scars fade over time. Some patients develop keloid (raised thickened red scars), but this is because of genetic inherited factors.
Wounds – These usually heal over 2 weeks, but it can take longer. Bleeding from wounds or wound breakdown can also occur, so small dressings might be required for 2 to 3 weeks. Also, your wounds may get infected, but this is very rare and uncommon, and mostly only requires some antibiotics to treat.
Bleeding and Swelling – Although significant bleeding is unusual, if you do bleed, doctors might be required to stop the bleeding and/or give you a transfusion. There are drains that help indicate this. It usually takes 6 weeks to 3 months for breast swelling to completely settle down.
Specific Risks of Breast Reduction Surgery
Asymmetry – the surgery is designed to make your breasts as symmetrical as possible, yet there might be some minor asymmetry between them. However, this is not noticeable or significant, and rarely requires any correction.
Loss of nipple sensation – This is usually just temporary, and it takes 2-3 months to recover. It can also be permanent, however this is very rare.
Loss of breast and nipple tissue – This happens due to loss of blood supply. In order to correct this, further surgery might be required.
Breast Reduction Surgery Cost in the USA
With most of these surgeries, there are three main fees involved with breast reductions: the plastic surgeon’s fee, surgery center fee, and anesthesia fee. The average surgeon’s fee for this operation is about $3,400 to $4,000, and this doesn’t include the anesthesia fee or facility fee which usually brings the cost to about $5,000 – $8,000. Also, there might be some miscellaneous fees, like medication, medical tests, compression bras, or some other post-surgery garments that you might use during your breast reduction recovery. Some other factors that might influence the cost include your choice of surgeon, the extent of the procedure, and your location.
Is the Surgery Covered by Insurance?
Even though most cosmetic surgery operations aren’t covered by insurance, in special cases the breast reduction might be. This is mostly the case with patients where their overly large breasts cause them back and neck pain or some other health issues. Prior to scheduling surgery, you need to check your insurance policy to see which expenses will be your responsibility. Your doctor might have to provide some documentation before your insurance company will allow and approve your procedure. In addition, there might be restrictions regarding some details of your procedure as well as the surgical technique used. Whilst not all breast reduction surgeries will be covered by insurance, it is worth enquiring with your insurance company. Also, many clinics provide affordable financing plans for their patients who are paying out-of-pocket, so make sure to ask your doctor about this during your consultation.
Lactation and pregnancy will affect the breast size and shape. It might not be possible for you to breast feed. However, it can happen that this procedure doesn’t affect the breast feeding.
Breast reduction surgery does not hide, prevent, or cause breast cancer disease.