One solution for women whose overly large breasts cause pain and discomfort is a procedure known as breast reduction surgery. Unlike breast augmentation surgery, which enlarges the breast, a breast reduction (or reduction mammaplasty) procedure removes excess skin, glandular tissue, and fat to reduce the size and weight of the breast. The overall goal is to bring your breast size into proportion with your body, as well as to reduce the discomfort that can be caused by this problem.
This surgery is often combined with a breast lift or mastopexy and liposuction. A breast lift is a cosmetic procedure that tightens the skin of the breasts around the underlying breast tissue and lifts the nipples into a more youthful position. Sometimes a breast lift alone is all that is needed to let patients reach their goals.
Liposuction can be used to remove the overhanging axilla and side boob fat not removed during the reduction of the breast itself.
Why Choose Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is an ideal solution for the physical and emotional problems that can be caused by overly large breasts. Aside from the physical pain and discomfort they bring, the weight of overly large breasts can impair the ability to lead an active life. However, self-consciousness and emotional discomfort can often be even more of an issue for women afflicted with this condition.
Is a Breast Reduction the Right Option for Me?
Breast reduction surgery is a highly individualized procedure. You should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit into the box of an ideal image. Breast reduction is potentially a beneficial procedure for any woman, regardless of age, who has large, heavy breasts. Although it is plastic surgery, it is not considered a cosmetic procedure because of the potential lifestyle benefits that can be gained by reducing the weight and size of the breasts. In some cases, when size and discomfort are less of an issue than drooping or fullness, breast lift surgery may be an ideal solution. A consultation from DeLuca Plastic Surgery is needed to determine the appropriateness of either procedure.
In most cases, breast reduction isn’t performed until the breasts are fully developed, typically beyond 18 years of age. However, it can be done earlier if large breasts are causing serious physical discomfort and social problems. The best reduction candidates are those who are mature enough to understand the procedure fully and have realistic expectations about the results.
Breast reduction surgery may be a good option if you are a physically healthy non-smoker, as well as if the size and weight of your breasts have bothered you for an extended length of time. If your physical activity is limited due to your breasts, and they cause pain in your neck, shoulder, or back, as well as lead to discomfort in your back, shoulders, and ribs due to the digging of bra straps, then you are a potential candidate for breast reduction surgery. If you experience irritation and pain along the breast crease, the skin of your breasts is stretched, making them hang low with an increase in your areola size, or your nipples droop below the breast crease when unsupported, then you may also benefit from breast reduction surgery.
Breast Reduction Incision Options
Your breast reduction procedure begins with a series of incisions, through which glandular tissue and fat may be removed. You have a variety of choices as to where you would like your incision to be placed for your breast reduction. Dr. Tauber or Dr. Yan will go over each of these key points and options during your consultation.
The ideal technique for your breast reduction depends largely on how much skin needs to be removed. A keyhole incision (which results in a lollipop-shaped scar in the middle of each breast) may be a good choice if your breasts hang low, and a lot of skin is present. If the breasts are relatively high sitting, a circular incision (which results in a round, donut-shaped scar around the areola) can be just as effective. The procedure itself requires general anesthesia administered by a qualified anesthesiologist, and recovery time is generally around two weeks. In many cases, scarring is minimal and fades to invisibility within one year.
Will My Insurance Cover Breast Reduction Surgery?
This is one of the most important issues for women who are considering breast reduction surgery at our Albany, NY practice. Insurance plans vary considerably from patient to patient. However, two general conditions must be met for breast reduction surgery to be covered by insurance. The first condition requires that there is a medical need. The medical need could include ailments such as back pain, neck pain, headaches, pain from bra indentations in the shoulders, and rashes. The second condition is that the tissue to be removed must meet certain weight requirements. The amount of tissue to be removed is calculated based on your height and weight. Sometimes the amount of tissue that insurance requires is more than the amount of breast tissue that can be removed. In this case, a cosmetic breast lift and a reduction will be the only surgical option.
During your breast reduction surgery consultation, Dr. Tauber or Dr. Yan will discuss the medical problems that you are experiencing as a result of large breasts. Dr. Tauber aor Dr. Yan will then outline this information in a letter to your insurance provider. This letter will also include a photo of your breasts (without showing your face) and an estimate of how much weight can be removed during surgery. If the amount meets the weight requirements of your insurance carrier, your insurer will likely cover your breast reduction surgery.
The Importance of Post-Operative Care
Your relationship with Dr. Tauber does not end after breast reduction surgery. Dr. Tauber and Dr. Yan will be available to you 24/7 during the entire duration of your recovery. They will see you often through the first weeks and months following your procedure. If at any time, you wish to meet with Dr. Tauber or Dr. Yan, they will open up their schedule to see you. Post-operative appointments at DeLuca Plastic Surgery are offered at no cost to you.
Get more details on the management of swelling and scars in blog post: Post-Operative Care After Plastic Surgery.
Before and After Breast Reduction Photos
Click through our online gallery to view breast reduction before and after photos. You will see various photos of breast reduction procedures. Feel free to browse through the images so that you may have a photographic idea of what to expect from your breast reduction surgery.