in this section
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Lift (Mastopexy)
- Breast Lift w/ Augmentation (Mastopexy w/ Augmentation)
- Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammaplasty)
- Browlift (Forehead Lift)
- Ear Reshaping (Otoplasty)
- Eyelift (Blepharoplasty)
- Facelift / Necklift
- Facial Filler
- Facial Resurfacing
- Nose (Rhinoplasty)
- Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
- Mommy Makeover
- Earlobe Reduction Surgery
- Breast Implant Removal
- Earlobe Repair Surgery
Breast reduction is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of large breasts to relieve symptoms including back and neck pain, bra strap grooving, and rashes and other skin problems under the breast. The breast reduction procedure also can result in an improved appearance.
Is breast reduction surgery safe?
Studies indicate that breast reduction surgery ranks as one of the most satisfying of all plastic surgery procedures. Most complications that have been reported after breast reduction have been minor, not serious issues that require hospitalization. Case studies suggest that the level of risk for breast reduction correlates to the amount of reduction taking place. Smaller reductions have a complication rate of less than 5%. During your consultation, you can discuss your concerns about surgical risks based on your unique situation.
Is breast reduction surgery painful?
Post-surgical pain is largely dependent on the degree of reduction and the surgical technique used to perform the procedure. Regardless of technique, however, there is no pain during surgery involving general anesthesia. After surgery, expect the majority of pain to subside within a week. The first few days tend to be the worst in terms of discomfort. During that time, soreness and tenderness may be managed with prescription pain medication. After the first week, you may be ready to switch to an over-the-counter medicine for comfort control. Breast reduction recovery involves a lot of rest and avoidance of strenuous activities so that incisions and breast tissue can heal optimally.
How much does breast reduction surgery cost?
Breast reduction costs can vary based on several factors. One is the surgeon’s training and experience performing the procedure. Additional factors that contribute to cost include:
- The anesthesia fee
- Surgery center charges
- Pre-surgery tests
- Prescription medication and medical supplies for recovery
As you prepare for breast reduction surgery, you will receive information detailing the costs involved in your case. You may also be given information to help you explore financing options.
Is breast reduction surgery covered by insurance?
Breast reduction surgery may qualify for insurance coverage in certain situations. If you are interested in finding out if you may qualify, we suggest that you contact your insurance company directly, as coverage may vary from one provider to another.
Generally, insurance companies provide coverage for breast reduction only when a woman has proven health problems caused by the size of her breasts. In such cases, the company may not only require pre-authorization for the procedure but also a documented history of the health problems caused by oversized breasts. An insurance company may require proof that nonsurgical therapies have been sought before they will consider authorizing breast reduction surgery. Individual companies may have unique criteria for surgical approval.
Are There Risks to Breast Reduction Surgery?
Surgical procedures have common risks related to infection, anesthesia, and bleeding. Breast procedures have additional risks, which are low when surgery is performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. These include:
- Breast asymmetry. This minor complication can be corrected through a revision surgery. However, patients who choose an experienced surgeon are less likely to experience noticeably disproportionate size after their reduction procedure.
- Uneven nipple position. Breast reduction trims the skin to lie smoothly over the smaller breast mound. This results in revised nipple shape and size, which could result in variance from one breast to the other. Again, an experienced surgeon expects tissue responses and works to prevent dramatic asymmetry.
- Change in breast sensation. Breast reduction that involves nipple grafting has a higher risk of temporary or prolonged change in sensation.
- Breastfeeding difficulty. Certain methods of breast reduction have a higher chance of disrupting milk ducts.
Dr. Roth will first listen to your concerns and goals. He will then gather a thorough medical history. Past medical events may impact your surgery, anesthesia, and recovery. Current issues such as; medications, herbal remedies, allergies, smoking, drug use, bleeding and scarring tendencies, will be reviewed. Chronic issues, (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, auto immune disease), are also important.
Dr. Roth will examine you and will describe not only what he sees, but also how it relates to your appearance or other issues. Many items need to be taken into consideration including; your breast size, your chest size, current placement of the nipple/aereola. The nipple and aereola will have to be repositioned in most cases. He will then explain what might be done to improve each area medically or surgically. Scar placement is usually discussed, as well. You may not wish to take advantage of every treatment that is available, but at least you can know about available options and what each might offer.
Many things can effect the success of the procedure, the subsequent healing process, and final result. Clearly, issues effecting your general health and ability to heal can impact the process, but more subtle issues and practices can also make a significant impact.. It is imperative that patients refrain from ingesting any medications or other substances that could potentially cause surgical complications. A list of medications should be reviewed and selected medications discontinued at least two weeks prior to the procedure.
Patients undergo a general physical examination prior to their surgery. This is to ensure that no underlying medical problems exist that may interfere with the safety of their surgery. The Anesthesiologist may have specific criteria to be met. Appropriate consultation, (Cardiology, Pulmonary, etc.) may be requested to address any issues. Any issues, however trivial they may seem, should be reported. For example, a seemingly innocent minor infection can result in a surgical wound infection, and so must be treated prior to surgery. Likewise, hypertension must be under control. Blood pressure medicines are typically taken right up to the time of your procedure. Cigarette smoking has a significant impact on wound healing and needs to be discontinued prior to the operation. Some procedures will not be done in those who smoke. Serious wound healing complications can occur in patients who are exposed to smoke, even passively. The risk of wound healing problems decreases after one quits. Appropriate timing of surgery after cessation of tobacco exposure can be discussed.
Preoperative photographs are taken. They assist in the planning of the procedure and in reviewing the improvement afterwards. Postoperative photographs are generally taken at 3 and 6 months after your procedure as well.
You will be asked to sign a surgical consent, which enumerates the risks of the procedure in detail. Some of these risks have been reviewed here, but are also discussed at the consultation.
Appropriate prescriptions are written, (e.g. pain pills, so that you will be able to take them when you return home).
You will need to arrange for someone to drive you to and from the surgery center. Patients cannot drive after surgery, and for 10 days afterward. Recently sedated patients will not be placed into taxis for transport home. Medical transportation can be arranged in the event that you cannot find someone. It is mandatory to have someone stay with you for a few of days after surgery, for your comfort and safety.
After arrival at the surgicenter. The nursing staff will register you and have you change into the appropriate gown.
The choice of anesthetic will be made with input from the Patient, Surgeon and Anesthesiologist. Continuous monitoring of your vital signs is carried out throughout the operation.
There are different ways to perform the breast reduction.
These are determined by the individual's anatomy, tissues, and goals.
The procedure usually takes a few hours, depending on the extent of your particular anatomy, tissues, and procedure. Appropriate arrangements should be made so that you'll be observed for the first few nights after the procedure.
Remember that any surgical procedure requires a certain period of recovery from the surgery and anesthetic. Individuals vary, but it is possible to experience soreness, swelling, and bruising.
You will need to have someone drive you home from the surgery center. You should also have someone stay with you the first couple of days after you go home. You will also need someone to drive you to your visits to the Doctor. Remember, no driving for 10 days after the procedure. Any discomfort following breast reduction, is usually controlled well with the prescribed pain medication.
The bra will act as the "dressing," holding the implants and breasts in position. Ice and elevation (head up at 30°). This helps to decrease any bruising or swelling. You do not have to change the dressing until seen in the office at that time incision lines will be checked and you should be able to shower.
Although you will be up and around in a day or two, you should plan to take it a little slower the first week. If your work is secondary, you may return as you feel fit. If work is more strenuous, you should wait 7-10 days. Do not do anything that requires straining or heavy exercise for at least 10-14 days. This is especially true of upper body activity, (e.g. Vacuuming). Likewise, you should avoid vigorous activity for two weeks after surgery, this will reduce the incidence of swelling or bleeding. Walking and stretching are encouraged. Some areas may be numb for weeks to months, and so heating pads and sunlamps are to be absolutely avoided. Sun exposure is discouraged for at least the first few months.
Everyone responds differently to an operation. It may take some time for the healing process to let you accurately appreciate the operation. With proper peri-operative care, you should be able to maximize the healing process and help to achieve your goals.
Breast Implant Removal Gallery
As you research your cosmetic surgery procedure, Before and After pictures can help you understand your options and set realistic expectations for your surgical outcome.
These pictures are all from actual patients shown Before and After surgery (your results may vary) mean more to the practice than any accolades or awards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a good candidate for a breast reduction?
Women with breasts that are too large for their frame. A popular misconception is that only women with very large breasts are good candidates for a breast reduction.
What are the most common benefits of breast reduction surgery?
Most patients experience a relief in their neck and back pain. Often, women are able to maintain a more active lifestyle with more frequent exercise. Most women can now fit into normal-sized bras and blouses.