A breast reduction, also known as a reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure that reduces the volume of the breast by removing excess breast tissue, fat, and skin. This results in a reduced size of the breast while improving the shape and location of the breast and nipple.
Who might seek out a breast reduction procedure?
Patients with abnormally large breasts can experience both physical pain and emotional discomfort from the excess weight of the large breasts, their physical appearance, or lack of an active lifestyle. Large, pendulous breasts can affect one’s abilities to perform certain activities and may also cause a person to have several physical problems such as:
- Neck and/or shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Shoulder grooving
- Rashes or other skin infections
- Inability to exercise
If you have large breasts and are experiencing any of these symptoms or are dissatisfied with the large size and appearance of your breasts, a breast reduction can remove the excess weight while reducing the size of the breast. This may improve the quality of your life. Dr. Hendrick has extensive experience performing breast reductions, which require specialized skills to provide a natural-looking result and preserve as much nipple sensation as possible. He will spend time with you during your consultation to hear your concerns about the appearance of your breasts and how you would like them to look. He will also tell you exactly what you can expect from your surgery.
You should inform him if you plan to become pregnant or lose additional weight in the future. Additional weight loss after a breast reduction can result in a further decrease in the size of the breast creating an unsatisfactory result. Also, if you plan to become pregnant, it is important to note that a previous breast reduction will lower your chances to successfully breastfeed.
What can breast reduction accomplish?
A breast reduction can:
- Reduce the size and weight of the breast
- Correct drooping/sagging breast, lifting them higher on the chest
- Reduce the size of the areolas (the darker skin around the nipple)
- Reshape the breast for a rounded appearance
- Boost self-esteem, confidence, and physical activity
What happens during a breast reduction?
Dr. Hendrick performs his breast reduction procedures under general anesthesia. Incisions are made around the areolas, in a vertical line from the areola to the crease, then along the natural breast crease. Dr. Hendrick then removes excess skin, fat, and breast tissue. The breast is then reshaped and evaluated for symmetry before the skin edges are sutured closed. Bandages are then applied followed by a surgical bra. If your cosmetic goals also include raising the position of breasts on the chest wall, a mastopexy (breast lift) may be included in your treatment plan.
What can I expect during recovery from a breast reduction?
Post-operatively, you should expect to experience some tightness, swelling, bruising, and soreness. These symptoms will gradually subside in the weeks following your surgery. You will be prescribed pain medication to help with any discomfort you experience. You will be fitted with a surgical bra after your surgery, which you must wear for several weeks.
Incisions are cared for each day by cleansing the incision lines with mild soap and water, and any external stitches will be removed during a post-operative examination. Most patients take 7-10 days off from work after a breast reduction. Exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for four to six weeks. Be sure to always discuss activity restrictions with Dr. Hendrick to avoid any complications after surgery.
A full set of post-operative instructions will be provided to you prior to your surgery. Feel free to ask any questions during your preoperative visit.
How long do the results of a breast reduction last?
Breast reductions typically have long-lasting results, but gravity, aging, weight loss, weight gain, and pregnancy can all cause changes to the results of your procedure.
Does insurance cover breast reduction?
Most of the time, breast reduction surgery is covered by insurance if the patient meets certain criteria. This is usually based on the size of the breast and the severity of symptoms. Dr. Hendrick’s staff will be glad to assist with any pre-verification with your insurance company.
Contact the New Orleans Center for Aesthetics and Plastic Surgery today to find out more about Breast Reduction surgery.