Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast reduction surgery
Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin. Breast reduction aims to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body. The surgery may
be performed to relieve the discomfort associated with overly large breasts. This operation is also called reduction mammoplasty.
Overly large breasts can cause some women both health and emotional problems. The physical discomfort may include back, neck and shoulder pain, and skin irritation beneath the breast crease. The weight of excess breast tissue can restrict a woman’s ability to le
ad an active life. Some women also feel very self-conscious about having large, pendulous breasts.
If you are concerned about the way you look or are thinking about cosmetic treatments to boost your confidence, there are alternatives. These may include lifestyle changes or accepting yourself the way you are.
Why Breast Reduction Surgery Done
Breast reduction surgery is meant for women who have large breasts and want to resolve issues such as:
- Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain that requires pain medications
- Chronic rash or skin irritation under the breasts
- Nerve pain
- Restricted activity
- Poor self-image related to large breasts
- Difficulty fitting into bras and clothing
Breast reduction surgery generally isn’t recommended if you:
- Have certain conditions such as diabetes or heart problems
- Are very obese
- Want to avoid scars on your breasts
How Breast Reduction Surgery Is Done
Depending on your personal situation, breast reduction surgery can be done in an outpatient facility, or you may have to stay at least one night in the hospital. In either case, you will get general anesthesia, which means you will be put to “sleep” during the procedure.
Breast reduction surgery will take about two to five hours, sometimes longer. Your surgeon will make a cut around your nipple then downward on the breast in the form of a keyhole. The operating team will remove extra skin, tissue, and fat from your breasts and reposition your nipple. Your surgeon may use drainage tubes and then stitch up your breasts and wrap them in a special gauze. You may also need to wear a surgical bra.
Does Insurance Cover Breast Reduction Surgery?
In most cases, insurance covers breast reduction surgery. Because breast reduction is considered reconstructive, your chances of getting insurance coverage are good. But you must be sure to follow all the procedures set forth by your health insurer’s policy.
Your surgeon can take photos of your breasts and detail your physical symptoms caused by enlarged breasts in a letter. Get in touch with your health insurer early and make sure you understand exactly what they will pay for. For example, will insurance cover such things as lab costs or anesthesiologist fees? Asking in advance will help prevent surprise costs after the surgery.
Recovery From Breast Reduction Surgery
You will need to take at least one week off from work or school for breast reduction surgery. Some people need two weeks, but each situation varies. Your surgeon will instruct you on follow-up appointments for removing bandages and stitches.
While you recover, you’ll need to stop physical activity for at least one month after surgery.
After breast reduction surgery, you should expect to feel tired and to have breast pain. This is normal. Your surgeon will give you an oral painkiller to ease you through the first few days after surgery. You should also avoid heavy lifting.
Some people have an emotional reaction, such as feeling depressed, after the surgery. That can be normal, but make sure you tell your doctor about all your concerns.
Breast Reduction Surgery Results
Successful breast reduction surgery can relieve pain in your upper back, neck and shoulders. It might also increase your ability to participate in physical activities and promote a more positive self-image.
Although you’ll see results immediately, remember that it can take months for the swelling to completely go down and the surgical scars to fade. The final result is generally permanent — although breast shape and size can change due to factors such as aging and weight gain or loss.