Reduction Mammoplasty a.k.a. Breast Reduction: What You Need To Know
Having large breasts may not always be a good thing, especially if it already affects the quality of life. For women who struggle with the discomfort and pains of having large breasts, a reduction mammoplasty is an answer to lifting the weight off.
What is Breast Reduction and Why Is It Done?
Also called reduction mammoplasty – this is a surgical procedure for removing excess fat, tissue, and skin to reduce the size of the breast. This procedure is one of the most popular cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries performed, being among the top 10 most performed surgeries worldwide in 2019.
A Reduction Mammoplasty can also reduce areola size as well as tighten the surrounding skin to provide better support for the new breast contour. This surgery alleviates the following physical, emotional, and lifestyle strains associated with having overly large breasts:
- Shoulder and neck pain
- Breast fold infections
- Movement difficulty (such as exercising and running)
- Breathing difficulty
- Disproportionate body frame
- Limited clothing options
- Overall discomfort
- Self-esteem and psychological issues
A Breast Mammoplasty does not only improve one’s physical health but also boost confidence as well. Men who wish to get rid of gynecomastia, a condition in which there is too much breast tissue or fatty tissue in one or both breasts, may also opt for this procedure.
How Do I Prepare For Breast Reduction Surgery?
Under general anesthesia, most reduction surgery is done as an outpatient procedure. To heal faster, you’ll need to be in excellent physical condition and adhere to your plastic surgeon’s instructions before and after the surgery.
Before the surgery, you will be given specific instructions by your plastic surgeon. They’ll depend on the procedure done but will usually include:
- No smoking for a certain amount of time before and after breast reduction surgery. Breast tissue contains a good deal of blood vessels that are easily damaged by the toxic effects of cigarette smoke, which can slow or prevent healing. Tobacco slows down circulation in general so blood doesn’t reach the skin’s surface as quickly.
- Breast reduction surgery is typically done on an outpatient basis, so you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home after your procedure. Be sure to get plenty of rest before and after breast reduction surgery.
During The Surgery
Breast reduction surgery is most commonly done on women whose large breasts cause neck, shoulder, and back pain
Breast reduction surgery can take anywhere from one to four hours, depending on the addition of other breast or body procedures. This surgery is usually performed with the patient under general anesthesia. Some surgeons prefer to use fast-acting local anesthetics or intravenous sedation to reduce overall treatment time and allow patients to recover more quickly.
Your plastic surgeon will make an incision around your nipple to remove breast tissue and skin. Scars usually lie along the edge of your areola to blend with stretch marks or other existing lines on your breasts and fade over time that they hardly become noticeable.
After the surgery, you’ll need someone to drive you home and stay with you overnight to observe possible adverse reactions from the procedure.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From Breast Reduction Surgery?
Patients must follow post-operative instructions carefully to avoid any complications or problems with healing. Specific instructions will depend on your body type, procedure, and personal health. Patients typically feel that they’re back to normal in about a week or less, so use this as a reference for your recovery period. However, you may still have some swelling for several weeks after breast reduction surgery so you must follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions on how to care for yourself during the healing process.
You may need to wear a surgical bra after the surgery, especially if you’re having both breast reduction and breast lift surgeries. Your plastic surgeon will give you specific instructions for wearing your post-operative support bra and directions on when it can be removed. If your breasts look different from each other, you’ll need to alternate their positions in the bra so they are even.
The results may be apparent as soon as your bandages are removed. However, it can take several months for scars to fade and breast contours to mature completely. However, results are most apparent when you’re completely healed, which can take several months after the procedure. Take note though, that this surgery may also affect the shape of your breasts, nipples, and areolas (the pigmented skin around the nipple).
What Are Some Common Side Effects I Should Expect?
If breast reduction surgery is done as an outpatient procedure, you will most likely be able to return home the same day. Breast reduction results may not be apparent for several weeks or months after the surgery because breast tissues require time to recuperate and settle into their new positions.
This treatment is a very safe procedure. But like all surgeries, it carries some risks. Side effects vary with every patient and the technique used. The most common side effects are:
- Breast discomfort or pain, which is usually mild and can be relieved by over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil).
- You may have temporary hypersensitivity of the nipples. Your plastic surgeon will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for yourself throughout the healing process.
- Breast swelling, which may last from a few weeks to several months.
- Breast numbness or loss of feeling in your nipples and/or breasts can be permanent if the nerves have been cut or damaged during surgery.
- The procedure may cause scarring so talk this over with your plastic surgeon before committing yourself to the procedure. Breast reduction scars are usually not permanent but may take over a year to fade.
- Asymmetry (your breasts may not match in size after surgery).
What Kind Of Follow-Up Care Should I Expect?
After the surgery, you will need to see your plastic surgeon for follow-up checkups. During these visits, the surgeon will examine and discuss how well the operated area is healing. All of your concerns must be addressed before you leave the clinic because many problems can be resolved during post-operative care wherein they’re detected early.
Breast reduction surgery can bring about a complete change in your appearance, making you feel more confident and attractive. However, the best results are achieved when proper communication with your surgeon throughout all phases of the procedure – before, during, and after – is practiced.
Breast size is more than just cosmetic — it also affects your health and self-esteem
How Much Does Breast Reduction Surgery Cost?
Breast reduction costs vary depending upon which technique is used. Breast reconstruction cost also depends upon the surgeon you choose, where the surgery is done, and how long the operation takes.
Breast reduction costs will also depend on several factors that are specific to your physiology. Breast reduction surgery can be expensive and insurance companies are not always willing to cover its cost, even if it is medically necessary for your physical or emotional well-being.
What To Consider Before A Breast Reduction Surgery?
If you’re thinking about getting breast reduction surgery, choose only the best reduction surgeons. Make sure your chosen plastic surgeon has plenty of experience performing the procedure to get great results. You should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon before having breast reduction surgery to know exactly what results to expect from the procedure. You want to make sure your expectations are met on how much smaller you like your breasts to be after the surgery.
Breast reduction surgery is a big decision, but it can be life-changing for women who are tired of large breasts that cause physical discomfort and emotional stress. You should feel confident in your plastic surgeon’s skills before you go ahead with breast reduction surgery so you know the procedure will turn out exactly as planned.
You should talk to other patients who’ve had the procedure to find out if their plastic surgeon did a good job. Ask how happy they are with the results.
Breast reduction can really improve your life. It is safe, effective, and can have a huge impact on your physical and emotional well-being.
Ready For A Reduction Surgery? Choose A Reputable Doctor With Dr. Nikolov
If you are considering breast reduction, only trust a credible, board-certified plastic surgeon with whom you can entrust this major life decision.
Dr. Nicholas R. Nikolov of The Nikolov Center for Plastic Surgery is a renowned, board-certified plastic surgeon with decades worth of experience. The Nikolov Center for Plastic Surgery is conveniently located in the heart of Beverly Hills, California, and features state-of-the-art facilities and highly trained staff.
Book an appointment online with Dr. Nikolov and learn more about getting breast reduction surgery.