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Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction

Information provided by plasticsurgery.org

ASPS Brest Augmentation

WHAT IS BREAST REDUCTION?

Overly large breasts can cause health and emotional problems. In addition to self image issues, you may also experience physical pain and discomfort. The weight of excess breast tissue can impair your ability to lead an active life. The emotional discomfort and self-consciousness often associated with having large pendulous breasts can be as important an issue as the physical discomfort and pain. Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure to remove excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts.

Breast reduction is a good option for you if you:

Although breast reduction is often performed to address medical issues, patients who do not have the symptoms of macromastia (excessively large breasts) but are unhappy with the size of their breasts can still pursue breast reduction as an aesthetic procedure.

CONSULTATION & PREPARATION

During your consultation be prepared to discuss:

Your surgeon will also:

Prior to surgery, you may be asked to:

Breast reduction surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, licensed ambulatory surgical center or a hospital. If your breast reduction is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon questions. It’s very important to understand all aspects of your breast reduction. It’s natural to feel some anxiety, whether it’s excitement for your anticipated new look or a bit of preoperative stress. Don’t be shy about discussing these feelings with your plastic surgeon.

THE PROCEDURE

In some cases, excess fat may be removed through liposuction in conjunction with the excision techniques described below. If breast size is largely due to fatty tissue and excess skin is not a factor, liposuction alone may be used for breast reduction. The technique used to reduce the size of your breasts will be determined by your individual anatomy, breast composition, amount of reduction desired, your personal preferences and the surgeon’s advice.

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – The incision

Incision options include:

1. A circular pattern around the areola

2. A keyhole or racquet- shaped pattern:

A keyhole or racquet-shaped pattern

3. An inverted T or anchor-shaped incision pattern:

An inverted T or anchor-shaped incision pattern

Step 3 – Removing tissue and repositioning

After the incision is made, the nipple – which remains tethered to its original blood and nerve supply – is then repositioned. The areola diameter is reduced by excising skin at the perimeter, if necessary. Underlying breast tissue is reduced, and the remaining breast tissue is lifted and shaped. Rarely, in extremely large breasted women, the nipple and areola may need to be removed and repositioned to a higher position on the breast (free nipple graft).

Step 4 – Closing the incisions

The incisions are brought together to reshape the now smaller breast. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts; sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape close the skin. Incision lines are permanent, but in most cases will fade and significantly improve over time.

The incision lines that remain are visible and permanent scars, although usually well concealed beneath a swimsuit or bra.

RISKS & SAFETY

The decision to have breast reduction surgery is extremely personal. You will have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable. Although there is a fair amount of scarring associated with breast reduction surgery, it has one of the highest rates of satisfaction among procedures performed by plastic surgeons. Most women note significant improvement in their neck, back and shoulder discomfort. They are more able to participate in athletic activities, and clothing will fit differently.

Prior to undergoing breast reduction surgery, you will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.

The risks include:

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It’s important that you address all of your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.

You should know that:

RECOVERY

After your breast reduction procedure is completed, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. You’ll need to wear an elastic bandage or support bra to minimize swelling and support your breasts as they heal. A small, thin tube may be temporarily placed under the skin to drain any excess blood or fluid that may collect.

When you go home… Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself and minimize breast reduction surgery risks.

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains or unusual heart beats after surgery, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.

You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your breasts following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health and when to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

  • Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
  • When will the dressings/bandages be removed?
  • Are stitches removed? When?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

RESULTS

The results of your breast reduction surgery are immediately visible. Over time, postsurgical swelling will resolve and incision lines will fade. Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery. The final results of your breast reduction will appear over the next few months as breast shape and position continue to settle. Incision lines are permanent but will continue to fade over time.

The results of your breast reduction surgery will be long-lasting. However, your breasts can continue to change due to aging and gravity. You’ll be able to retain your new look longer if you:

  • Maintain your weight
  • Keep a healthy lifestyle

Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.

COST

Your health insurance plan may cover breast reduction surgery. Your plastic surgeon will need to obtain authorization from your insurer for the surgery. This may require a letter and the submission of photographs. Once an authorization is obtained, you will be able to schedule your surgery. You will be responsible for any co-pays or deductible required by your insurer. If your health plan does not cover breast reduction, you may decide to pay for the surgery yourself.

A surgeon’s cost may be based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used and the geographic location of the office. Your surgeon may offer patient financing plans, so be sure to ask.

Cost may include:

Cost may include:

When choosing a plastic surgeon for breast reduction surgery, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.

Plastic surgery involves many choices. The first and most important is selecting an ASPS member surgeon you can trust. ASPS member surgeons meet rigorous standards:

  • Board certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery® (ABPS) or in Canada by The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada®
  • Complete at least six years of surgical training following medical school with a minimum of three years of plastic surgery residency training
  • Pass comprehensive oral and written exams
  • Graduate from an accredited medical school
  • Complete continuing medical education, including patient safety each year
  • Perform surgery in accredited, state-licensed or Medicare-certified surgical facilities