Your Guide to Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction

What is breast reduction?

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the breasts, while also providing cosmetic improvement, in individuals that have physical or emotional symptoms associated with having large breasts.

Is breast reduction surgery for me?

Breast reduction surgery is an excellent choice for those with large breasts that have any or all of the following symptoms:

  • upper back pain
  • shoulder/neck pain
  • shoulder grooving from bra straps
  • rash/skin irritation underneath or between the breasts
  • limitations in daily activities or difficulty with exercising
  • emotional distress/self-confidence problems resulting from large pendulous breasts
  • personal desire for smaller breasts

If any of these symptoms apply to you, and you are in good health with realistic expectations, breast reduction surgery may be an excellent choice for you. Call Allure Plastics today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Walker and see how breast reduction can benefit you.

What will help my symptoms before my surgery?

For those who are symptomatic from having large breasts, supportive bras and over the counter pain medications should be tried for a period of time to see if symptoms improve or resolve. For those that are significantly overweight, diet and exercise should be initiated. Not only can this improve your symptoms, but also improves your overall health prior to surgical intervention. As a side note, most insurance companies require attempts at non-surgical treatment prior to coverage of this procedure.

Who is not a candidate for breast reduction therapy?

While breast reduction surgery is an excellent therapeutic option for healthy individuals with appropriate expectations, there are some conditions that can increase your potential for a poor outcome. These include:

  • bleeding or clotting disorders
  • conditions which result in poor wound healing capability
  • history of keloid scarring
  • extreme obesity
  • unrealistic expectations

Can you tell me more about the breast reduction procedure?

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess breast tissue, fat and skin to reduce the size of the breasts, relieve symptoms associate with large breasts, and provide an improved cosmetic appearance of the breasts.

Breast reduction is performed under general anesthesia and takes 2-3 hours to perform. During the procedure, excess breast tissue, fat and skin are removed. The nipple is elevated to a more appropriate anatomical position, and the shape of the breast is altered to give a more pleasing aesthetic appearance to the breast.

What should I expect in the recovery period?

Breast reduction surgery is well tolerated by the vast majority of patients. Pain is moderate and is well controlled by oral medications. Most patients go home the same day.

Prescriptions will include oral medications for pain and nausea (which is a common occurrence after general anesthesia), and may include an antibiotic, particularly if a small drain is used in your case to assist with fluid removal.

Strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for the first month following your surgery. You will also be asked to wear a supportive bra during this time period, which will both help control swelling and support the breasts as they heal.

If small drains are used in your case, you should expect these to be removed on day 4 or 5 when you will be seen for your first follow up appointment. There are generally no sutures to be removed as Dr. Walker uses absorbable sutures that are buried beneath the skin.

What results are expected from breast reduction surgery?*

Your breasts will be significantly reduced in size, which will be more proportionate to your body. You should expect some improvement, if not complete resolution of your symptoms. It is very common for individuals who have breast reduction surgery to realize the benefits very early on in the postoperative period (sometimes in the first few days). This speaks not only to how well tolerated the surgery really is, but also to how effective breast reduction can be for symptom relief!

*Individual results may vary

Is Breast Reduction safe?

Breast reduction is one of the most common procedures performed by plastic surgeons. During your consultation, Dr. Walker will perform a detailed history and physical exam. We will identify factors that may cause your risk of surgery to be increased, and together will formulate a plan to help relieve your symptoms. While not common, risks and potential complications include the following:

  • skin breakdown or delayed wound healing
  • bleeding or hematoma formation
  • fat necrosis
  • change in nipple sensation
  • infection
  • unfavorable scarring
  • blood clots
  • anesthesia risks
  • asymmetry in size or shape of breasts
  • seroma formation
  • possible problems with breast feeding
  • nipple/areola loss
  • recurrence of symptoms due to further growth of breasts
  • need for further surgery

During the preoperative consultation, these potential risks will be discussed with you in detail. Should you have any questions or concerns, they will be addressed. Dr. Walker is dedicated to the education of his patients, and he will help you understand the risks, benefits and potential alternatives of breast reduction surgery. 

Will insurance cover my breast reduction operation?

Because of the physical symptoms associated with large breasts, breast reduction surgery is generally seen as reconstructive surgery and is covered by most insurance carriers. However, each plan has specific guidelines and criteria that must be met, so please check with your individual carrier. The criteria that must be met may include a trial of non-operative therapy and weight loss, as well a requirement for amount of tissue that must be removed, which is based on your height and weight. Preauthorization for this procedure is required.