Breast Reduction FAQs
What is breast reduction surgery? How is breast reduction performed?
Breast reduction surgery is designed to decrease the size of a patient's breasts. This is done by surgically removing breast tissue and fat. Oftentimes, the areola is decreased in size and moved to a higher position on the breast. It is not uncommon for a breast lift to accompany this procedure.
Am I a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?
An ideal breast reduction candidate is someone who experiences both physical and emotional pain due to their overly large breasts. They must also be at least 18 years of age, aware of the risks and complications associated with the procedure, and looking for improvement rather than perfection.
What is the breast reduction recovery period like? What can I expect following my procedure?
Pain is minimal and can be managed with oral pain medications. After breast reduction, a patient will wear bandages for a few days, stitches will be removed after a week, and a surgical bra should be worn for several weeks. About six weeks post-surgery, the patient will begin to experience full results.
When can I return to work and exercise?
Light activities are permitted after a few days. If work is not too strenuous, it can be resumed at about the two-week mark.
What are the benefits associated with breast reductions?
Patients who undergo breast reduction can look forward to relieved head, neck, shoulder, and back pain. They may also be able to participate in strenuous activities more easily. Additionally, an improved self-esteem is often experienced.
How does breast reduction for women differ from gynecomastia treatment for men?
With traditional breast reduction surgery, the breasts are minimized in size and made more symmetrical. However, with male breast reduction (gynecomastia treatment), the goal is to remove any excess tissue from the breasts. Males often undergo a greater amount of liposuction to their breasts than females do.
What risks and complications are involved? How are complications handled?
Some of the potential risks involved with breast reduction include bleeding, infection, reaction to anesthesia, asymmetry, possible loss of feeling in the breasts and/or areola, and incapability of breastfeeding. A qualified plastic surgeon can further discuss this procedure in detail, and whether or not breast reduction is right for you.
What type of scarring should I expect?
Breast reduction scarring is usually extensive, but can fade over time. Smokers may experience poor healing and wider scars than non-smokers.
How long do the results of breast reduction surgery last?
Breast reduction results are permanent; however, gravity, pregnancy, and weight loss can negatively affect the outcome of surgery.
How much will breast reduction surgery cost? Will my insurance cover the cost of breast reduction?
According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the 2007 national average breast reduction cost was $5,417. That accounts for physician/surgeon fees only and does not represent prices included for surgical facility, anesthesia, doctor popularity, and so on.
Will breast reduction affect pregnancy or breastfeeding?
Breast reduction will not affect pregnancy; although, pregnancy can undo some of the results achieved with breast reduction surgery. There is a chance that this procedure may hinder the patient's ability to breastfeed.