Breast reduction surgery, medically referred to as reduction mammoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure intended to reduce large breasts as well as to make them more symmetrical and proportioned to the rest of the body.
Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure intended for women with large, pendulous breasts who often face a variety of health problems caused by having excessive breast size. These problems can include back and neck pain, skin irritation, skeletal deformities, and even respiratory problems.
Breast surgery offers cosmetic benefits; it may also provide physical relief. The procedure involves removing fat, glandular tissue and skin from the breasts with the intent of making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. Additionally, the size of the areola (the darker pigmented skin around the nipple) is reduced.
The goal of this procedure is to give individuals smaller and firmer-shaped breasts that are more proportionate to their bodies. Attaining smaller, firmer, and more attractive breasts through breast reduction surgery no longer means sacrificing your body’s natural look and feel. Dr. Rivela, consistently voted as the top plastic surgeon in The Woodlands by Woodlands Online, has performed numerous breast reduction surgeries. He can enhance your breasts’ appearance and improve your overall health with natural-looking, beautiful results.
During your consultation, your medical history will be carefully reviewed with special attention to any risk factors. Detailed measurements of the size and shape of your breasts and chest will be obtained. Nipple positioning and skin quality will be evaluated and information regarding incision location, along with any possible need for ancillary procedures (liposuction, etc.) will be discussed. Risks are carefully reviewed and Dr. Rivela welcomes questions regarding all aspects of your procedure. Laboratory testing and medical clearance may be needed due to a patient’s medical history, along with information regarding smoking and the use of medication. Prescriptions will be given prior to surgery at your pre-operative visit.
The success and safety of your breast reduction procedure depend very much on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires, and lifestyle.
Be prepared to discuss:
- Why you want the surgery, your expectations, and desired outcome
- The options available in breast reduction surgery
- Medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
- Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
- Previous surgeries
Dr. Rivela may also:
- Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
- Examine and measure your body, including detailed measurements
- Take photographs for your medical record
- Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
- Discuss likely outcomes of breast reduction surgery and any risks or potential complications
The procedure can vary, but it is almost always performed under general anesthesia. The doctor will likely make a small incision similar in shape to an anchor or inverted keyhole that will encompass the area from the top of the nipple to the crease of the breast. Then, any excess fat, skin, and tissue will be removed and the remaining skin and areola will be repositioned. Breast reduction surgery can take from 1-3 hours per breast.
Location of operation: Hospital or surgery center
Length of surgery: 3-4 hours
Length of stay: Outpatient
After surgery, your breast area will be wrapped in gauze and an elastic bandage or surgical bra. You will have to continue wearing the bra/bandage for several days even after the gauze has been removed. You can expect to experience soreness and swelling for several weeks to months while your breasts heal. Patients typically resume work and other activities quickly after surgery (between 1-6 weeks), depending on the individual.
Discomfort: For a short period following surgery, but will be prescribed medication to help with the pain.
Swelling and Bruising: Any swelling or bruising should improve in two weeks.
Bandages: Bandages will be removed within one week, and for about a month patients should wear a sports bra or ace wrap. Patients should avoid underwire bras.
Stitches: Absorbable stitches that are buried under the skin and few require removal.
Daily activities: Normal activities may be resumed within a 10-day period. Lifting or pushing anything heavy should be avoided for at least six weeks.
Work: Expect to return to work within 2-3 weeks.
Exercise: Resume exercise in six weeks.
Driving: May be resumed in 1-2 weeks.
Final Result: This will be seen after the scars have matured, which will be about one year.
Who is a good candidate for breast reduction?
The best candidates for breast reduction surgery include women whose breasts are fully developed and who are experiencing physical discomfort due to their breast size.
What are the benefits of breast reduction surgery?
A number of physical problems can be alleviated with breast reduction surgery. These problems may include back and neck pain, shoulder strain, poor posture, skin irritation and infection, shortness of breath, difficulty participating in sports or other recreational activities, difficulty finding clothes that fit correctly and social or sexual embarrassment.
What are the risks involved with breast reduction?
Breast reduction surgery, like all surgeries, comes with risks. Complications may include infection, blood clots, adverse reaction to anesthesia, nerve damage, loss of sensation, asymmetry and scarring. In rare cases, a woman may lose her ability to breast feed.
How much do breast reductions cost?
The cost of a breast reduction surgery varies. Generally, this surgery can cost from $5,000 to $10,000 depending on individual circumstances and the patient’s healthcare coverage. Many times, the patient is able to file an insurance claim. Because this procedure is often done for medical purposes, most insurance companies will cover the costs of breast reduction surgery.