There are many reasons why women choose to undergo breast reduction. Some women simply feel self-conscious about their large busts while others suffer from back problems caused by heavy breasts. Whatever the reason, this procedure is performed every day across the country.
But how do doctors determine whether a woman needs one? And what kind of scar will she get after her operation? In this post, we’ll answer these questions and provide tips for choosing a plastic surgeon who performs with minimal complications.
What is Breast Reduction
Breast reduction is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of a woman’s breasts. While the goal of this procedure is to create a smaller bust, many women also report feeling better about their bodies. This surgery is performed using general anesthesia. The surgeon makes a cut around the areola and removes tissue until he reaches the pectoralis muscle. This creates a smaller bustline.
While most people who undergo this procedure do so for cosmetic reasons, others choose to have one for medical reasons such as relief from chronic back pain caused by large breasts.
There are different types of procedures. These include
• Nipple-sparing mastectomy (NSM) – NSM involves removing skin and nipple tissue while leaving the underlying muscles intact. This reduces scarring and allows for faster healing. It’s ideal for women who want to retain their nipples.
• Skin-sparing mastectomy – SSM involves removing skin and fat tissue while leaving the underlying muscle intact. This reduces scar formation and allows for quicker recovery. It’s best suited for women who don’t want to keep their nipples.
• Modified radical mastectomy – MRM involves removing both the skin and nipple tissue along with the underlying muscle. This results in the largest amount of scarring. It’s best suited if you want to remove all of your breast tissue.
The type of surgery you receive depends on several factors including your age, body mass index (BMI), and whether you plan to keep your nipples.
If you’re considering one, it’s important to understand what to expect before, during, and after the operation.
Before Your Surgery
Your doctor will discuss the benefits and risks of the surgery with you. He’ll explain the various options available and help you decide which one is right for you.
He’ll also ask questions about your health history, current medications, and any allergies you might have.
During Your Surgery
Once you’ve chosen a breast reduction option, your doctor will numb your breasts and then make an incision. The incision line will follow the natural curve of your breast crease.
Next, he’ll remove fat from your upper chest using liposuction. Then he’ll close the incision with stitches.
The surgery takes approximately one hour per breast. You may go home the same day as your procedure.
After Your Procedure
Following your surgery, you’ll wear a compression bra until the swelling goes down. You may feel sore and bruised for up to two weeks after surgery. You may also experience mild bleeding during recovery. This is normal and shouldn’t cause concern. To reduce the chance of infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics before and after your procedure.
You’ll likely return to work within three days of surgery. You may resume all activities as soon as you’re able.
Recovery time varies depending on the method used. In general, most women are able to return to their regular routine within four to six weeks.
What breast reduction scars can I expect?
Post-operation scars vary depending on the type of incision used during your surgery. The most common types of incisions include:
• An inframammary fold (IMF) incision – This incision starts at the bottom of the breast crease and extends down toward the nipple. IMF incisions leave a natural-looking scar that follows the shape of the breast. They’re usually hidden under clothing and don’t require any special care.
• A transaxillary approach – This incision begins in the armpit area and ends near the collarbone. It leaves an unsightly scar that may be visible through tight clothing.
• A vertical or horizontal mastopexy incision – These incisions start above the breast crease and extend downward towards the nipple. They’re often used when there’s excess skin between the breast and chest wall.
If you have small breasts, you might not need one. But if you want to improve the appearance of your breasts, you should consider having one done.
In addition to reducing the size of your breasts, size reduction surgeries can help alleviate pain associated with heavy breasts. If you’ve been experiencing backaches or neck pains due to your big boobs, you might benefit from a size reduction.
Is it safe?
Breast reduction is generally considered safe but has risks. Women who smoke or have high blood pressure may be advised against undergoing this procedure. Women who have had previous breast augmentation or breast lift surgery may be at increased risk of complications during the reduction surgery.
How much does breast reduction cost?
The average price of a breast reduction varies based on several factors including where you live, the number of procedures you plan to have, and the type of incision you select.
The total cost of one depends on the following
• Your insurance coverage – Most insurance plans cover the procedure costs. However, some plans only pay for certain procedures. For example, Medicare doesn’t cover it unless it’s part of a larger breast reconstruction.
• Location – Prices tend to be higher in urban areas than in rural ones.
• Number of procedures – Having more size reduction procedures increases your overall cost.
• Type of incision – Higher priced procedures use longer incisions.
• Surgeon experience – Doctors with more years of practice typically charge more money.
• Complications – More complicated cases increase the risk of complications. Therefore, they cost more.
You can find out how much a size reduction procedure will cost by contacting your doctor or a reputable plastic surgeon.