Breast reduction surgery reduces the size and also reshapes the contour of larger breasts by removing excess breast tissue and skin. It will also reduce the size of the areola (the dark skin surrounding the nipple), and reposition the areola and the nipple so it fits with the new breast size.
Though it may be surprising to many people, some women actually want to reduce the size of their breasts. Bigger is not always better when it comes to the size of some women’s breasts. Women undergo breast reduction surgery for many different reasons:
- The larger size has caused them various neck, back, and shoulder problems
- They interfere with the ability to participate in sports
- They are severely drooping or sagging because of age, childbearing, and gravity
- For purely aesthetic reasons – to have a sleeker profile
Women with extremely large breasts are often self-conscious about their breast size, and they may also have difficulty finding attractive clothing that fits properly. Custom-made bras, tops, and dresses can be expensive.
If you need to have breast reduction surgery because of physical pain or chronic discomfort, the surgery will often be covered by medical insurance. However, if you are planning on the surgery for purely cosmetic reasons, it will not be covered. It is important to check your policy and discuss it with your insurance company prior to scheduling the surgery. We will be happy to assist you with questions about insurance coverage.
Reduction mammaplasty can sometimes be performed on an outpatient basis, but it is usually done in a hospital. The surgery usually takes between two and four hours. Incisions are made following the natural contour of the breast; excess tissue, fat, and skin are removed from the central portion and sides of the breasts. Next, the areola and nipple are moved to a higher position, and the skin of both sides of the breast is molded to create an improved breast shape.
Once the surgery is complete, sutures are used to close the incision and the patient is given a dressing, a surgical bra, and a circumferential wrap. Every surgery produces scars, but scarring becomes less noticeable with the passage of time. Sometimes sensitivity in the nipple and breast is reduced and the feeling may not return for several months. In rare cases, sensitivity is permanently diminished, though sometimes nipple sensitivity is actually increased.
Following surgery, pain will be mild to moderate for several days, though it can be controlled with medication. After a week, the surgical dressing will be replaced with a soft bra, to be worn for several weeks. Swelling and bruising will partially subside in a week or two and will disappear completely over time. You can return to nonphysical work in approximately one week and gradually resume higher levels of fitness and physical activity after three to four weeks.