This procedure reduces the size and reshapes the contour of large breasts by removing excess breast skin and breast tissue. It may also include reducing the size of the areola (dark skin surrounding the nipple) and repositioning the nipple and areola.
Women with extremely large or sagging breasts can be both emotionally and physically uncomfortable. They may suffer from back and neck pain, irritation under the breasts and soreness where brassiere straps cut into their shoulders. These women may also be self-conscious about their breast size. Furthermore, it may be difficult for them to find attractive clothing that fits properly; sometimes it is necessary to buy costly custom-made clothing and supportive garments.
Breast reduction is not generally considered a cosmetic procedure. If you suffer physical pain, discomfort or other disabilities as a result of very large or oversized breasts, breast reduction will usually be covered by your medical insurance. Check your policy and discuss the matter with your insurance carrier before the surgery is performed. We will be happy to assist you in this matter.
Reduction mammaplasty is usually done in a hospital but outpatient surgery is also possible. External scarring becomes less noticeable with the passage of time. Sometimes sensitivity in the breast and nipple is reduced and feeling may not return for several months. In rare cases, it is permanently diminished. Sometimes nipple sensitivity is actually improved.
The surgery will take two to four hours depending upon its extent. Generally, incisions are made following the natural contour of the breast. Excess breast tissue, fat and skin are removed from the sides and central portion of the breast. Then the nipple, areola, and underlying tissue are moved to a new, higher location. Skin on both sides of the breast is moved downward and brought together to form an improved breast shape. A dressing, surgical bra, and a circumferential wrap are applied to complete the surgery.
Following surgery, you will experience pain for several days, but it can be controlled with medication. Within a week, the surgical dressing will be replaced with a soft bra, to be worn for several weeks. Swelling and skin discoloration will partially subside in a week or two and stitches will be removed at about that time. You can return to nonphysical work in approximately one week and gradually resume fitness and other physical activities after three to four weeks.
Please e-mail or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on breast reduction surgery.
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Breast Reduction Questions
What are the risks involved with breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction may involve various combinations of reducing the skin, fat, breast tissue with or without lifting of an associated sagging nipple/areola. In young individuals with minimal sagging and excellent skin contractility or females not concerned with sagging, the use of liposuction is a minimally invasive. More advanced cases of massively enlarged breasts require a more invasive surgery, so there are some risks you should be aware of before scheduling. Complications for breast reduction can include anesthesia reaction, blood clots, infection, asymmetry, scarring, and nerve damage. Dr. Placik will discuss all of the risks and side effects of breast reduction with you during your initial consultation. You can minimize risks by adhering to Dr. Placik’s care instructions and maintaining good health.
What should I expect during breast reduction surgery?
For breast reduction surgery, you will be put under general anesthesia before the procedure begins. In cases where liposuction in performed, Dr. Placik will make typically utilizing.3 small incisions hidden in the breast crease and areola. More traditional methods of breast reduction use an incision from the top of the nipple to a natural breast crease. He will then remove excess fat and skin, and reposition the nipple. You can expect to be in surgery for one to three hours, and the general anesthesia may take some time to wear off. After the procedure you and your friend or family member will be given detailed instructions on what to expect during healing and asked to follow restricted activity recommendations.
What can I expect post-operatively?
Following breast reduction, the treated breast area will be carefully wrapped and a surgical bra may be placed. The special compression bra should be worn for a few weeks following surgery to protect the area and encourage healing. The gauze will need to stay on for just a few days. You will most likely experience swelling, redness and soreness, but pain medication will be prescribed to help with any discomfort. Dr. Placik will let you know when you can expect to be back to normal, when you may return to work, and when you may resume exercise and strenuous activities, although the timeline will depend on your body’s healing timeline.
Is breast reduction covered by insurance?
In many instances, breast reduction will be covered. It depends on if the procedure is purely cosmetic, or if it has some health and functional purposes. Our financial coordinator can check with your insurance company following your consultation with Dr. Placik, relay Dr. Placik’s notes, and find out for you whether or not your company will cover a partial amount or whole amount.
Am I a good candidate for a breast reduction?
That all depends on your personal characteristics, current health status, and health history. The best candidates for breast reduction are women who are at least 18 years of age, have fully developed breasts, and desire a smaller cup size due to the physical awkwardness and discomfort that come from having large breasts. Often our breast reduction patients are tired of receiving negative attention and find that their large size restricts many activities, affects posture, causes skin and/or breathing problems, and causes pain.
Please e-mail or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on our cosmetic breast reduction procedure.