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.
Read our Breast Reduction FAQ for more information.
Manor Care Post-Operative Recovery
Breast Reduction Information
Please e-mail or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on breast reduction surgery.
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