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Breast Reduction

Breast ReductionVery large breasts can cause a woman physical discomfort as well as feelings of embarrassment. Breast reduction involves the removal of excess breast tissue and skin in order to create a breast size and shape that’s more proportionate to the rest of your body. For some patients, a reduction in nipple size or reshaping of the areola may be incorporated into reduction surgery as well. Options for breast reduction range from minimally invasive approaches with liposuction to more extensive correction for extremely large breast size.

Dr. Otto Placik is a board certified plastic surgeon who has helped thousands of women find relief from the physical and emotional discomfort of overly large breasts for over 20 years. Dr. Placik also offers a number of additional cosmetic breast procedures for women in Chicago and throughout the surrounding suburbs.

Please contact us online or call our Chicago or Arlington Heights plastic surgery offices for more information on breast reduction surgery, including prices.

Dr. Otto J. Placik

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Placik can help you look your best. See why you should choose him for your cosmetic procedure.

About Breast Reduction

Although very large or saggy breasts may not match your aesthetic ideal, the physical concerns they so often cause can be an even bigger issue. Women in need of reduction frequently suffer from back, neck and shoulder pain, chaffing under their breasts and irritation where bra straps cut into the skin. For many patients, breast reduction surgery is rarely defined solely as a cosmetic procedure due to the many physical complications a reduction can alleviate. When breast reduction is deemed to be medically necessary due to secondary health concerns related to breast size, insurance companies may cover a portion of the costs for the procedure.

When women with large breasts have a low position of the nipple, Dr. Placik makes an incision that allows him to remove excess skin and breast tissue and reshape the breast mounds, similar to the procedure used during a breast lift. The specific type of technique used will vary depending on your unique needs, but incisions generally run vertically from the nipple to the inframammary fold (the natural crease at the breast base). At the same time, the nipple can be relocated to a higher, more centered position. In some cases when patients have little or no sagging, liposuction may be incorporated as a minimally invasive approach to limit scars or be used for refining the breast contours. Breast reduction is normally performed with the patient under general anesthesia, and a typical procedure lasts approximately 1 to 3 hours.

Breast Reduction Incisions Circumareolar (Donut), Circumvertical (Lollipop), Etc

Following breast reduction surgery, Dr. Placik will ask you to wear a post-surgical compression bra to encourage proper breast shape and placement during healing. Any discomfort can typically be controlled with oral medications. The initial soreness should dissipate during the week following surgery, with swelling and bruising improving over the next week or two. Based on how well you are healing, Dr. Placik will advise you when it’s okay to return to work or physical activity, although you should plan on several days of dedicated rest and downtime.

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Breast Reduction FAQs

Am I a good candidate?

The best candidates for breast reduction should be in good health overall, be at least 18 years old and have fully developed breasts. This procedure can offer significant relief and improvement in your quality of life if your breasts cause you pain and discomfort, limit your ability to enjoy physical activities or cause you to feel self-conscious or uncomfortable.

Will insurance pay for my breast reduction?

Insurers will often pay for a portion of the breast reduction procedures, particularly if the physical effects your breasts have had on your body are well-documented. In some cases, depending on your policy, a certain amount of tissue must be removed from each breast in order to qualify for insurance coverage. Dr. Placik’s staff will work with you to make sure that you receive all the necessary documentation you may require to request reimbursement from your insurer.

If I don’t have insurance, how much will breast reduction cost?

The cost of breast reduction varies depending on whether other procedures are performed in combination with the surgery, as well as many other factors. The total cost of surgery will include Dr. Placik’s surgical fee as well as the cost for the surgery center and payment to the anesthesiologist. Dr. Placik and his staff strive to provide excellent value and can help you with cosmetic surgery financing to make your procedure even more affordable.

What incision or approach does Dr. Placik use?

The incision is customized for each patient according to her anatomy and degree of sagging (ptosis) and extent of the volume reduction. Small, barely invisible incisions hidden in the breast crease can be used when liposuction breast reduction is appropriately indicated. In instances of more substantial breast reduction, Dr. Placik is comfortable using any of the other incisions commonly used for breast lifts and include the periareolar (crescent), circumareolar (donut), circum-vertical (lollipop), or Lexer/Wise Pattern (inverted-T or anchor) incisions. With your input, Dr. Placik and his staff will discuss which approach best meets your needs during the consultation.

What will I need to plan for after my surgery?

Although each breast reduction is unique and each patient heals differently, you can generally plan on committing your first week after surgery to resting with no physical activity. After a week or so, Dr. Placik will evaluate how well you’re recovering and may allow you to begin light activities at that point. It’s imperative to follow Dr. Placik’s post-operative care instructions to ensure a stress-free recovery and an optimum outcome.

What are the risks?

Breast reduction is a very safe surgery; however, like all surgeries, there are some risks involved. Complications that can occur include a negative reaction to anesthesia, infection, scarring and blood clots. Other side effects include dissatisfaction with the end result or changes in sensation, although these are rare. Before your surgery, Dr. Placik will discuss potential risks with you in detail so you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.


Dr. Placik promises you his best possible care and attention. If you would like to schedule a private consultation to learn more about breast reduction surgery, please contact us online or call us at 847-398-1660.

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As of 12/19/2014