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Breast Reduction

Breast reduction is a procedure to reduce the size as well as lift and shape heavy, sagging breasts. Breast reduction is usually performed for physical relief of symptoms rather than simply cosmetic improvement. In many cases the procedure is covered by the health insurances.

Ideal Candidates

Most women who seek breast reduction surgery are bothered by symptoms such as back and neck pain, shoulder grooving, poor posture, rashes underneath the breast and limitations in activities. Unusually large breasts can also make women feel very self-conscious.

The Preoperative visit

Consultation for a breast reduction consists of a thorough discussion of the patient's symptoms and concerns. An examination and evaluation of the patient's breasts will be performed. Photographs will be taken. These may be needed to obtain insurance approval. The available surgical options, including a description the procedure will be reviewed. An idea of what results can be obtained, including the limitations and risks of surgery, will also be discussed. A discussion of the variables that may affect the procedure, such as the age, the size and shape of the breasts, and the condition of the skin will be reviewed. Some insurance companies and managed care plans will pay for breast reduction if it is deemed medically necessary. Patients will need to discuss with their insurance plan what their eligibility requirements are for breast reduction surgery. Our office will assist the patients in filing for a preauthorization.

The Procedure

Breast reduction surgery is usually performed at a hospital. Most of the patients will stay over-night. Breast reduction is performed under general anesthesia. The surgery usually takes about three to four hours. There is some blood loss associated with the procedure, however patients rarely will require transfusion. The Procedure involves the removal of fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breast, making them smaller, lighter and firmer. The areola is also usually made smaller and the nipple and areola are lifted to a higher more youthful position. In most cases dissolvable sutures are used. If drains are used they are removed before the patient is discharged. Breast reduction surgery creates noticeable, permanent scars, although they will be covered by the bra or bathing suit.

The Recovery

After surgery, the patient is wrapped in an elastic bandage over gauze dressings. The bandages are removed a day or two after surgery. The patient will be placed in a surgical bra to be worn for several weeks, until the bruising and swelling subside. Although most of the swelling disappears in the first few weeks, it may be six months before the breasts settle into their new shape. It may also take up to a year for all of the scars to become less obvious and achieve their final appearance. Most women are able to return to work after two weeks following surgery. Patients should avoid strenuous activities and exercise for about four weeks after surgery. We recommend a new base line mammogram six months after surgery.


The breasts when fully healed will appear smaller and lifted. The breasts are still responsive to hormonal changes. If patients gain significant amount of weight after breast reduction their breast size may increase. Improvement in physical symptoms as a result of breast reduction occurs very quickly. The natural processes responsible for sagging of the breasts will continue to affect the breast after breast reduction.




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