Breast augmentation surgeries have long been one of the most popular procedures in the cosmetic surgery field. However, a popular option for women is undergoing breast reduction to enhance their appearance and their self-confidence. Reduction mammaplasty can offer significant advantages for women, including the following:
- Reduced weight and stress on the back
- Improved athletic performance
- Improved proportionality of breast size to figure
A preeminent Settle plastic surgeon with extensive experience in breast procedures including augmentations and reductions, Dr. Shahram Salemy shares his knowledge on breast reduction surgeries by answering seven of the most common questions:
- What type of incision will be used to perform the surgery?
The incisions needed to perform breast reduction surgery vary depending on the method used to reshape and reduce the size of the breasts:
- Circular pattern incisions are used to reduce the size of the areola and to remove fat and tissue. Most patients experience minimal scarring around the areola after these procedures.
- Keyhole or racquet-shaped pattern incisions are designed to allow for the removal of more tissue and fat to reduce the size of breasts even further. These incisions typically leave small scars around the areola and in a line that goes from the nipple down to the base of the breast.
- Anchor-shaped or inverted-T incision patterns allow for the most dramatic sculpting and reduction in breast size. The additional incision is made along the crease where the underside of the breast meets the chest and is usually not obvious in swimsuits or revealing clothing. This is typically the most common incision pattern that is required for a breast reduction.
Your plastic surgeon will work with you to create a treatment plan that addresses your concerns and meets your needs.
2. Will insurance pay for breast reduction procedures?
In some cases, insurance companies will cover some or all of the cost of breast reduction surgeries. To be covered by insurance, however, the surgery must not be solely performed for cosmetic or aesthetic purposes. Instead, it must serve a medical need. If you are experiencing back, neck or shoulder pain as a result of overly large breasts, however, it may be worthwhile to discuss the planned procedure with your insurance company to determine what costs may be covered under your health care plan. Please note that Dr. Salemy does not contract with insurance companies.
3. Can breast reductions be performed on an outpatient basis?
Most women can leave the surgical center or hospital within one to two hours of surgery. If no complications occur, no overnight stay is generally required. It is a good idea to have someone drive you home after your surgery, however, since these procedures are usually performed under general anesthesia.
4. When will I be able to return to work?
It varies depending on the type of work you do and how quickly you recover from your surgical procedure. Most women can return to regular activities within one week of their surgery; however, heavy lifting should be avoided for at least 6 weeks after your breast reduction procedure.
5. Can a breast lift be combined with my breast reduction surgery?
In almost all cases, the answer is yes. Breast lifts can provide definition for your new, smaller breasts by reducing excess skin tissue. This can create an aesthetically pleasing look and shape for your breasts and can ensure the best possible results for your reduction procedure. Combined with breast reduction surgery or performed as a stand-alone procedure, a breast lift can reduce sagging and droopiness to present the best possible profile.
6. Can breast reduction surgery be repeated in the future?
It is possible to have a second or even a third round of breast reduction surgery, but with each successive procedure the potential for complications can increase. However, because scar tissue is formed with every surgical procedure, it is better to opt for minimally invasive surgeries or to choose an alternative method of breast reduction. Liposuction is sometimes used to remove excess fat from the breasts. It may be combined with a breast lift to ensure that the patient’s breasts look their absolute best.
7. Are most women happy with their results?
Medical studies have demonstrated that women who have undergone breast reduction surgeries are happier and more satisfied with their appearances after their procedures.
This procedure can be safe and effective for women interested in achieving a proportionate appearance for their bodies and improved athletic performance in competitive settings. By opting for reduction mammaplasty with a board certified plastic surgeon, women can enjoy the freedom of smaller and more manageable breasts and can lower their chances of back pain and other side effects caused by too-large or too-unwieldy breasts.