Breast reduction surgery, also known as “reduction mammaplasty,” is a procedure designed to relieve the stress of excess breast weight by reducing the size of the breasts. Many women with large and heavy breasts experience pain in their necks and backs, difficulty performing routine activities or exercise, and frustration with fitting into certain styles of clothing. Breast reduction surgery can potentially improve these symptoms.
The Benefits of Breast Reduction
Reduces Neck, Shoulder, and/or Back Pain
Heavy breasts can cause back pain and indentations in the shoulders from bra straps. This procedure will reduce the weight of overly large breasts and eliminate the associated discomfort and pain.
Improves Physical Ability
Large, heavy breasts often impede performance in athletics as well as routine physical activities. A breast reduction can increase mobility and comfort to improve the overall quality of life for patients.
Eliminates Skin Irritation
Skin irritation and rashes can occur beneath the breasts when they are very large. Breast reduction reduces the weight of the breasts and uplifts the breasts so they no longer irritate the skin.
Clothing Fits Better
Many styles of clothing are not made for a larger bust line. Finding a well-fitting bra can also be challenging for women with very large breasts. A breast reduction can create a more balanced hourglass shape that can boost a woman’s confidence both in and out of the fitting room.
Common Breast Reduction Concerns
Pain after breast reduction can be managed with prescribed pain medication. You may be instructed to wear a compression bra, which will also help decrease pain and swelling.
Swelling and bruising will be apparent for at least the first two weeks, after which time most patients feel comfortable returning to work. After six weeks, patients can resume exercise and regular physical activities.
Scars with breast reduction are minimal and fade over time. Typically, there will be a scar around the areola, a vertical scar from the areola to the breast crease, and a scar along the breast crease, resulting in an “anchor pattern” incision.
Duration of Results
The results of breast reduction will last a lifetime, but the breasts will continue to age naturally over time. Patients typically experience lighter, more youthful breasts and increased comfort and confidence as a result of this procedure.
Breast Reduction FAQ
Who are the best candidates for breast reduction surgery?
Typical candidates for breast reduction desire to reduce the size of their breasts either for aesthetic reasons or to relieve pain and discomfort. The best candidates are in good physical health and do not smoke.
Is breast reduction covered by insurance?
Some health insurance providers will cover the cost of breast reduction if the patient experiences pain and severe discomfort because of the size or weight of her breasts.
What are the risks of breast reduction surgery?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks involved with breast reduction. Although rare, bleeding, infection, changes in skin sensation, asymmetry, or poor wound healing can occur. Follow-up visits with your surgeon will help to monitor and correct any complications.
Will breast reduction affect my ability to breastfeed?
Breast reduction surgery may affect the ability to breastfeed. If it is a priority for you to maintain the ability to breastfeed, you may want to wait until you are finished having children prior to breast reduction surgery.
When will final results be apparent?
Once swelling and bruising dissipate, final results are apparent. Swelling can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months after surgery. Scars will continue to fade over time, and protecting your scars from the sun will help prevent them from darkening.