The purpose of a breast reduction is to remove excess breast tissue for patients who are experiencing symptoms from large breasts. A secondary benefit of the breast reduction surgery is that your breasts will appear more lifted, as your nipples will sit in a more youthful position. However, the primary purpose of the surgery is to reduce the amount of breast tissue, so you should expect your breasts to be about half as large after the operation.
If you are experiencing symptoms from large breasts like back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, shoulder grooving from bra straps, headaches, and rashes under the breasts, then you may benefit from a breast reduction.
This surgery is best timed when you are at a stable weight. To make the surgery as safe as possible, we will recommend that your BMI be less than 40 and that you are not smoking for at least 6 months prior to proceeding with the operation.
In order for your breast tissue to remain healthy, we need to leave a sufficient amount in place for blood flow. This usually requires that we leave about half of your current breast tissue, so it is likely that you will still be full-breasted after a breast reduction surgery. While we cannot predict your bra size, we will show you our estimation of how much breast tissue we can remove during your consultation.
Maybe. Each insurance has specific parameters for coverage of a breast reduction. We will provide your insurance company with information from our consultation, which includes an estimate of how much breast tissue we can safely remove, and they will let us know if this is covered. If your insurance does not cover the surgery, we can provide you with an estimate to have the surgery performed for an out-of-pocket cost.
You can expect about 1 month of recovery time for a breast reduction surgery, though this can vary depending on how you heal. The first week after surgery, you will wear an ACE wrap dressing. We will typically let you transition into a sports bra after that first week. You will see our office regularly (at 1 week, 2 weeks and 1 month post-op) to check wounds and remove your sutures in stages. During the month after surgery, we will ask that you avoid exercise and heavy lifting. Most people take about 2 weeks off work, but this varies depending on the nature of your job.
We most often operate at St. Joseph Outpatient Surgery Center, and breast reduction surgery is usually performed as an outpatient with you going home the same day.
If you have high risk medical conditions, St. Joseph Hospital is another location where we operate. We will let you know the location of your surgery on the day of your consultation.
Please be prepared to check into the surgery location at least one hour before your scheduled surgery time.
You will need to be fasting for at least 8 hours prior to the surgery, and some medications may require you to fast up to 12 hours prior to surgery. You will receive specific instructions prior to your procedure date.
Please provide us with a complete list of your medications during your initial consultation, and please let us know if you have any changes to your medication prior to surgery. This will allow us to give you the best instructions to prepare for surgery and recovery.
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