Whether you want to improve your life quality or change the shape of your chest, which you think looks unaesthetic, breast reduction is one of the most popular procedures that is considered necessary both medically and cosmetically. Deciding to undergo surgery is still a big decision, no matter the cause; that is why it is important to conduct as much research as you can before deciding to go under the knife for a breast reduction. What is breast reduction? How does the procedure work? What are the possible side effects, both short-term and long-term? Here is everything you need to know before getting a breast reduction, from its impact on breastfeeding to the decision of size.
What is Breast Reduction?
Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery is a procedure used to remove excess skin, fat, and tissue from breasts. While some women choose to undergo this surgery for cosmetic reasons, some opt for breast reduction when the massiveness of their breasts starts to compromise their daily life. Breast reduction is also known to greatly impact self-image, self-confidence, and the ability to participate in certain physical activities.
Keeping this in mind, there are numerous things to consider before deciding to undergo breast reduction surgery. Consulting a board-certified plastic surgeon, understanding what exactly the surgery entails, setting realistic expectations, and receiving as many second opinions as possible – including opportunities for breast reduction abroad – are a few of the many factors to be considered before making the final decision.
How Does Breast Reduction Work?
Breast reduction may be the only option for many women who have naturally big breasts, given that the vastness of their chest starts to affect their life quality adversely. Chronic back pain, chronic skin irritation and rash under breasts, restricted physical activity, difficulty fitting into clothing, and negatively altered self-image are the most common issues that can be resolved with a breast reduction surgery. So how does breast reduction work? We can walk you through the process.
First off, there are two basic procedures that your surgeon may decide on going through when performing the surgery. This decision usually depends on the patient’s age, weight, personal preferences, and the size of the breasts. Your surgeon may choose to perform surgery through incisions or remove the excess fat in the breast via liposuction.
The procedure starts with the surgery team making a small incision around the areola and down each breast, eliminating excess tissue, reshaping the breast, and repositioning the nipple. While the nipple and the areola usually remain attached to the breast, in some cases, the surgeon may have to remove them to a higher position as a sort of a skin graft.
The key point during a breast reduction operation is to maintain a natural symmetry between breasts. No matter how hard your surgeon tries, there is always a possibility that minor variation in breast shape and size may present itself after surgery. That is why it is very important to be working with a highly qualified surgeon and a team of doctors that have sufficient experience in the area. Some women expand their breast reduction options overseas and look for world-renowned surgeons abroad with expertise in cosmetic surgery.
Things to Consider Before Breast Reduction
While bleeding, bruising, scarring, infection, and adverse reaction to anesthesia are the most common risks that breast reduction surgery holds – as would be with any other surgery – there are additional significant points that need to be taken into consideration before making the decision to go through with the operation. Here are some of the most important facts you need to know about breast reduction.
There are certain breast reduction weight requirements you have to meet before even considering the option.
While a breast lift or a breast augmentation is considered mostly elective, women usually opt for breast reduction when it turns into a last resort to get rid of back pain, limited physical activity, and negative self-image. Some women choose to undergo breast reduction after weight loss to dispose of the saggy skin. That is why the medical community sets a standard of a BMI of 25 or less for more than two years to make sure the patient really needs it.
You may want to find out if your insurance will cover your breast reduction demand.
That being said, once you have met the necessary criteria for a breast reduction, your insurance policy may cover the entire or some portion of the operation. Check with your insurance provider to see if you are meeting their specific standards and what kind of coverage they offer regarding breast reduction planning. If your policy has breast reduction covered by insurance, it will be easier for you to manage the process financially.
There are certain breast reduction side effects that you may come across in your healing process.
Having drains in your breasts, discomfort in the first few days after surgery, challenge sleeping, and loss of nipple sensation are a few of the most typical side effects that many women experience after breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction side effects may also differ from women to women, which is why talking to your physician before and after surgery regarding all of the possible outcomes is quite crucial.
After the surgery, you may need at least six weeks to recover fully.
Depending on your job, you may need to take time off work, approximately between two to four weeks. In addition, your surgeon will advise you to wear a post-surgery bra, following a sports bra up to three months afterward, especially when conducting regular chores such as household duties, childcare, and similar chores.
Loss of nipple sensation is a common side effect after breast reduction surgery.
Loss of nipple sensation after breast reduction is temporary, which may have a significant impact on your sex life. Some women claim that it took them up to 2 years to get their nipple sensation back completely after the surgery.
Studies show that breast reduction may have a negative impact on breastfeeding.
Although this depends on the extent of the surgery, breast reduction comes with its own particular set of risk factors, and one of these is facing an impact on your breastfeeding choices. Since there is a certain amount of breast tissue removed during the surgery, as well as the nipple and areola area being moved, a possible reduction in milk-producing glands and milk ducts is an expected risk. That is why some women choose to wait until they have had children and feel that their family is complete before undergoing this radical surgery.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Reduction
How much does a breast reduction cost?
While this may depend on the coverage of your insurance policy, a breast reduction surgery may cost anywhere between $5,000 to $7000.
How long does it take to heal from breast reduction?
The initial healing stage after the surgery is expected to last up to 6 weeks, while patients are allowed to return to normal physical activity at around two months after the surgery. Full recovery may be expected at around 6 to 12 months in.
Is the operation painful?
Patients can expect to feel some soreness for the first couple of days after the operation. However, this cannot be defined as severe pain. Having your stitches removed, the itchiness of the scabbing on the scars and the overall swelling sensation after the surgery are the most common discomfort elements most women experience.
Will I have to lose weight before the surgery?
Patients are advised to be at an appropriate weight before breast reduction. However, there are no standard breast reduction weight requirements. Studies show that the risk of wound breakdown and infection is higher for patients who have a higher BMI, which is why plastic surgeons may want to urge them to maintain a good diet and a healthy exercise regimen plan a couple of months before the procedure.