Breast reduction remains the most popular plastic surgery procedure in the world. It lives in the intersection of function and beauty. Many women feel as though the weight, shape, and size of their breasts are dipropionate to their bodies and interfere with daily activities from work to exercise. The long term effects of having heavy and large breasts can cause significant pain and distress. Luckily, the surgery to treat large breasts is safe, predictable, and has minimal downtime.
What are the goals of Breast Reduction Surgery?
- To remove redundant heavy breast tissue in order to reduce pain
- To life and shape the Breast to provide improved shape and aesthetics
What are the symptoms of large Breasts?
- Pain- the most common symptom we see is pain. This soreness is typically in the neck, shoulders, and back. Many patients tell me they have pain at work, at home, and especially with exercise. This pain can be dramatically improved and even eradicated with breast reduction surgery
- Rashes- some woman have such large breasts that the constant rubbing can cause rashes that may need medical creams prescribed to treat the rashes. Ultimately the rashes are best treated with removing the excess breast tissue that is causing the rashes
- Bra Strap Grooving- some woman experience grooves in their shoulders that do not go away because of the weight of their breasts pulling down the straps deep into the shoulder
- Numbness in the fingers- some woman will have such heavy breasts that the weight presses down on the nerves in the shoulder neck area that cause numbness and tingling in the hands
Who is a Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?
Your insurance carrier will ask us for some supporting documentation
- Patients will be asked to fill out a questionnaire that documents the preoperative symptoms such as listed above
- Insurance carriers prefer a certain weight or volume of breast tissue to be removed based on your height and weight, this is independent of cup size and I will discuss this number with you at your consultation
- From time to time Insurance carriers may ask if you have attempted to alleviate your symptoms through other treatments before surgery such as chiropractor therapy, physical therapy, specialized bras or medication use (ibuprofen for instance)
Once approved for Breast Reduction Surgery What Happens Next?
After your consultation we will submit the necessary paperwork to your insurance company. As an ideal candidate we will receive pre-approval and be able to describe the entire billing process to you to ensure you understand any and all out of pocket contributions.
After that we will choose a date for your procedure and you will be given a form for medical clearance. You can receive your medical clearance from your primary care physician. We can help you find a physician that fits into your schedule.
Where is Surgery Performed?
Surgery will be performed either at Lenox Hill Hospital or a fully accredited Midtown Manhattan Surgical Center. Both facilities are locations of surgical excellence with experiences anesthesia and nursing services.
How is the surgery Performed?
The operation will be done under general anesthesia with our fully board certified anesthesiologists. Most patients will have an anchor type incision with the incision around the areola down the breast and underneath. This allows three dimension shaping and remodeling of the breast. The extra breast tissue is typically removed from the bottom and outside of the breast in order to preserve cleavage. The nipple remains attached during the entire procedure. All incisions are sewn with a plastic surgery closure and all the sutures or stitches are dissolvable so there is no suture removal. Some patients may receive a lollipop incision which is just around the areola and down. We will likely make your areola smaller during the procedure. We will use long acting numbing medication to ensure a smooth recovery. The procedure takes about 2 hours and you will recover in our recovery room for one hour before you are able to go home with a chaperone.
What is recovery and downtime like?
I ask patients to take one week off of work but they will be able to work the day after surgery on their lap top or phone. Patients are up and walking the day of surgery and resume normal activity in 3 days and can exercise in 3 weeks. Most people will take pain medication for 24-48 hours than switch to Tylenol or advil. Patients wear a sports bra for 3 weeks and can expect to buy new bras at about 4 weeks when most of the swelling has gone down.
Are there any risks to the procedure?
Outpatient breast reduction surgery is one of the safest and predictable procedures in all of plastic surgery. All surgery has slight risks of bleeding, bruising, swelling, infection, pain, nipple sensation change, mammogram changes, and very rarely blood clots.
We take surgery very seriously and will do a detailed history and physical to ensure you are completely set for a safe and predictable procedure.