What is Breast Reduction (Mammaplasty)?
Breast reduction, or mammaplasty, is a cosmetic procedure to reduce the size of women’s breasts. Women who are unhappy about having large breasts and/or want to treat symptoms such as back pain, breathing problems, and poor posture, may benefit from a breast reduction. This cosmetic procedure removes fat, glandular tissue and skin from the breasts. The resulting smaller breasts increase patient comfort and look more proportional to the rest of the body.
Ideal Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?
Ideal candidates for reduction mammaplasty are women with oversized breasts. These breasts are causing medical problems, low self-esteem, and/or physical or social discomfort. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding cannot undergo reduction mammaplasty.
Breast Reduction Procedure
Reduction mammaplasty is a procedure that requires general anesthesia. Depending on the technique used and the individual case, it takes Dr. Guarnieri 2 to 5 hours to perform. Some incisions used include:
- Two rings, one larger than the other, around the areola
- A keyhole shape, around the areola and down to the breast crease
- An anchor shape, beginning in the breast crease and extending up to and around the areola
Liposuction is sometimes enough to reduce breast size. One advantage is that it leaves little-to-no scarring. However, because liposuction removes only fatty tissue, patients must have more fatty than glandular tissue in their breasts. Liposuction is also common for men with enlarged breasts.
Is Breast Reduction Surgery Covered By Insurance?
Medical insurance may cover the cost of Breast Reduction if it is being performed to alleviate physical discomfort and pain. Depending on the particular insurance provider, eligibility factors may include the amount of breast tissue to be removed, and whether more conservative steps to reduce pain have been attempted.
Breast Reduction Recovery
Following breast reduction (mammaplasty), patients typically experience soreness, swelling and bruising for several days. Two days after surgery, a surgical bra replaces the bandages. Patients should avoid physical activity for 1 to 2 weeks. They should also avoid exercise and other strenuous activities for at least 4 weeks. Dr. Guarnieri removes the stitches after 2 to 3 weeks when most patients return to work and other regular activities.
The results of reduction mammaplasty are noticeable immediately after surgery. Once swelling and bruising subside, the breasts’ appearance improves. Eventually, scars fade with time and can typically be hidden by a bathing suit or low-cut top.
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Breast Reduction Risks
There are risks associated with any surgery. Risks related to reduction mammaplasty, depending on the technique used, include the following:
- Loss of sensation
- Excessive firmness
- Inability to breastfeed
- Loss of skin/tissue where incisions meet
- Partial or total loss of areola and nipple
Although reduction provides long-lasting results, breasts will still be subject to the effects of aging and gravity.