Women seeking out breast reduction tend to be dissatisfied with the size of their breasts due to such problems as chronic pain, as well as those desiring to move around more easily and wear clothes that better fit.
The breast reduction procedure involves the removal of breast tissue, fat, and skin to reduce the size and weight of the breasts.
What is breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction is a procedure used for removing fat, skin, and tissue from the breasts to reduce their size.
It is an elective procedure that is normally performed under general anesthesia, so no pain and discomfort are felt during the procedure itself, though during recovery both pain and discomfort will be experienced and can be managed through pain medication.
Far less commonly, the procedure can be performed using either local anesthesia or IV sedation.
Breast Reduction Surgery Benefits:
- Reduces breast sagging
- May enhance self-esteem
- Fit more comfortably in clothing
- Improved balance between body and breast size
- Ability to exercise and take part in activities once limited by breast size
Breast Reduction Cost
It is important to understand that every case is unique, and the cost of a breast reduction procedure is variable. Generally, the cost of the procedure can range from $7,700 to $9,700.
The specific dollar amount of your own breast reduction surgery depends upon factors like the plastic surgeon performing your procedure, geographical area and other factors.
Breast Reduction Procedure
Before your plastic surgeon begins, you will receive either inhaled or intravenous medications so that you are asleep during the procedure.
Breast reduction procedures typically take around three or four hours to complete, proceeding in this general fashion:
- Incision: Depending upon the technique that your surgeon uses, they will use a scalpel to form two or three incisions.
- Removing and repositioning: Your surgeon will be removing breast tissue, skin, and fat, as well as reshaping remaining breast tissue. The nipple and areola will also be repositioned. Areola size can also be reduced by excising skin around the edges.
- Grafting: Women with very large breasts may require a graft of the nipple and areola into higher positions on the breast.
- Placement of drains: Some patients require the placement of a drain under their skin near the incision sites to remove excess fluid or blood.
- Closure: Following excess tissue removal and reshaping of the breasts, your surgeon will close the incisions. They will then place gauze dressings onto your breasts, which will be covered by a surgical bra.
Breast Reduction Recovery Timeline
Although there are individual differences among patients, here is a rough approximation of what you can expect after your breast reduction surgery.
First Five Days
Expect to experience some degree of pain, discomfort, swelling, and bruising during the first few days after your procedure.
Be sure that you are taking all of your prescribed medications as directed. If your surgery involved the placement of drainage tubes, they would normally be removed after a few days. Your breasts will be bandaged, and a special bra or elastic bandage will be supporting them so that your tissues remain intact without unnecessary strain.
First Two Weeks
You will have taken at least one week off of work after your breast reduction. Most women have healed enough to resume normal activities after two weeks; however, you should avoid vigorous physical activity for around four weeks.
In a week or two, your stitches should be able to be removed. Continue wearing your surgical bra at this time.
Pain, swelling, and bruising may linger for about two weeks after your breast reduction surgery. As your body heals, these side effects will begin to subside.
If you should notice a worsening of your pain and swelling, which is accompanied by skin redness, bring this to the attention of your surgeon right away, as this could indicate an infection.
Next Few Weeks and Months
You should notice your swelling, bruising, and pain continuing to decrease during this time. However, it may take anywhere from six months to a year for your swelling to fully go down.
Be especially gentle with your breasts for the following four to six weeks to minimize your chances of experiencing complications, and to give your breasts adequate time to fully heal.