Breast reduction surgery, or reduction mammoplasty, is the surgical procedure to both lift and reduce the size of the breasts. Women who have large, pendulous breasts – which are heavy and causing neck, back and shoulder pain – are usually good candidates. These ladies also complain of notching from their bra straps and sometimes chafing, or skin irritation on the underside of the breast.
Over the years, I have felt that my breast reduction patients were overall, the happiest patients in my practice. I think this is because the procedure not only relieves the physical symptoms noted above, but also provides a significant psychological benefit – making the patient feel much better about their youthful-looking breasts. And best of all, their friends all tell them they look like they have lost weight!
Breast reduction surgery usually takes just 2 hours under general anesthesia and is done as an outpatient. I mark the patient before surgery. We use a keyhole pattern incision exactly like the one used for breast lift, or mastopexy. In fact, a breast reduction is a breast lift, combined with the removal of some of the breast tissue. This results in a smaller, perkier breast.
Recovery from breast reduction usually is no more than a few days. The only real restriction is to limit repeated outstretching of the arms – particularly activities such as sweeping, raking, push-mowing, etc. My patients require very little pain control, usually taking non-narcotic medicine like Motrin or Aleve. In fact, patients usually don’t even use the word "pain", rather they describe experiencing "burning, stinging or discomfort." Drains are used and are usually removed the next day.
Recently, I have often been employing the same "suture shaping" technique in breast reduction that I have developed for mastopexy. The early results are very encouraging, enabling us to create a narrower based breast with more upper-pole (top-of-the-breast) fullness. I encourage you to view our before and after photos and call for a consultation.
It is important for patients to know that although some breast reductions may be covered by their insurance, I do not participate with any of the insurance carriers’ programs. This doesn’t mean I can’t do your surgery, but you may have higher out-of-network deductibles and out-of-pocket expense. Please call the office with your insurance information before your consultation so we may determine your benefits ahead of time.
With our expertise in breast reduction surgery and our low complication/reoperation rate, it may well be worth your while to consider paying a little more for superior results. Remember, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for.
Breast reduction surgery is a wonderful procedure to improve the size, shape and proportion of your breasts. I look forward to the opportunity to share our significant experience with this operation.
Below is an example of a breast reduction before and after photo. If you would like to see more before and after photos, click on "Photo Gallery" on the left.
Written by: Dr. Bruce W. Van Natta