When most people think of breast surgery, the first procedure that comes to mind is breast augmentation: making the breasts bigger. However, there is another procedure that is growing in popularity to help women with the opposite problem: too much breast tissue. Breast reduction surgery is a concept that many women can’t comprehend wanting, but for women with overly large breasts, or breast that are too large for her frame, everyday life can be a struggle. Back and neck pain, poor posture, difficulty exercising, trouble finding clothing that fits, and unwanted attention are all very real issues for women with large breasts.
Breast reduction surgery is a procedure that is used to remove excess tissue while reshaping the breasts for a smaller, but still natural and youthful appearance. While sometimes considered a cosmetic surgery, the procedure can also have real health benefits, particularly by instantly reducing back pain. Everyday activities are made easier and more comfortable, leading to improved overall quality of life. Women who undergo breast reduction often find that their confidence and self-esteem improve as well following the surgery.
Before you make the decision to undergo breast reduction in Miami, you will need to meet with Dr. Alvarez for an in-person consultation. This is very important for your safety, knowledge, and comfort. You will discuss your overall goals for the procedure, and Dr. Alvarez will weigh in with questions and advice to start the planning process for the surgery and help you make a decision about what procedure is right for you.
Once you’ve established the specifics of what you’d like to accomplish, Dr. Alvarez will help you determine your candidacy for breast reduction, ensuring the procedure will be safe and a good fit for your needs. You should use the consultation time as an opportunity to get to know Dr. Alvarez and ask any questions you may have about the procedure.
Candidates for breast reduction are women (men can get breast reduction too, but it is considered a different procedure) whose breasts have fully developed and are bothered by excessively large and/or heavy breasts, which may droop. Prospective patients will need to be in good health, non-smoking (or willing to quit) and should be realistic about the expected results and risks of the procedure. It is helpful to take a look at a variety of before and after photos to know what the typical results look like. Any questions you may have about candidacy will be discussed during your consultation with Dr. Alvarez.
Breast reduction can be done on an outpatient or inpatient basis, depending on the patient’s individual needs and the extent of the surgery. The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia for patient safety and comfort.
Incisions are usually made around the areola (skin surrounding the nipple), extending straight down to the bottom of the breast, and ending horizontally in the breast crease. However, this incision may be more limited in cases where less breast tissue needs to be removed.
After the incisions are made, Dr. Alvarez will remove excess breast gland, fat, and skin from each breast, shaping and lifting throughout the process. Finally, the incisions will be closed with sutures. The entire surgery can be quite long—often lasting between 3-5 hours on average.
Breast reduction patients heal at different rates, but most people will need to take 1-2 weeks off of work following the procedure for the initial healing period. Immediately after the surgery, dressings will be applied, and patients will need to start wearing a support/compression bra to help aid in healing and keep swelling down. Swelling and discomfort are to be expected initially, but prescribed pain medication will help keep discomfort under control. Swelling will subside gradually over the weeks and months following the surgery. Sutures will be removed in 1-2 weeks, but patients will need to continue wearing support garments for as long as their surgeon advises.
Exercise, bending, and lifting anything more than small or light objects should be avoided for at least a few weeks following surgery. Once the incisions have healed, patients can gradually resume normal activities, as allowed by surgeon instructions.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
Choosing the right surgeon can be an intimidating process, but it’s the most important decision you’ll make regarding your breast reduction. Choose a qualified plastic surgeon with the experience and flexibility to give you the results you want. You’ll need to meet with several potential surgeons before you make a decision, and it’s a good idea to do extensive research when choosing prospective surgeons for your consultations. Aside from technical skill and safety protocols, make sure to choose a surgeon you trust.
Can breast reduction be covered by insurance?
The good news is that in cases where women are experiencing significant discomfort from large breasts, insurance companies will sometimes cover the procedure. The bad news is that every policy is different, and getting coverage can be difficult. Patients must adhere to specific guidelines and meet certain requirements. It is important to understand your insurance policy, coverage, and responsibilities before you book your surgery, as the procedure is expensive without the help of insurance.
Will breast reduction prevent future breastfeeding?
Breast surgery always has the potential to cause the inability to breastfeed, but frequently, women are able to breastfeed normally after the procedure. Plastic surgeons are careful to try to preserve the functionality of the breasts during surgery, but there are no guarantees, and patients will need to accept this risk if they decide to move forward with breast reductions. You and your surgeon should discuss your individual risk before the procedure. The risk depends on the type of reduction performed, and you should be as informed as possible before making a decision.
What kind of scarring can be expected from breast reduction?
As with all surgery, breast reduction does result in some scarring. Incisions will be placed as discreetly as possible, but most women do experience some visible scarring. These scars will be made as inconspicuous as they can be, and they will fade over the months following surgery, but some scarring is a tradeoff for the comfort and aesthetic benefits a breast reduction provides.
What are the risks of breast reduction?
In a perfect world, surgery would be totally risk free. As it stands, risks involved with breast reduction are minimal, but still possible. Some potential complications from the surgery include:
- Anesthesia complications
- Loss of breast tissue
- Unfavorable healing/excessive scarring
- Loss of sensitivity
The steps you’ll need to minimize your risk are simple: choose a reputable plastic surgeon to perform your surgery, and don’t ignore your care instructions pre- and post-operatively.
Can a breast lift be combined with other surgeries?
Yes. While a breast reduction does lift the breasts somewhat, reduction surgery may be combined with a breast lift for more extensive drooping and sagging breast tissue. Breast enhancement procedures are very customizable, and your surgeon will help you decide which procedure or procedures will be best for helping you to meet your specific goals.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Alvarez today! Call 305-600-4146 or fill out the contact form in this page.