Female Breast Reduction Surgery
Large, pendulous breasts may cause a woman to potentially experience various medical problems caused by the excessive weight of the breast tissue. Problems with posture, skeletal deformities, back and neck pain, skin irritations and breathing problems are common with this condition. Bra straps often leave indentations in the shoulder area. Many women, especially teenage girls, are very self-conscious if they have unusually large breasts. Breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) removes fat, glandular tissue, and excessive skin, resulting in smaller, lighter and firmer breasts that are better-shaped in proportion to rest of the body.
Dr. Rodgers’ approach to breast reduction
Dr. Rodgers tries to create a natural look in her patients. She uses the proportions of your body to help guide what size the breasts should be, in addition to your preference. The result is that you will have breasts that look right on your frame, and are much more comfortable.
Before and During Surgery
All of our breast reduction patients must have a mammogram before the surgery to be sure that their breasts are healthy.
Dr. Rodgers typically uses the “anchor” approach to breast reduction. The incisions go around the areola, from the bottom of the areola down to the infra-mammary line, and across the bottom of the breast. Obviously, everyone is different and not everyone will have the exact same procedure based on your needs. Dr. Rodgers will discuss what to expect during your consultation and pre-operative visit. Proper care following surgery will help to minimize scarring.
Time to recover, time back to work
Breast reduction surgery may or may not require a patient to spend the night in the hospital, depending on how the patient does in surgery and during recovery. Patients are first given time to recover in the PACU (Post-Anesthesia Care Unit), and then will either be sent home in a couple hours, or will stay the night in the hospital. It is important for patients to have someone they trust be with them during the surgery process as they will be groggy, and unable to drive or completely care for themselves after surgery for a few days. Patients are given medication for pain and nausea, as well as antibiotics.
We advise patients not to lift or push anything over 15 pounds for five weeks. This also includes playing sports and vigorous exercise. Most patients return to work within 4-5 days, though it is important to remember that patients still taking prescription pain medicine cannot drive or work so the amount of medicine required can dictate when work can be resumed.
Post-operative follow up
We see patients 3-5 days following surgery to remove the surgical dressing and to check the healing process. The stiches will be removed at 2-4 weeks. Typically, we see patients weekly for the first five weeks to make sure everything is progressing well. For long term follow-up, there are appointments at six months and one year. Obviously, care is tailored to the needs of the patient so appointment frequency might vary slightly.
Risks and complications
As with any surgery, there are certain risks that go along with breast reduction. You can lose sensation in your breasts or the ability to breastfeed, but such problems occur in only a very small percentage of patients. Bleeding can occur, but Dr. Rodgers has not had to take anyone back into the OR because of a post-surgical bleeding problem. Infection can occur as well, but is infrequent. There will be visible scars, but proper care after surgery will greatly reduce their appearance.
Breast reduction costs vary. Occasionally, insurance will cover this procedure. This is rare however, and you will need to call your insurance company to find out if it’s a covered benefit under your plan, and if it is, what they require in order for it to be covered. Some insurance companies will list it as a covered benefit, but the requirements to qualify are unrealistic for most women. Please call our patient coordinator at 303-320-8618 for more information.
For more information about breast reduction and lift surgery, contact a patient coordinator at 303-320-8618, or click here.