- Length of Treatment:1-3 hours
- Anesthesia: IV Sedation
- In Patient / Out Patient: In most cases, outpatient
- Potential side effects/Risks: Temporary numbness, discomfort, swelling, bruising, dry skin.
- Time off Work: Usually one week
- Physical Activity: About one month
- How Long Results Last: Permanent
What Is a Breast Reduction?
Although it is extremely popular among our patients, breast augmentation isn’t for everyone. In fact, we see many women who instead want their breasts made smaller. Naturally occurring breasts that are too large can cause a myriad of problems, from excessive neck and back problems, to discomfort when exercising, and even strap indentations on the shoulders. Dr. James E. Vogel can use breast reduction to reduce the size of the breasts, making them more proportionate to the body and more comfortable for the patient. Reducing the size of the breasts is accomplished by reducing the breast skin, fat, and actual breast tissue as well. The nipple and areola are also lifted to a higher position.
Benefits of Breast Reduction
Women choose to undergo breast reduction for personal reasons that can vary greatly from patient to patient. In general, the procedure can offer several advantages, including:
- Smaller breast size from reduced volume
- More proportionate silhouette
- Enhanced symmetry between the breasts
- Reduced pain or discomfort caused by heavy breasts
- Ability to exercise with greater ease
- Improved fit of clothing
Oftentimes, women experience a boost of confidence after breast reduction surgery. They may also feel less self-conscious in certain social situations.
Candidates for Breast Reduction
Women who seek breast reduction have breasts that are overly large, leading to inconvenience, discomfort, or pain. Candidates for breast reduction commonly report difficulties that impact their daily lives, including:
- Chronic pain located at the shoulders, back, and/or neck
- Skin irritation or rashes along the breast creases
- Deep grooves in the shoulders or back where the bra straps are situated
- Limited engagement in physical activity due to discomfort or pain
Some patients experience such severe effects from overly large breasts that they have sought out physical therapy to alleviate their symptoms. With a breast reduction, candidates can significantly improve the quality of their daily life. The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for breast reduction is to schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon.
The Breast Reduction Procedure
During breast reduction, unnecessary fat, tissue, and skin are carefully removed to create a smaller breast size. The breasts are also lifted into a more flattering position. There are three main types of breast reduction techniques that can be used, depending upon the needs and goals of the patient.
- Wise Pattern Technique: For a full breast reduction, the wise pattern technique is used most frequently. Dr. Vogel will make an incision around the areola as well as a vertical incision from the areola to the lower pole of the breast that will continue along the breast crease. Once complete, the shape of the incision can look like an upside down T, which is why this incision is occasionally referred to as the “anchor” technique. A wise pattern breast reduction can achieve the most dramatic transformation for women with oversized breasts.
- Vertical Technique: A vertical breast reduction is ideal for women who have a moderate amount of excess glandular breast tissue but minimal excess skin. With this breast surgery technique, Dr. Vogel will make an incision around the areola that extends downward toward the lower pole of the breast. This incision is sometimes referred to as the “lollipop” technique. In many cases, the recovery period from a vertical breast reduction is shorter than procedures performed with the wise pattern technique.
- Breast Reduction Using Liposuction: We are pleased to offer an alternative and new type of breast reduction surgery that involves breast liposuction alone. This procedure, which is less invasive than traditional breast reduction surgery, allows for excellent volume reduction of the breast and, to a modest degree, a lifting of the breast, as well. The technique of breast reduction through liposuction results in a shorter recovery time and very minimal scarring.
At the initial consultation, Dr. Vogel will design a custom surgical plan using one of the above techniques that can best achieve your expectations.
Recovery from Breast Reduction
As with any major surgery, patients can expect mild soreness, swelling, and bruising after breast reduction. These side effects should dissipate quickly, and any discomfort can be managed with oral pain medication. Breast reduction patients typically return to their normal daily activities within one week. Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise should be avoided for about four weeks. At that time, the majority of post-operative swelling should have resolved and patients can begin to enjoy the results of their procedure.
How Much Does Breast Reduction Cost?
For many women, the choice to undergo breast reduction surgery is due to medical reasons. In these cases, the cost of the procedure may be covered by your health insurance provider. To see if the cost of your breast reduction is covered under your health insurance plan, please refer to the requirements of your provider. Most providers require documentation of the long-term negative effects of overly large breasts. Patients are typically required to obtain pre-authorization before scheduling their breast reduction. If the price of breast reduction surgery is not covered by your health insurance provider, our office provides flexible plastic surgery financing options that can help you pay for the procedure in a manner that fits comfortably within your budget.
If you would like to learn more about breast reduction, please contact our office to schedule your consultation.View More Before & After Photos