Breast reduction is a surgical procedure available for women who have a condition called macromastia, or “large breasts.” Most women who need a breast reduction have large ptotic (droopy) breasts and experience significant back and neck pain, shoulder grooves from bra straps digging into their skin, difficulty with exercise and rashes under the breasts.
If you are considering having breast reduction, you should first visit with your primary care physician. As some forms of insurance will cover breast reductions, it’s important for your physician to document the previously mentioned side effects of macromastia as well as attempts to relieve those symptoms with non-surgical therapies.
Once you have been referred to a plastic surgeon for a breast reduction, he or she will evaluate you and take measurements of your breasts to help best determine how to move forward with a new breast size.
During the actual surgical procedure, we reduce the weight of the breast by removing skin, fat and breast tissue, and elevate the nipple and remaining breast tissue to lift the breasts into a more natural position.
The typical breast reduction is done as an outpatient surgery, and most patients may return to work a couple of days to two weeks after the procedure depending on your job. It will take a few weeks to a few months for the incisions of the procedure to heal and the swelling to reduce. Patients will wear a sports bra for approximately six months after a breast reduction, after which time they should be able to begin wearing regular bras.
Most women are quite pleased with the results of the procedure as it helps eliminate back and neck pain and they are often able to begin purchasing bras in regular stores instead of having to special order them.