Breast reduction is one of the most popular and successful procedures in plastic surgery. Patients not only enjoy an improved self image after breast reduction, but the surgery also provides unique functional improvements: reduced back, shoulder and neck pain, as well as the ability to participate more fully in activities without overly large breasts getting in the way.
Despite these benefits, breast reduction is often viewed as a major ordeal, reserved for those who have “no choice” but to reduce very large breasts. In fact, the breast reduction procedure has improved significantly over the years. Below, I’ve shared some highlights of the modern approach to breast reduction. If you’ve been considering breast reduction surgery, I encourage you to read them. You may be pleased to learn just how much this procedure has to offer.
Recovery after breast reduction surgery is quicker than ever
Today, breast reduction surgery is almost always done as an outpatient procedure, and the recovery is much quicker than before. The surgical techniques we use are less invasive and focus equally on achieving a beautiful outcome and alleviating physical symptoms. Newer pain management protocols and better anesthetic techniques reduce the need for opioids after surgery and shorten post-op recovery. Our patients can walk around the day of surgery, shower the day after, and often drive within a week.
There’s no “size limit” for having breast reduction…and the “after” size is also completely up to you
The procedure is tailored for each individual patient’s needs. I have breast reduction patients who want relief from extremely large and uncomfortable breasts, as well as those who need more of a lift but also desire a small reduction.
If you are a very active patient and want smaller breasts that are better suited to your lifestyle, we can create an attractive, more compact breast shape to meet your needs. If you have very large, pendulous breasts and want to reduce just enough to resolve back, neck and shoulder pain and achieve better proportions without going too small, we can do that too. My priority is to achieve your stated goals for your breast size and appearance. During an initial consultation, we can discuss your aesthetic goals with surgery as well any functional improvements you would like to make.
Improved shape and symmetry are always part of the equation
Regardless of how much excess tissue is removed, the breasts are lifted and reshaped during surgery to correct sagging and achieve a rounder, more aesthetically pleasing breast contour. Significant asymmetry can also be improved by removing a greater amount of tissue from the larger breast.
With smaller, firmer breasts that sit higher on the chest, you will find bras and swimsuits fit more attractively and provide better support.
Many patients can breastfeed successfully after breast reduction
Today’s breast reduction techniques are designed to preserve breastfeeding ability whenever possible—an important factor for our younger patients who are planning to have children in the future. During all but the most extensive reductions, we can keep the milk ducts and nipple/areola complex intact when reducing and reshaping the breasts.
Breast reduction does not increase breast cancer risk
A breast reduction will not affect a patient’s risk for breast cancer, and will not interfere with mammogram results. In fact, all of the breast tissue removed during surgery is carefully examined by a pathologist to screen for breast problems. After your breasts have fully healed, it is important to resume regular breast self exams to become familiar with how your new breasts normally feel.
Insurance sometimes covers breast reduction
While health insurance will not cover purely cosmetic breast reduction, significant reductions to address back, neck and shoulder pain or skin problems may be covered. My patient coordinator, Diana Haan, has a lot of experience helping patients determine whether they are eligible and getting preauthorization for coverage when indicated. If you are pursuing insurance coverage, an evaluation and discussion with Diana can help speed the process along.
Considering breast reduction surgery in Washington, D.C.? We can help
Breast reduction can have a powerfully positive impact on a patient’s quality of life! I have been performing breast reduction surgery for over 30 years and have always found this to be one of the most rewarding procedures, as it results in so many happy patients.
To learn more about breast reduction and see if you are a good candidate, I suggest coming in to one of our offices in Chevy Chase, MD or Annandale, VA for a complimentary consultation with me and my patient coordinator Diana. You can call 877-427-7888 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.