If you are self-conscious about the size of your breasts, if they are interfering with your lifestyle, or if they are causing back, neck and shoulder pain, you may wish to discuss breast reduction with Dr. Robert Brueck in Fort Myers.
What is breast reduction?
Breast reduction plastic surgery (reduction mammoplasty), is a procedure in which the size of the breasts is reduced by removing excess tissue and skin. The difference between a reduction and a lift is that in a breast reduction we also will remove breast tissue AND skin. In a breast lift or mastopexy, we are only removing skin.
Breast reduction surgery is a frequent choice for women who are uncomfortable with their large breasts and who suffer from problems such as skin rashes and excess sweating under the breasts, breast pain. Difficulty finding clothing that fits properly, or shoulder pain from excess pressure of bra straps.
Dr. Brueck will remove excess tissue and skin, creating a smaller, firmer breast, and raise the nipple and areola higher on the breast to accommodate the new breast proportions and to create a smaller, natural-looking breast.
In cases in which the breasts are so large that they cause medical problems, such as neck, shoulder and back pain, breast reduction is frequently covered by health insurance plans. Dr. Brueck will help in determining whether your procedure is likely to be covered.
Will significant weight loss occur because of Breast Reduction?
Breast reduction surgery does result in some weight loss, yes. However, this may not be significant. Each breast may weigh no more than a few pounds. Where reducing overly large breasts may not cause a noticeable change on the scale, the improvement in body proportions often looks as though the patient has lost weight.
How small can you go with a Breast Reduction?
In general, patients can expect a reduction of 1 to 2 cup sizes. It is possible to perform a more significant reduction. However, patients must be very careful in choosing the right plastic surgeon to do this. More comprehensive reduction carries particular risks that must be discussed prior to surgery.
You can go very small, but should you? This is one aspect of breast reduction that can be tricky. Women who have been especially troubled by large breasts may view massive reduction as highly beneficial. However, this approach can feel somewhat like having a mastectomy. Yes, breast reduction is often done to improve physical comfort. That said, there is also value in approaching the reduction with the body’s overall proportions in mind. Keeping the contour of the breasts in line with the contour of the hips is ideal for that goal.
The tissue that makes up the breast mound also carries blood supply to the nipple. When performing breast reduction, the surgeon is careful to preserve sufficient blood supply so the nipple remains healthy and intact. When breast reduction must be greater than 3 cup sizes, the surgeon may recommend removing the nipple and replacing it with a skin graft.
Is Breast Reduction painful?
Breast reduction is performed using general anesthesia. This method prevents the transmission of pain signals to the brain, so patients are comfortable. After surgery, it is common for patients to experience soreness and tenderness. The extent of pain can vary based on the amount of reduction that has occurred, the technique used, and the patient’s personal pain threshold. Regardless of these factors, the first week of recovery brings significant improvement in the area of comfort. Pain is most noticeable the first few days after surgery. At that time, patients may rely on prescription painkillers to remain comfortable. It may be possible to transition from prescription medication to over-the-counter medication around the end of the first week of recovery. Soreness may continue for 2 to 3 weeks, feeling akin to the discomfort after a tough workout.
How should I prepare for Breast Reduction Surgery?
Preoperatively, patients may need to:
- Get certain tests. Depending on age, medical history, and other factors, the doctor may order blood tests, a chest x-ray, or a breast exam and mammogram. A second mammogram may be performed after the body has healed from breast reduction. These films serve as a new baseline for further screenings.
- Stop smoking. Patients who smoke must stop several weeks before their procedure. Smoking increases the risk of surgical complications and also inhibits the body’s capacity to heal well.
- Arrange adequate time off work. Two weeks off is usually sufficient for patients whose jobs are not physically demanding.
- Arrange for a ride and help at home. Patients must be driven home by a trusted loved one. Due to the effects of anesthesia, limited mobility, and prescription pain medication, someone should stay with the patient for 24 hours. After that time, the patient will continue to need assistance with childcare and other daily activities.
- Check medications and supplements. Some items may need to be avoided due to the increased risk of bleeding and bruising. Medications and supplements that thin the blood include aspirin, vitamin E, ginko biloba, and prescription blood thinners.
- Plan ahead for recovery. One way to plan for recovery is to move certain necessary items down low. Patients may not lift items that weigh more than a few pounds. This is comparable to a half-gallon carton of milk. Range of motion is also usually limited for a week or two, so reaching overhead may not be possible. Another task to handle before surgery is preparing a comfortable space in the house where rest and recovery may take place. Prescription medication should be nearby, as well as a phone, water, and plenty of entertainment.
How long is recovery from breast reduction?
You will need to take at least one week off from work or school for breast reduction surgery. Some women need two weeks, but each situation varies. Dr. Brueck will instruct you on follow-up appointments at his Fort Myers office for removing bandages and stitches.
While you recover, you’ll need to stop physical activity for at least one month after surgery. You should also avoid heavy lifting.
After breast reduction surgery, you should expect to feel tired and to have breast pain. This is normal. Dr. Brueck will give you an oral painkiller to ease you through the first few days after surgery.
What can I expect from the results?
Breast reduction results are immediately visible, even with the swelling that occurs after surgery. Patients wear a surgical bra or compression garment for a few weeks to help manage this side effect. Due to the tightness of the skin and swelling, the breasts may look high on the chest wall. Ultra-perky. They may feel firm for several weeks, as well. Over time, tissue relaxes and the breasts settle into their natural position.
The results of breast reduction surgery are considered permanent. However, significant changes in body weight can influence breast size. If the breasts enlarge due to weight changes, this increase should be nowhere near as dramatic as what existed before surgery.
Schedule a client consultation
For more information about breast reduction, please contact Beauty by Brueck at 239-939-5233 today for Cosmetic consultations. Dr. Brueck serves patients in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, and nearby areas of Florida.