While society often glorifies larger breasts, there are a number of women who find them to be a source of significant physical pain and emotional strain. In this situation, some choose to undergo breast reduction surgery, medically known as reduction mammoplasty to eliminate these issues.
When contemplating reduction mammoplasty, it’s essential to have a complete understanding of the procedure, recovery and aftercare in order to make an informed decision. This guide aims to provide a clear overview of the reduction mammoplasty (breast reduction) procedure, providing you with transparency and support as you consider this avenue.
Breast Reduction Surgery: An Overview
The journey toward considering breast reduction surgery is deeply personal and often comes after experiencing years of discomfort. The weight of large breasts can result in relentless pain in the back, neck, and shoulders, skin irritations, and even posture problems. Moreover, the emotional burden can be equally challenging, with individuals facing unwanted attention or difficulty in finding well-fitting clothing. For many, this surgery signifies not just a physical change, but a path to relief and overall renewed comfort.
The Breast Reduction Procedure
Understanding the intricacies of reduction mammoplasty (breast reduction surgery) is vital to making an informed decision. While this procedure is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and can vary slightly from surgeon to surgeon, the process typically consists of the following steps:
- Consultation: The initial step is a comprehensive consultation where your Specialist Plastic Surgeon assesses your medical history, discusses your goals, and formulates a customised surgical plan.
- Anaesthesia: During the surgery, you’ll be given general anaesthesia or intravenous sedation.
- The Incision: Techniques vary, but most involve incisions around the areola, extending downward and following the natural curve of the breast crease.
- Removing Tissue and Reshaping: Excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin are surgically removed. The nipple is repositioned, and if necessary, the areola is reduced. The remaining tissue is shaped to form the new breast contour.
- Closing the Incisions: As a specialist Plastic Surgeon, meticulous attention to stitching is required to minimise scarring. Sutures will be used to close the incisions and often, surgical tape or skin adhesives. Over time, the incision lines will fade and significantly improve.
Post Surgery: Recovery and Aftercare
Recovery should be considered a key part of your reduction mammoplasty (breast reduction) journey:
- Immediate Aftercare: You might be required to stay in the hospital for a short period following your surgery. A support bra or elastic bandage will be used to minimise swelling and support the breasts as they heal.
- Home Care: Once home, you’ll receive detailed instructions on how to care for your breasts following surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, specific concerns to look for, and when to follow-up with your surgeon.
- Resuming Activities: You’ll be advised on when you can resume daily activities and exercise, but it’s important to understand that the recovery period requires patience and care to ensure the best possible outcomes.
Potential Risks and Considerations
It’s important to understand that reduction mammoplasty comes with potential risks, similar to any other surgical procedures. These can include reactions to anaesthesia, the possibility of bleeding and infection, temporary or permanent changes in breast or nipple sensation, and irregularities in breast shape or size. A thorough discussion with your specialist plastic surgeon will help you understand these risks and provide peace of mind.
Financing the Procedure: Does Medicare Cover Breast Reduction?
Many candidates wonder about the financial aspect and whether reduction mammoplasty is covered by Medicare or private insurance. Coverage can vary and is often dependent on whether the surgery is deemed medically necessary. This typically requires evidence of physical pain or complications due to the size of the breasts. Prior to surgery, patients should consult with their insurance provider to determine the extent of coverage and understand the financial commitment involved.
Are You a Candidate?
Ideal candidates for reduction mammoplasty are those who are in good health but are troubled by the size of their breasts. Candidates often experience physical discomfort, emotional distress, and find their lifestyle hindered by the size of their breasts. If you can relate to these issues, breast reduction might be a beneficial solution for you.
Making The Decision
Reduction Mammoplasty (Breast reduction surgery) is a transformative procedure for individuals who struggle with the physical and emotional implications of having large breasts. The decision to undergo surgery should be made with a full understanding of the procedure, recovery process, and potential risks involved. With careful consideration and the guidance of a skilled specialist plastic surgeon, it can be a step towards increased comfort and wellbeing.