Breast reduction is one of the most commonly performed procedures in plastic surgery, as well as having one of the highest patient satisfaction ratings. Breast reduction can be thought of as a breast lift with the addition of removing breast tissue to decrease the overall size of the breasts. Breast reductions are most frequently performed in adult women. However, some adolescents and teens experience early and excessive breast development causing breast enlargement and breast droop. These patients are also candidates for breast reduction. Breast reduction provides both a cosmetic improvement, as well as a functional improvement. A breast reduction provides the benefit of improving aesthetic breast shape and functional concerns. Many women with very large breasts suffer from neck and back pain. Therefore, reduction surgery reduces pain allowing for a benefit in daily activity.
The incision patterns for breast reductions are essentially the same as for a breast lift. Typically, the Wise pattern incisions are utilized. Through these incisions, breast skin is removed as in a breast lift; however, additional areas of breast tissue are removed according to the preoperative size of the breasts and the ultimate goal of breast size postoperatively. Once the tissue has been removed, the skin is then re-draped around the new smaller breast and lifted into the appropriate position. This provides the patient with a significantly reduced breast size and improved breast shape and position.
Breast Reduction Candidacy
Candidates for breast reduction are women who experience physical and psychological discomfort due to oversized, heavy breasts. Dr. Coscia’s breast reduction patients often suffer from the following symptoms related to the size and shape of their breasts:
- Chronic back, neck or shoulder pain
- Skin irritation, rashes or infection under the breasts
- Grooves in the shoulders from bra straps digging into the skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Poor posture
- Shame or embarrassment due to unwanted attention from others
- Emotional distress or anxiety related to the size and shape of the breasts
- Inability to enjoy activities like sports and exercise
- Difficulty finding bras and clothing that fit the breasts
By eliminating excess tissue, fat and skin, breast reduction creates more proportional breasts that balance out the patient’s frame and flatter her body type. After surgery, patients experience freedom from the pain, discomfort and embarrassment of oversized breasts. Also, patients are able to exercise and play sports comfortably after healing from breast reduction.
What Procedures Can be Combined with Breast Reduction Surgery?
Obviously, numerous procedures can be combined with any breast surgery. Frequently, liposuction can be performed on the lateral sides of the breasts and chest in order to improve the overall shape.
What Type of Anesthesia is Used for this Procedure?
Typically, general anesthesia is utilized for breast reduction. This allows the patient to be more comfortable throughout the procedure and is done quite safely.
Breast Reduction Recovery
As with most breast surgical procedures, you will be placed in a surgical bra to be worn for approximately six weeks. Frequently, a small drain is placed under each breast and left in place for a couple of days. Pain is actually quite minimal with breast reduction surgery. Therefore, most women can easily return to work within a week, and postoperative activity restrictions are slightly less aggressive than even with breast augmentation.
Breast Reduction Frequently Asked Questions
Where are the incisions made for breast reduction?
There are several ways to perform the breast reduction procedure. One approach is through an anchor-shaped incision, also known as the Wise pattern. A circular incision is created around the edge of the areola, extending vertically down the front of the breast and horizontally along the crease of the breast.
Another option is to perform surgery through a lollipop-shaped incision, which is nearly identical to the Wise pattern but without the horizontal incision along the breast crease.
Will insurance cover breast reduction?
Most insurance companies cover part or all of breast reduction procedures that are deemed “medically necessary” and that meet certain requirements.
To qualify for insurance coverage, a patient must show that she experiences symptoms (e.g., back, neck or shoulder pain) related to the size and weight of her breasts. She also needs to have a certain amount of tissue removed from each breast — though that amount varies from insurance company to company.
How much does breast reduction cost without insurance?
The cost of breast reduction depends on factors such as the specific treatment plan and whether breast reduction is combined with any complementary procedures. Dr. Coscia’s team can provide a customized price quote during the initial consultation.
Can breast reduction be combined with breast lift?
Yes, by nature breast reduction includes a breast lift component. Excess skin and tissue is removed and the remaining tissue and skin are tightened and lifted into a more youthful position on the chest wall. The nipple-areolar complex is also lifted higher onto the breast in a perkier arrangement.
Is it possible to breastfeed after breast reduction?
It is possible, but not guaranteed. One of the factors that affect whether a woman can breastfeed after surgery is how the procedure is performed. Dr. Coscia can plan the surgery in a way that preserves the breasts’ ability to lactate. Women who are thinking of breastfeeding in the future should mention this to Dr. Coscia during consultation so he can take it into consideration when planning the surgery.
How long does it take to see results?
The breasts should look smaller almost immediately after surgery, but it takes a few months to see the final results. As the post-operative swelling subsides, the new breast size and shape should become apparent.
Learn More About Breast Reduction
If you are considering breast reduction surgery, we encourage you to call our office and set up a consultation with Dr. Coscia. If you are considering pursuing breast reduction surgery through your insurance provider, you will need to see your primary care physician first and be referred to our office for evaluation.
Dr. Coscia’s practice also serves the Roseville, Rocklin, and Loomis areas. Please fill out the form on this page to request a consultation or call our call his Granite Bay 916-773-5559 or Sacramento 916-929-1833 locations to request a consultation today.
*Individual results may vary