Breast reduction, or reduction mammaplasty, provides benefits that are both cosmetic and functional in nature. Perhaps these benefits are why women who have undergone breast reduction report high levels of satisfaction with the procedure. The only way to know if you are a good candidate is to call Grossman | Capraro Plastic Surgery at 303-320-5566. We look forward to arranging a consultation with you at our offices in Denver or Greenwood Village.
To learn more about this breast procedure, please browse the sections below.
- Am I a Candidate for Breast Reduction?
- What About Age?
- The Breast Reduction Procedure
- Recovery and Follow-Up Care
- Breast Reduction Statistics
- Questions about Breast Reduction
- Find Out If You're a Candidate
Am I a Candidate for Breast Reduction?
You can feel more comfortable in your skin after breast reduction. This procedure reduces the size and heft of overly large, heavy breasts. Many women with very large breasts experience the following symptoms:
- Back, neck, and shoulder pain
- Headaches due to neck strain
- Numbness due to stretching of breast skin
- Grooves in the skin where bra straps are pulled down from the weight of the breasts
- Poor posture
- Rashes, skin inflammation and irritation
- Difficulty breathing
- Discomfort and limited movement during exercise and/or organized sports
- Difficulty feeling for lumps during a breast self-exam
Physical discomfort is often joined by the psychological effects of disproportionately large breasts, such as:
- Feeling uncomfortable in your own skin
- Feeling overweight, unattractive, matronly or less youthful
- Feeling like you can't be as active as you want to be
- Living with unwanted attention focused on your bust
- Self-confidence that is lower than it would be otherwise
You are most likely a good candidate for breast reduction if any of the above apply to you. Women report high rates of satisfaction from this procedure. It can restore a positive body image, as well as reduce or eliminate the physical side effects listed above.
What About Age?
For some young women, disproportionately large breasts are genetic. In these cases, a young woman may develop large, heavy breasts as an adolescent. Comparing the pros and cons of getting breast reduction as a teenager is best done under the guidance of our experienced plastic surgeons. There are several factors to consider:
- Whether the breasts have fully developed or will continue to develop. Some young women's breasts continue to grow until roughly age 20 or 21. You do not necessarily have to be done developing, but there is a chance you will need a revision procedure down the road if your breasts do keep growing after the reduction.
- Considering how the breast size is impacting your life now. If you are experiencing difficulty playing sports, receiving unwanted attention and teasing, or experiencing physical discomfort, it may make sense to have reduction now. Our plastic surgeons will help you and your parent contrast these benefits with any benefits of waiting until you're older.
- Your feelings about undergoing a procedure and surgical recovery. Our team is with our patients each step of the way. We'll make sure you are ready for your surgical appointment and have all the aftercare instructions you need. Nonetheless, as a young woman, you may have concerns about the surgical experience, and we are here to provide answers and information.
As for an upper age limit, there aren't any restrictions as long as you are in good overall health. Rely on our experienced and board-certified plastic surgeons to discuss all aspects of candidacy with you, so that you can make an informed decision.
The Breast Reduction Procedure
General anesthesia is administered for breast reduction. Excess fat and skin are removed during the procedure. It is completed using an incision that encircles the areolas and extends downward, and then along the fold where your breasts meet your chest wall. You may hear this referred to as the "anchor" or "inverted T" incision. In certain cases, Dr. Philippe Capraro uses the SPAIR technique, which reduces the length of the scar.
Skin, fatty tissue and glandular tissue are removed using the incisions. Before closing the incision, your nipple and areola will be repositioned (not removed) to provide a more youthful result. Under rare circumstances, the nipple must be completely separated from the milk ducts before being moved to its new position. In these cases, you may experience a loss of nipple/areolar sensation, and you most likely will not be able to breastfeed in the future. Talk to our surgeons about the risk in your specific case.
One of the great things about this procedure is that it improves breast shape in addition to decreasing size. The breast tissue is re-shaped by your plastic surgeon to look firmer and perkier, while eliminating droop and sag.
Recovery and Follow-Up Care
At the end of surgery, a waterproof dressing is placed over your stitches so that you can shower. You will need to wear a supportive bra immediately following breast surgery.
Drainage tubes are sometimes inserted during the procedure and emptied several times a day. These will be removed in our office after a few days, and the dressings will be changed at this time.
If you have stitches, they are removed at 7-10 days. But often, our plastic surgeons will not use any external stitches, and therefore there is nothing to remove. Your sutures will be removed 7 days after surgery. You can begin resuming regular activity shortly after surgery, but you will need to refrain from heavy lifting and vigorous arm movements for two to three weeks. You may return to work in approximately 10-14 days.
Athletic activities can be resumed in about three to four weeks, although it may take several months before you are completely healed and your breasts have assumed their new shape. Once completely healed, you should continue to have those same results for the long term! Of course your breasts will eventually begin to droop in response to the natural aging process, at which point a breast lift may be recommended. Dramatic weight gain and loss could also affect your results. But most women are happy with the perkier, lighter look and feel of their breasts for many years down the road.
Breast Reduction Statistics
Breast reduction is a popular procedure in the U.S. In 2017, breast reduction procedures increased 11 percent after a dip of 4 percent in 2016. There were at least 43,635 breast reductions performed in 2017, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. And those numbers correspond only to reductions the Society has deemed "aesthetic only." ASPS says there were 59,463 reductions they categorize as "reconstructive only." Therefore, this breast procedure is not uncommon among women in the U.S.
Questions about Breast Reduction
We're sure you have many questions about this procedure and we encourage you to call us. We'll provide all the answers we can by phone, and we hope to arrange a consultation so you can discuss breast reduction with an experienced plastic surgeon. In the meantime, here are some questions that may arise during your research:
What is macromastia? This is a medical term referring to abnormally large breasts. You may hear it used in relation to breast reduction, but more often we focus the discussion on whether you feel your breasts are too large. Whether it seems to be caused by genetics, age, gravity, weight fluctuations or other factors, the size and weight of your breasts can be addressed with plastic surgery.
What is reduction mammaplasty? This is simply another term for breast reduction. The terms can be used interchangeably.
What are the areolas? The colorful circle of tissue surrounding your nipples. Not only do these provide camouflage of the scars, but breast reduction may also reduce the size of your areolas if you express that as a goal to your plastic surgeon. Some women genetically have wide areolas that they would like to be smaller. Other women experience this widening after pregnancy or as a result of aging.
How much will it cost? The cost of breast reduction varies. We can provide you with an estimate at the time of your consultation. In very limited circumstances, some health insurance policies will cover a portion of the procedure, IF they determine it is medically necessary. We also have financing options.
What are the results like? Depending on your unique circumstances, physical discomfort caused by your breast size should be gone after breast reduction. Most patients feel great about their improved ability to be active and mobile. Not only that, but many breast reduction patients are happier with the way they look and feel after the procedure.
We look forward to answering all of your questions when you visit us for your consultation!
Find Out If You're a Candidate
The experienced and compassionate plastic surgeons at Grossman | Capraro have an artist's eye for creating beautiful, natural results. They tailor your procedure to the final results you want. To arrange a breast reduction consultation at our Denver or Greenwood Village office, please call us at 303-320-5566.