Some women have breasts that are uncomfortably large or pendulous (hanging). The discomfort may be physical, emotional, or both. Large breasts can be the cause of several medical problems, including neck and back pain, skin irritation, breathing problems, and even skeletal deformities. Very large breasts can limit a woman’s physical activities and involvement in sports. A woman (or teenager) may also be the subject of unwanted attention because of her large breasts.
Excess Tissue Is Removed
Breast reduction may provide welcome relief for women with uncomfortably large breasts. The medical term for breast reduction is “reduction mammoplasty,” and this procedure is performed for thousands of women each year in the U.S.
In a breast reduction procedure, excess skin, fat, and glandular tissue are removed from the breasts. The nipples may also be made smaller. After a breast reduction procedure, a woman will notice that her breasts are smaller and lighter. A breast reduction can also be performed on one breast, when the breasts are of two differing sizes.
Candidates for Breast Reduction
The best candidates for breast reduction are women who are healthy and simply need to have the size and volume of their breasts reduced for physical relief or for cosmetic improvement. For women who intend to breast-feed their child, breast reduction isn’t recommended. It’s also important to have realistic expectations about the results of a breast reduction— as is the case with any cosmetic surgery.
Health Insurance Coverage Is Possible
Breast reduction procedures differ from other breast surgeries in that a patient’s health insurance may pay for the breast reduction, if it is deemed medically necessary. The insurance company may require that a certain minimum amount of breast tissue is going to be removed in your surgery in order for it to be covered by insurance. The insurance company may also want Dr. Vela to write a “predetermination letter” about your breast reduction surgery. Talk to Dr. Vela and your insurance company representative about this.
The Breast Reduction Surgery
There are several techniques used for breast reduction. The technique used depends on the patient’s needs. Often an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola and then extends straight down and follows the underside of the breast is used. Excess skin, fat, and glandular tissue are then removed and the nipple and areola are repositioned.
There will be a permanent, unavoidable scar from the incision, but it won’t show under a bra or swimsuit. Breast reduction scars look obvious at first, but with time and care they’ll fade, although they’ll probably always be visible. Also, your breasts may be swollen, bruised, or achy for a time after the surgery. Dr. Vela will give you complete post-surgery instructions that you should follow carefully to help your breasts heal.
Contact us about Breast Reduction
If you have very large or pendulous breasts and think that having a breast reduction may be right for you, contact Dr. Gary Vela to discuss your options. He’ll answer all of your questions and concerns about this surgery in a private consultation.