Specializing in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, breast, and body.

Breast Reduction

Overview

Large breasts can cause a variety of symptoms. Patients suffer from neck, back, and shoulder pain as a result of the heaviness. Bra straps dig into shoulders and cause grooving and discomfort. It can be difficult to find a brassiere that fits right.

Breast reduction can eliminate these problems. Breast reduction is a surgical procedure that both reduces the weight of breasts and lifts them into a more youthful position at the same time. Health insurance policies will often cover the costs of the procedure.

Candidates

If you are at or near your ideal weight but still have large, pendulous breasts that cause a variety of discomforts, you are a potential candidate for breast reduction. Insurance companies often require that you make a documented effort to address the symptoms with non-surgical treatments first, such as pain medication and physical therapy. Smokers are not candidates for breast reduction.

The Operation

Breast reduction is performed under general anesthesia, usually as an outpatient procedure. The operation takes two to three hours to perform. Dr. Sewell will mark your breasts in the preoperative holding area. In the operating room, generous amounts of local anesthetic are injected to provide postoperative comfort. Incisions are made across the lower part of the breast and around the nipple. Skin and breast tissue are removed, and the nipple, still attached to breast tissue, is relocated to a higher, more youthful position on the breast. The incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures. Essentially, larger breasts require that more skin be removed, and the resulting scars are usually longer than scars for a relatively smaller breast reduction. Occasionally, small drainage tubes are inserted.

Recovery

Following the procedure, you will go home wearing a soft surgical bra and are encouraged to remove the dressings and shower on the day after surgery. Bruising can last for a week or so, and swelling gradually resolves over several weeks to months. The drainage tubes are removed after several days and you should be able to return to work within one to two weeks. Resuming full, normal activity takes several more weeks.

Risks

Like any operation, breast reduction carries some associated risks, including bleeding, infection, delayed wound healing, problems with breastfeeding, and changes in breast sensation.

Talk to Your doctor

If overly large breasts impair your ability to lead an active life, breast reduction surgery is a choice to consider. Dr. Sewell will speak with you to find out what your desired results are and if you are a candidate.

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