Large breasts can be the root of physical problems such as back or shoulder pain. The weight of big breasts can make the straps of a bra cut into the skin. Their heaviness also means that physical activities and exercise are uncomfortable. Stereotypically, a large chest may be considered sexy, but the truth is, disproportionately big breasts can draw unwanted attention, decreasing a woman’s self-esteem. Luckily, the issues that accompany a large chest can often be resolved with a breast reduction procedure.
Breast Reduction: Causes of enlarged breast
- Excessive enlargement during puberty or during pregnancy and postpartum
- Weight gain
- Auto-immune diseases
Breast Reduction Expected Results:
- Reduce the volume of a large chest
- Breast lift or improvement of sagging and drooping breast tissue
- Improve appearance, shape, position and size of areolas which may have stretched and enlarged with time
- Restore a youthful, raised chest that will help a woman regain confidence in her body
|What is the pain level after the surgery?||Mild to Moderate|
|Anesthesia type (if applicable)||General anesthesia|
|Duration of Surgery||3-4 hours|
|Where will scaring for this procedure be?||Lollipop incision: circling around the areola, running downward from the nipple|
|Timeframe to begin showing final results||2-3weeks|
|When is the patient able to return to regular activities?||1 week|
|When is the patient able to resume exercise?||2-3 weeks|
|Cost of surgeon’s fee||$10,500 – $12,500|
Ideal Candidate for a Breast Reduction
Any woman struggling with a large, weighty chest may be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery. The reduction mammoplasty procedure can be performed at any age, although the best candidate will be a woman with fully developed breast tissue. Patients should be in generally good health, with reasonable expectations for their results. Women should have a keen understanding of the breast reduction process and the recovery requirements. It is also recommended that potential candidates for the reduction mammoplasty be non-smokers. Women looking for assistance with smoking cessation should discuss this factor with Dr. Erica Anderson during the consultation appointment.
Good Candidates for Breast Reduction:
- Are struggling with pendulous large breasts that make them uncomfortable with their appearance
- Have asymmetric or uneven breasts, such as having one breast larger than the other
- Experience skin irritation along and beneath the breast crease
- Experience discomfort from a heavy chest, restricting physical activities
- Have back, neck and shoulder pain due to the heavyweight of the breasts
- Have indentations along the shoulders from tight bra straps
- Are physically healthy
- Have realistic expectations
- Are in good health
- Do not have any medical conditions that may delay and impair wound healing
- Have a positive outlook and realistic goals for what breast reduction surgery can accomplish
- Are non-smokers
How young is too young to have a breast reduction?
Patients from teenagers (who have gone through their pubertal breast development stage) to adults can have breast reduction surgery. Having the procedure can help improve the quality of life and eliminate pain and discomfort form large breasts.
There is no age cutoff for breast reduction surgery. Many parents pursue breast reduction surgery for their teenagers because they feel that large breast are affecting the quality of life for their child. When considering breast reduction for a younger patient the following conditions are considered as valid arguments to undergo a breast reduction.
Reasons young patients pursue breast reduction
- Suffer from back pain
- Suffer from neck pain
- Suffer from inframammary rashes
- Furrowing of shoulders from bra straps
- Have poor posture
- Have difficulty breathing or sleeping
- Are looking to resize and/or reshape their breast
- Have difficulty finding clothing and proper support
- Are athletic and participate in sports
- Feel their breasts are not proportionate to their body
Breast Reduction Surgical Technique
The breast reduction procedure will be performed at a nearby accredited surgical center or hospital on an outpatient basis. The reduction mammoplasty will take about three to four hours to complete, depending on the extent of correction. Any additional procedures, such as surgery through incisions or liposuction may affect this time. You will be placed under general anesthesia.
Techniques for Breast Reduction Surgery
Inferior Pedicle Technique (Inverted-T, anchor, and wise pattern)
The Inferior Pedicle Technique maintains the nerve and blood vessels to supply the nipple and breast. It results with elevated breasts that are more proportionate to the patient’s body. There’s a high likelihood to maintain full lactation and breast function. This technique produces an “anchor” scar around the areola with a vertical scar down to a horizontal scar in the inframammary fold. There are occasions when a squared breast may result, although the technique is effective to reduce the breast size.
Vertical Scar Technique (lollipop)
The “lollipop” technique provides short incision scars and well-projected breasts by means of a pedicle that provides nerve and blood supply to the breast. This technique removes small areas of skin and small volumes of internal tissues from all sides of the breast. It produces a “lollipop” scar around the areola with a vertical scar down towards the inframammary fold. This is the favored approach at The Naderi Center.
Horizontal Scar Technique
The horizontal scar technique is best for women whose breasts are too large for the vertical scar technique. You will have greater results with only a scar around the areola pedicle, designed to be tension free, and a horizontal scar along the inframammary fold along. There is the possibility of hypertrophy of incision scars, mostly on the inframammary fold, and boxy breasts. However, this technique reduces breast size and creates better healing of the areolar scar.
Free Nipple-Graft Technique (Donut)
The free nipple-graft technique allows for a larger amount of breast tissue to be removed to produce proportionate breasts. The incision is made around the areola to be grafted into a higher position, cutting off blood and vessel supply. This eliminates the nipple sensitivity and the breast’s function capability for lactation. Candidates for this technique are those that are at high risk of ischemia, necrosis, or are diabetic or smokers.
Liposuction-only technique is performed with liposuction to reduce the oversized breasts and remove a lighter volume of internal tissue; limiting the breast reduction volume. This technique is for patients who can not be under the extended anesthesia period, and have low-density breasts composed primarily of fatty tissue, elastic skin, and ptosis. The technique produces a small scar in the lateral inframammary fold to provide access to the cannula, allowing for a shorter post-operative healing period.
STEPS TO PERFORMING A BREAST REDUCTION
STEP 1: Inverted T Incision – An incision circling the areola, running downward from the nipple, and then across the natural curve of the breast crease will be made.
STEP 2: Removal of Excess Skin and Fatty Tissue – Unwanted glandular and fatty tissue as well as excess skin will be excised.
STEP 3: Areola Reconstruction and Repositioning – If needed the surgeon will resize and reshape the areola to achieve a more aesthetically pleasing appearance and location.
STEP 4: Closure of Incisions – All incisions will be meticulously and delicately closed to achieve the smallest scar possible.
STEP 5: Post-Surgery Bra – A post-surgical bra will be put on to provide support for the newly reshaped breasts.
Before & After Photos
Nipple Treatment During Breast Reduction Surgery
In order to achieve symmetry between the breast, the size of the areola may be reduced. Patients that undergo breast reduction surgery are looking to resolve asymmetry of their breasts. To accomplish this, during the surgery the size of the areola may need to be reduced to fit the new breast size.
Cost of a Breast Reduction
There are a variety of factors that determine the overall cost of your breast reduction.
- Surgeons Fee: $10,500 – $12,500
- Anesthesia Fee: Depends on the length of the procedure
- Hospital and Surgical Facility Fees: Depends on the length of the procedure
- Post-Surgery Garments: Included with surgeon’s fee at The Naderi Center
- Pre-Surgical Medical Clearance and Lab Tests: Usually covered by medical insurance
- Medication Costs: Usually covered by medical insurance
- Follow-Up Visits: Included with surgeon’s fee at The Naderi Center
Breast reduction and coverage by medical insurance
The Schnur Scale is the scale used to determine if it is medically necessary for a patient to undergo breast reduction surgery. The scale takes into consideration:
- Body Surface Area
- Average weight of breast tissue removed
Insurance companies countrywide use this scale in the process of pre-authorization for this procedure. Falling below the 22nd percentile deems the procedure to be cosmetic, falling above considers the procedure to be medically necessary.
Preparation for a Breast Reduction
At The Naderi Center we believe the success of your breast reduction surgery can be improved with proper preparation. We go above and beyond to make sure that our patients are medically, emotionally and physically ready for surgery.
Please review our detailed instructions on breast reduction using the link below:
Scheduling a mammogram prior to your breast reduction
A mammogram may be performed before and after surgery to identify any changes to breast tissue. The American College of Radiology and the Society of Breast Imaging recommend that women should start mammogram screening at the age of 40, earlier screenings are done if there is a family history of breast cancer.
Recovery after a Breast Reduction
Women should expect the recovery from a breast reduction to take from one to two weeks. Most people are ready to return to work in five to seven days, sometimes less. Exercise, heavy lifting, and strenuous activities need to be postponed for six to eight weeks to allow the breasts to properly heal.
There will be some mild to moderate discomfort following a reduction mammoplasty, but this will resolve over the first several days. Dr. Anderson will take care of the discomfort by prescribing needed medications during this time period. A specialized, surgical bra will need to be worn for several weeks.
A scar will result along the incision lines from the breast reduction procedure around the areola, down the mid-breast, and along the breast crease. Over time, the scar may fade somewhat, although it will remain visible. Most patients are so pleased with their reduction mammoplasty results that they are not unhappy with the scarring, which can be concealed under clothing. The breast reduction is known to have one of the highest patient satisfaction rating of all cosmetic procedures.
Your final breast size can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year to fully form depending on the extent of your surgery and natural healing rate. Swelling of the breasts can last for months, making it important to follow Dr. Anderson’s post-operative care instructions to help your recovery process run smoothly and provide the best results as soon as possible.
Management of your scar after breast reduction
Proper self-care and The Naderi Center’s scar taping technique can help reduce scarring. You will first see some redness and pink in the areas where the incisions were made. In time, the scar will turn a darker color and flatten. An incision made in the inframammary fold may not be noticeable due to its hidden location. For patients of darker skin tones, there is a risk of hyperpigmentation and keloids. Smoking and tanning can also cause irritation to incisions and worsen scars. In addition to following proper post-op care, using techniques such as scar massaging, silicone gels, laser treatments, and sunscreen usage can ensure minimal scarring.
Risks, Safety and Potential Complications of Breast Reduction Surgery
The reduction mammoplasty has been performed by plastic surgeons for decades. However, women should only put their trust in a skilled cosmetic surgeon, such as Dr. Anderson who has years of experience with breast reduction surgery. With a reputable board certified plastic surgeon, you can be rest assured that you will lower the chance of complications and receive the most satisfying reduction mammoplasty results.
Possible Complications after a Breast Reduction can Include:
- Risks of general anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding
- Skin changes or discoloration
- Poor incision healing
- Fluid accumulation or what is known as a seroma
- Nerve damage or numbness on the skin
- Change in nipple sensation
- Asymmetry or contour abnormalities
- Potential impact on future breastfeeding
- Death of fatty tissue or fat necrosis
- Need for revision surgery
Breast Reduction Specialist Dr. Erica Anderson
First step for a reduction mammoplasty will initially call for a breast reduction consultation. Dr. Anderson will take this time to get to know the individual patient’s physical situation, as well as her desired results. She will fill out a full medical history form and perform a physical evaluation. Next, Dr. Anderson will explain the techniques for breast reduction and any questions will be answered at this time. If the reduction mammoplasty is determined to be the best option, Dr. Anderson will draw up a detailed surgical plan. At this time, the exact price of the breast reduction will be established, and a patient coordinator will review all of the payment options.
Schedule your Breast Reduction Consultation
Known as a leader in cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures, The Naderi Center has been serving patients in the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. area for more than 10 years. The Naderi Center is known for being the source of physicians and surgeons that are ultra-specialized in their realm and scope of practice. Patients come to The Naderi Center when they want an expert on the procedure or condition they are trying to improve. Contact one of The Naderi Center’s two offices for more information, or to schedule your breast reduction consultation. A patient coordinator can be reached at our Reston, Virginia office at 703-481-0002 and at our Chevy Chase, Maryland office at 301-222-2020.
Breast Reduction Questions to Ask
There are five surgical techniques for breast reduction. Of those, Dr. Anderson favors the vertical scar “lollipop” technique. This technique is one that will not cut off nerve and blood supply to the breast, therefore allowing a woman to lactate. Dr. Anderson will determine if you are cleared to begin breastfeeding.
Under any type of surgical procedure performed on the breast, you may lose nipple sensation. Dr. Anderson’s preferred technique, the “lollipop,” does not cut off blood and vessel supply, therefore the possibility of losing nipple sensation is low. With the free nipple or “donut” technique, the grafting of the nipple cuts off the supply and eliminates sensation.
Achieving perfect breast symmetry and size is an unrealistic goal. The goal with breast reduction surgery is to accomplish good symmetry with breast and areola size and shape. On occasion some women experience squared breasts, or what is referred to as “boxy breasts”. This result depends on the surgical technique that your surgeon utilizes. At the Naderi Center, the surgical approach favored is the vertical scar technique, which will provide lifted symmetrical breasts.
Breast cancer is acquired through a person’s lifetime. Theoretically, there is no correlation between reducing the chance of breast cancer through breast reduction surgery. Although, in the process of removing excess breast tissue, there is the possibility that abnormal cells that may later develop into breast cancer may also be removed.
Women looking to improve their self-image, want to resize, reshape their breasts and are athletic also look into breast reduction surgery. It improves pain and discomfort brought on by asymmetry, breasts that are not proportionate to their body and excess breast tissue. Dramatic weight loss is where you see a more distinct difference in breast and body. The breast may not have lost all the volume, making the breasts look larger. When being examined and designated an ideal candidate, this is taken into consideration as well as where the patient falls in the Schnur Scale as a medically necessary procedure.
It is encouraged to reach your desired weight before breast reduction. Knowledge of the proper amount of breast tissue that will need to be removed is essential in determining if it is medically necessary, or strictly for cosmetic purposes.
If you live in the states of Virginia or Maryland, The Naderi Center for Plastic Surgery and Dermatology offers breast reduction among its services. For a full list of services, please visit our Locations page.
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