When we talk about cosmetic breast procedures, the topic that usually pops up in everyone’s mind is breast augmentation. This surgery is used primarily to increase the size of a woman’s breasts. But interestingly, more than 33,000 cosmetic breast reductions were performed throughout 2020, according to a report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
As it turns out, even in a society that places a high beauty value on a large bust, there is a substantial number of women who are unhappy with the largeness of their breasts. So much so that they seek out surgical correction. But how reliable is breast reduction? And what are the details about the procedure?
What Is a Breast Reduction?
At its core, breast reduction is a surgical procedure that aims to reduce the size and shape of a woman’s breasts. This procedure is performed for many different reasons, including aesthetics and the need to relieve pressure and pain from a patient’s back.
Regardless of the reasons for the surgery, breast reduction has proven to be a safe and reliable method to achieve those goals. As cosmetic surgery has become increasingly less taboo in recent decades, the number of breast reductions performed has increased. This is even more true as the popularity of overly large breasts has given way to a more subtle, harmonious aesthetic appearance.
Why Do We Need Breast Reduction?
There is a host of different reasons that breast reductions are performed. Here are a few of the most common:
- Aesthetic preference goal — Sometimes, the appearance we are born with is not aligned with the appearance we would prefer. In those cases, breast reduction can be performed to align those two factors permanently.
- A change in aesthetic preference — Some women may have gone through steps to perform natural breast augmentation via fat transfer. When a breast implant is not involved, the changing of breast size after a natural increase is considered a breast reduction.
- Back pain — Overly large breast can put severe amounts of tension and pressure on a woman’s back as it works hard to support the extra weight. Reducing the size can relieve that tension and relieve women from chronic and acute back pain.
- Chronic rashing — Extra size and volume often means excess tissue. Overly large breasts tend to chafe against other body areas, often causing chronic rashes or burns in high contact areas.
- Nerve pain — The extra pressure that overly large breasts cause can sometimes place tension on specific nerves or muscles in the body. This can cause chronic and acute nerve pain ranging from mild to severe pain levels.
- Limited activities — Women with large breasts often find some physical activities more daunting than others. Anything from simple cardio to other specialized sports like rock climbing can become more difficult with an ample bust.
- Better clothing options — Clothing is made for women with average bust sizes. While you can probably get away with being a little over or under, women with very large bust measurements can find it very difficult to find clothing that fits well. By reducing your size, you can open up new wardrobe options.
- Professional growth — While this is not the case for everyone, some women find themselves unhappy with their large bust because it detracts from their professionalism or presents an appearance that they do not prefer.
Am I a Candidate for a Breast Reduction?
Since breast reduction is a surgical procedure, it can be performed on anyone who is healthy enough to undergo surgery. General wellness encompasses a few different factors, such as:
- Physical health — The recovery process after surgery relies on healthy bodily functions in order to carry out the best possible results as efficiently as possible. Making sure that your body is getting ample amounts of nutrients and exercise is vital to strong candidacy.
- Preexisting conditions — Unfortunately, some preexisting medical conditions may prevent you from being a good candidate for this procedure. Anything that inhibits healing or introduces additional surgical risk may fall into this category.
- BMI — Being significantly overweight can introduce additional risks during your surgical process. Plus, if you were ever to decide to lose weight in the future after your breast reduction, you may find that your breasts shrink down to a size smaller than you would prefer or that you have developed sagging breasts. Since a breast reduction can solve those concerns, we generally recommend that you be near your ideal weight prior to having a breast reduction performed.
Some other factors and conditions can prevent candidacy, but they are few and far between. During your initial consultation with one of the medical professionals in our office, we will be able to let you know with certainty if breast reduction is safe for you.
Regardless of other factors, every potential patient who is considering this surgery should maintain realistic expectations about what it can achieve. We always recommend reviewing before and after photos, asking as many questions as possible and doing ample amounts of research prior to the procedure, so you don’t find yourself disappointed by an otherwise successful surgery.
How Should I Prepare for a Breast Reduction?
Prior to coming into your procedure, you will be given a list of pre-operative instructions by your surgeon. These instructions include personalized steps you will need to take based on your health, medications and specific surgical goals. You don’t need to worry about understanding them all on your own — our team here at Newport Plastic Surgery will go through all of these instructions with you ahead of time.
Most patients can expect to avoid excessive alcohol consumption, but other instructions could include changing medications or orders to stop smoking entirely. Smoking can significantly impact the safety of your procedure and recovery and seriously damage your results.
We always advise our patients to set up a recovery station prior to their procedure day. By stocking the place you will be recovering at with the essentials, you will prevent yourself from having to expend unnecessary energy or accidentally strain your body too much. Items like electronics, chargers, medications, snacks, drinks, books, remotes or other highly used tools, you will find the recovery process a lot smoother.
What Should I Expect from a Breast Reduction Procedure?
Breast reduction surgery is performed under either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. During your consultation and pre-operative appointments, the best option for you will be decided ahead of time.
This procedure not only removes volume from the breast but also eliminates excess tissue at the same time. Based on your specific conditions and goals, one of three excision techniques can be used: the circular, lollipop or anchor technique.
- Circular — This technique is used for patients who only have a mild amount of correction performed. A single incision is made around the nipple, where the surgeon will then remove the appropriate amount of fat and tissue.
- Lollipop — This approach includes the same incision that is made on the circular incision plus an addition cut down the lower center part of the breast, creating a “lollipop” shape. This provides your surgeon more access to remove tissue and fat and is best suited for patients with moderate levels of removal.
- Anchor — The anchor technique makes the same lollipop shape plus another incision directly across the bottom fold of the breast. This provides the greatest amount of access to the breast structure and is reserved for patients with severe amounts of needed tissue removal.
Once the removal has been completed, your incisions will be closed with sutures deep within the tissue. In some cases, skin adhesives or surgical tape may also be used to support the structure of the new breast shape.
What are the Risks of Breast Reduction in Orange County?
While the procedure is generally safe and effective, it does come with potential risks and complications. It is important to discuss the risks and benefits of breast reduction with your surgeon to determine if it is the right choice for you.
Some of the risks associated with breast reduction surgery include:
Scarring: While scars are a normal part of any surgical procedure, breast reduction surgery may result in more noticeable scarring due to the incisions made during the surgery. Scars may fade over time, but they may never completely disappear.
Infection: Like any surgery, breast reduction carries a risk of infection. This risk can be minimized by following proper post-operative care instructions, including keeping the incision site clean and dry.
Changes in nipple sensation: Breast reduction surgery can result in temporary or permanent changes in nipple sensation. Numbness, tingling, or hypersensitivity may occur, but these side effects are usually temporary and resolve within a few weeks or months.
Loss of breast tissue or nipple: In rare cases, breast reduction surgery can result in the loss of breast tissue or nipple. This is more likely to occur in cases where a large amount of breast tissue is removed.
Breastfeeding difficulties: Breast reduction surgery may make it more difficult or impossible to breastfeed in the future. If you are planning to have children in the future, it is important to discuss this with your surgeon.
Anesthesia complications: Like any surgery, breast reduction carries a risk of complications related to anesthesia. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you prior to the procedure.
Unsatisfactory results: While most women are satisfied with the results of their breast reduction surgery, there is always a risk that you may not be completely happy with the outcome. It is important to have realistic expectations and to discuss your goals and concerns with your surgeon prior to the procedure.
The cost of breast reduction surgery can vary depending on a number of factors, including the surgeon’s experience, the location of the practice, and the extent of the procedure. In Orange County, the average cost of breast reduction surgery ranges from $8,000 to $12,000. It is important to remember that while cost is certainly a factor to consider, it should not be the only factor. The most important factor when considering breast reduction surgery is choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon who can help you achieve your goals safely and effectively.
If you are considering breast reduction surgery in Orange County, it is important to do your research and choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with experience in breast surgery. Ask for referrals from friends or family members who have undergone the procedure, and schedule a consultation to discuss your goals and concerns. Your surgeon can help you determine if breast reduction is right for you and discuss the potential risks and benefits of the procedure.
What Should I Expect During Breast Reduction Recovery?
When you wake up from anesthesia, you will likely already be wrapped in compression garments and other bandaging. Many women are also given a support bra that protects the incisions from tearing under pressure. In some cases, your surgeon may also place a tube inside the operated area to help prevent excess fluid from building up.
The first week of recovery is the most impactful. It is very common to experience minor pain, discomfort, redness, swelling, bruising and other discoloration at this stage of your recovery. Luckily, most patients are able to mitigate these side effects with over-the-counter or prescription medications.
For the next six or so weeks, all of these symptoms will continue to improve and your final results will become more noticeable. You are free to contact our office as often as you want to check in on your recovery process. You will also have a series of follow-up appointments to ensure that your results will be optimal and your recovery will be safe.
What Kind of Results Can I Expect from a Breast Reduction?
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Your breast reduction results are permanent, and you can expect to have a significantly reduced breast profile, leading to a more balanced aesthetic figure, less back and nerve pain, better clothing options and a host of different other benefits. While the results of this procedure are long-lasting, no treatment can prevent the development of future breast sagging or the increase of breast size from weight fluctuation. The best way to ensure you maintain your results is to lead an active and healthy lifestyle.
While you will be able to see your scarring after your procedure, our team will do everything we can to make sure they are as inconspicuous as possible. The incisions will be made within natural folds to be hidden, and over time, the scarring will fade away and become less noticeable.
Can I Combine My Breast Reduction with Other Procedures?
Breast reduction can be combined with many different procedures, including:
This is one of the most common procedures to couple with breast reduction because it further defines the body’s natural contours. Liposuction is a minimally invasive technique that uses suction to remove unwanted fat from virtually anywhere on the body. Reducing volume throughout the entire body can provide you with a much more dramatic contour that is unachievable through breast reduction alone.
A tummy tuck focuses on removing excess skin and stubborn pockets of fat from the abdominal area. This is especially common in women who have been pregnant since the skin and tissue do not often bounce back perfectly to their previous appearance. The results are similar to those of liposuction — a much more dramatic body contour.
Mini Tummy Tuck
A mini tummy tuck achieves the same results as a standard tummy tuck on a smaller scale. The incisions are much smaller, and it is reserved for patients with only minor amounts of needed correction.
A Mommy Makeover is a combination of infinitely customizable procedures depending on your unique needs. Since pregnancy and nursing can often affect many different body parts, anything from breast augmentation to thigh liposuction can be included in this treatment.
This is the most popular injectable treatment that aims to reduce signs of aging throughout the face by preventing specific muscles from contracting. Using this product can shave years of aging from your face alongside the significant improvement to the contour of your bust.
How Much Does Breast Reduction Cost?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you can expect to pay about $5,900 for a breast reduction. However, this is an average, and your specific cost could be much less or more depending on the level of correction needed, your combination of procedures, and your aesthetic goals. During your consultation, we will provide you with a definite surgery cost.
Define Your Bust with Breast Reduction in Newport Beach
If you are ready to learn more about how breast reduction can provide you with the aesthetic of your dreams, or if you would like to move forward with scheduling a consultation, give Newport Plastic Surgery a call at 949-431-2086 or fill out our online contact form. We are looking forward to being
*This information about Breast Reduction Surgery was reviewed by Dr. Hisham M. Seify. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us using our contact form below.