Breast reduction, also known as mammoplasty, surgically reduces the size of the breasts, while lifting and/or reshaping them. A woman might choose to have breast reduction surgery because she feels her breasts are too large in proportion to the rest of her body, because her clothes don't fit well or because they have become misshaped after childbirth and breastfeeding.
In some cases, breast reduction surgery is covered by medical insurance, if the patient and physician can demonstrate that the procedure is medically necessary to relieve back pain or another disorder. Never assume that breast reduction surgery will be covered by insurance; get it in writing from the insurance company before scheduling the procedure.
Breast Reduction Surgery
The cosmetic surgeon typically makes an incision shaped like an old-fashion keyhole, which goes around the nipple the "5 o'clock and 7 o'clock" positions at the base. From there, two linear incisions trail to the breastbone. The surgeon removes excess fat, tissue and skin and repositions the nipple if indicated (this is rare). The breast is closed with a single incision. The surgeon will use drains to drain blood and fluid, which reduces swelling and risk of infection. A compression bandage will be worn for the first few days after surgery, followed by a surgical or sports bra. Stitches come out a week or two after surgery. The patient will return to normal activity with lifting and exercise restrictions in 10 to 14 days. She will notice her new figure immediately, and the full effect of breast reduction surgery is realized in the following months.
Breast Reduction and Scarring
Scarring from this type of surgery is unavoidable. However, many women who have had this procedure report being happier with scarring than their pre-reduction breasts. Over time, and if the patient follows her surgeon's advice, scars will fade.