Bellevue, Seattle Breast Reduction
Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction can improve the self-image issues and alleviate the physical pain that can be associated with overly large breasts. The excess weight of breast tissue can affect a woman’s emotional and physical health by affecting self-confidence and limiting physical activity. Breast reduction removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size more in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with large breasts.
Breast reduction may be an option if your breasts:
- limit your physical activity
- cause neck, shoulder or upper back pain
- cause grooving of shoulders from bra straps
- cause rashes and irritation in the breast crease
- hang low and have stretched skin
- have enlarged areolas
- affect and limit your self-confidence
Breast reduction is a particularly good option for women who are in good health and do not smoke.
There are several different methods for performing breast reduction surgery. As a breast reconstructive and plastic surgeon with many years of experience, Dr. Zemplenyi understands that the breast reduction technique varies with the individual. Dr. Zemplenyi considers the size of the breast, the composition of the breast, the amount of reduction desired, and personal patient preferences in determining the technique. Factors determining the technique include:
- some patients with mostly excess fatty tissue, liposuction may be the only modality used
- enlarged areola requiring incision around the areola for size reduction
- excess skin requiring a keyhole or anchor-type incision
- need to reposition the entire nipple and areola in a large pendulous breast
After Breast Reduction Surgery
After surgery you will have bandages applied over the incisions and a small drain tube may be used collected fluid. A support bra can be worn for comfort, to decrease swelling and to support the breasts after surgery. Dr. Zemplenyi will explain the expected post-operative course and will be available at all times to answer your questions and concerns.
The cost of surgery will depend on the extent of the procedure and time involved. A quote will be provided after consultation. If certain medical criteria are satisfied breast reduction surgery may be covered by some insurance companies.
Breast Reduction FAQ
- What is breast reduction?
- Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty reduces breast volume thus decreasing the discomfort, posture and self-image issues that can come with overly large breasts. The breast reduction procedure removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin through incisions made in the breast. Sometimes liposuction procedures are done in combination with traditional reduction techniques.
- How can I prepare for breast reduction surgery?
- You will be given pre-operative instructions to help you prepare for your breast reduction surgery. It is important to stop smoking well in advance of your surgery to enable good healing after the procedure. Stopping anti-inflammatory medications, aspirin, certain herbal supplements and vitamin E is necessary to reduce bleeding. A baseline mammogram is recommended. You will also need to arrange for someone to drive you to the procedure and stay with you overnight after surgery.
- What kind of anesthesia is used during breast reduction surgery?
- General anesthesia or intravenous sedation can be used for your comfort during reduction mammoplasty. You and your surgeon will discuss the choice that best suits your needs.
- What can I expect during the breast reduction procedure?
- The size of the breast, its composition, and the reduction amount determine the procedure used. Sometimes, if fatty tissue and not excess skin account for the overly large breast size, liposuction alone may be sufficient to accomplish the size decrease. Other cases require that incisions be made around the areolas, vertically down to the breast crease, or horizontally in the breast crease. The nipple is repositioned and skin may be be removed from the areola to reduce its size. Sometimes the nipple and areola need to be moved and transplanted to a higher position on the breast. Breast tissue is removed, shaped and lifted for a smaller more pleasing contour. Sutures are placed within the breast tissue to maintain and support its new shape and skin sutures bring the skin edges together. Mammoplasty, breast reduction, can take three to five hours depending on the technique used. Patients generally do not require a hospital stay and go home with a responsible care-taker for overnight care after the procedure.
- What can I expect after the procedure? What is the recovery time?
- After surgery, you will have gauze placed on the incision areas and an elastic bandage to compress and support the newly reshaped breasts. In some cases, a small drain tube may be placed to help drain fluid and blood. A surgical bra should be worn to reduce swelling and support the breasts while they heal. Bruising and swelling will decrease over two to three week and are helped to resolve by wearing a support bra. The breast pain after surgery can last several days, decreasing over the next week or two. It can be controlled with oral pain medication.
- What is the post procedure care for breast reduction surgery?
- You should be able to return to your normal routine after a couple of weeks; however, vigorous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for three to four weeks. The scars after breast reduction surgery can usually be covered under a bra or bathing suit. They should fade over time becoming less noticeable.
- What are the risks of breast reduction surgery?
- Some risks associated with breast reduction surgery include scarring, unevenly positioned nipples, breast asymmetry, loss of feeling in the breasts or nipples, and the inability to breast feed after your surgery. As with any surgery other risks include excessive bleeding, infection, blood clots, need for revision surgery and reaction to anesthesia. Your surgeon will explain all of them during your consultation process.
- How much does breast reduction surgery cost?
- The cost of surgery will depend on the type of procedure and time involved. A quote will be provided during your consultation. In some cases, if your insurance company determines that breast reduction is medically necessary, the procedure can be covered by your insurance. Your insurance coverage will determine your portion of financial responsibility.