Breast Reduction Sacramento
Breast reduction is a very popular procedure. Many women suffer from breasts which are disproportionately too large for their frame. Large breasts can cause neck, back, and shoulder pain. Bra straps can create grooves in the shoulders that are painful. Some women can get a yeasty rash under their heavy breasts from the heat and moisture. Breast reduction is usually recommended for symptomatic women with a breast size which is DD or greater, that has not improved with conservative measures, such as wide-strapped bras, over-the-counter pain medication, or weight loss.
Surprisingly, many women describe almost immediate relief of their discomfort shortly after surgery. I’ve had patients tell me, in the Recovery Room, that they already feel 1000% percent better! Studies have shown that greater than 90% of women get full relief of their neck, back and shoulder pain after breast reduction.
However, breast reduction does create a lot of scar on the breast. Not only does the volume of the breast need to be made smaller, but the excess skin needs to be removed, and a new “skin bra” needs to be fashioned. The nipple is repositioned higher on the breast to a more youthful spot, and the breast is reshaped into a more youthful cone. The amount of scarring depends on the original “droopiness” of the breasts and how much tissue needs to be removed. Almost all breast reductions include a scar that goes around the perimeter of the areola. Most also include a vertical line heading from the 6:00 position of the areola down to the fold at the bottom of the breast. Some also require a side-to-side scar in the bottom fold of the breast. Your own anatomy will determine the extent of your scarring.
The nipple/areola is left attached to the underlying breast tissue. This maintains the blood supply and sensitivity of the nipple. Because it remains attached, women are likely able to breast feed after a reduction. However, pregnancy and breast feeding may ultimately change the size and appearance of the breast. Some post-reduction patients return later on with a need for “maintenance work”: either because of the after-effects of pregnancy, weight gain or loss, or the aging process. However, the vast majority of my patients simply have the reduction performed, and then go on about their lives. They have an easier time finding bras and clothes that fit. They can more easily exercise. They are more confident that people are listening to what they have to say, and are not just staring at their large breasts!
Breast reduction begins with a consultation in my office. I will discuss the procedure with you in detail, and make sure you understand the pros and cons thoroughly. I will take measurements of your breasts, and give you an idea of what your bra size might be after reduction. I will take photographs to submit to your insurer to obtain authorization for the surgery. If you have any health issues, we will try to get those minimized. I do sometimes suggest that heavier women try and lose some weight prior to surgery, not only to achieve a more pleasing result, but also to minimize the risk of anesthesia and reduce post-operative complications. However, heavier women get just as much symptom relief as thinner women.
Once authorization is obtained, we will contact you to determine a convenient time for surgery. You will be seen for a pre-op visit, where I will listen to your heart and lungs, go over the procedure again, and answer any questions. Your post-op medications and office visits will be arranged.
Most patients need about two weeks off work after breast reduction. But because the surgery is not terribly painful, it can be done on an outpatient basis. The surgery itself takes about 3 hours, but you usually need to arrive a couple of hours in advance, and stay a couple of hours after in the Recovery Room. We then see you back in the office in 2-3 days’ time, where we change your bandage and put you in a soft, stretchy bra. You wear this bra until the swelling is down to a dull roar and you can go shop for new bras. It takes 2-3 months for the breasts to really achieve their final shape, and 6-12 months for the scars to settle down. You can resume exercising usually within two weeks.
Many breast reduction patients chastise themselves for not having the surgery done sooner!