Many women experience a variety of problems caused by the weight of the breasts including neck, back and shoulder pain; rashes underneath the breasts; and indentation in their shoulders from bra straps.
Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, brings the breast size into better proportion. The surgery removes skin, fat and breast gland, decreases the size of the areolas, and elevates the nipples.
For most women, the result is greater comfort in their own skin–both in how they look and how they physically feel. Look at our breast reduction before and after photos to see the possibilities.
Best Candidates for Breast Reduction Surgery
The best candidates for breast reduction surgery are healthy and maintain a relatively stable weight, but have large, sagging breasts and secondary symptoms. While breast reduction can enhance your appearance and boost your self-confidence, you may not be able to achieve your ideal image.
The best way to know if breast reduction surgery is right for you is to schedule a free consultation. Dr. Bartell will discuss your needs and options, explain the procedure in more detail, and share breast reduction pictures from his practice.
Potential Risks of Breast Reduction
Thousands of breast reduction procedures are performed successfully every year. Modern techniques are very safe and usually result in a happy patient.
Complications are rare, but you should know the risks before surgery:
- Bleeding or infection. Possible in any surgery, but extremely unusual.
- Hematoma. A collection of blood under the skin that must be aspirated with a needle.
- Scars. Rarely a prominent scar will require additional surgery.
- Poor skin healing. Sometimes seen in patients who smoke or have diabetes.
- Permanent loss of feeling in nipples.
- Limited ability to nurse.
The scars are a little red initially, but are well hidden and should fade with time.
Please feel free to talk with Dr. Bartell about any concerns. One of the best ways to decrease your risk is to choose a surgeon who is highly experienced in performing breast reduction surgery and is a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Bartell.
Planning for Your Breast Reduction Surgery
A breast reduction consultation with Dr. Bartell, a board-certified plastic surgeon, is free. There’s no obligation.
At your free consultation, Dr. Bartell will listen to your concerns, describe the procedure, and show you numerous breast reduction before and after photographs of previous patients. Often, photos are taken to obtain pre-surgical authorization from your insurance carrier. Most breast reductions are covered by insurance.
If you decide to have reduction mammoplasty, Dr. Bartell will meet with you to perform a history and physical examination. Be sure to inform Dr. Bartell if you:
- Have allergies
- Take any medications (prescription or over-the-counter)
Dr. Bartell will give you prescriptions for any medications you may need before and after the surgery. You will receive a printed set of pre- and postoperative instructions. These will prepare you for what you should do before your surgery, what to have on hand at home afterward, and what to do on the day of your surgery. Dr. Bartell will review these instructions with you, but it’s important to read these instructions carefully on your own and keep them accessible for easy reference.
The Breast Reduction Surgery
Reduction mammoplasty is performed using a general anesthetic, so you’ll sleep through the entire operation. Surgery usually lasts between two and three hours. Dr. Bartell will make incisions around the areolas and elevate the nipples back to a youthful level. He removes skin, fat and breast gland from below and the sides, and creates slings to hold the breasts in their new location. Sutures are usually located around each areola in a vertical line extending downward from the nipple area and along the lower crease of the breast. Small temporary drainage tubes are usually placed. A light elastic bandage around the chest area completes the operation.
You will need to arrange a ride home from the surgery center. Make sure you have someone stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery.
Dr. Bartell performs most breast reduction surgeries at his Madison office. Take a tour of Dr. Bartell’s fully accredited, private surgery suite and meet his topnotch surgical support team.
After Breast Reduction Surgery
You will wear the elastic bandage for about a week. At that point, sutures and drains will be removed. Most patients are swollen and bruised, so you won’t see the results of your breast reduction surgery for a few weeks. While there is some pain following surgery, most patients can be back at work within 7 to 10 days. It takes much longer–usually several months–for the final outcome to become apparent.
Almost all patients are extremely pleased with their decision to undergo breast reduction surgery. Your decision is a highly personal one that not everyone will understand. The important thing is how you feel about it. If the results meet your goals, then your surgery is truly a success.