While many women seek to increase their breast size, if you are one of those women with naturally large breasts, that idea might be somewhat inconceivable, especially if your overly large breasts have caused you physical and/or emotional discomfort. Large breasts can cause headaches due to neck and shoulder pain, as well as nerve pain (numbness or tingling in the arms or hands) and back pain. In addition, the development of overly large breasts can often lead to feelings of self-consciousness and perhaps even low self-esteem, potentially affecting your social and professional life. Large breasts can also literally get in the way of participating in certain sports and types of exercise.
Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, removes excess breast skin, tissue, and fat, not only reducing breast size, but also reshaping your breasts and providing a lift, allowing you to achieve a size that is in proportion with the rest of your body and appears more youthful. In addition, a breast reduction can alleviate the physical discomfort associated with overly large breasts, increasing your confidence as well.
Is a breast reduction right for me?
You may be a good candidate for a breast reduction if you have overly large and/or sagging breasts which:
- cause physical discomfort
- cause bra straps to produce painful indentations on your shoulders
- irritate the skin beneath your breasts
- adversely affect your posture
- get in the way of your daily activities
- limit your ability to participate in certain sports
- negatively impact your self-confidence
- attract unwanted attention
- affect the fit of your clothing and limit your clothing choices
Will my insurance cover a breast reduction?
Because a breast reduction can benefit your health, many health insurance plans cover this procedure but with limitations regarding the amount of breast tissue that can be removed (which is based on your current body frame); this can have a negative impact on your final breast size, as it may not be proportional to your body. Dr. Moya will, of course, assist you in obtaining authorization from your insurer, and will help you decide if an insurance-covered reduction will give you the results you desire.
How is a breast reduction performed?
Surgery is performed under general anesthesia, and generally takes between two and three hours. Dr. Moya offers several breast reduction options depending on the amount of tissue to be removed as well as your aesthetic goals and expectations. Incisions are made around your areolae (outside of your nipple) in a circular, T-shaped, or anchor pattern, with excess tissue removed from the sides and upper or lower portion of your breasts. Your breasts will then be lifted and shaped, with the nipples and areolae (also trimmed to size) repositioned higher on your breasts. All incisions are closed with internal sutures and sealed with skin glue. Because of Dr. Moya’s technique, you will not require surgical drains, and thus your recovery process will be that much simpler. You will need only light dressings, held in place by a surgical support bra.
Recovery after breast reduction
After 48 hours, you will be able to shower and begin performing minor activities of daily living. You will most likely be comfortable using only non-prescription pain medication, but can combine this with a small amount of prescription pain medication if necessary. You should plan on taking at least one week off from work, and will need to avoid strenuous activities, including any heavy lifting or exercise, for six weeks. You will also need to wear your surgical support bra at all times during the recovery period (except when showering) in order to help minimize swelling and provide your breasts with strong support.
You will be able to see your results immediately after surgery, and will begin to appreciate and enjoy them once swelling resolves (usually within 2-3 weeks). It will take several months for your skin to settle and for your breasts to assume their final uplifted and youthful shape. As your self-confidence and comfort grow, you will most likely find yourself engaging in activities you once thought were out of reach, and since your scars will be hidden beneath your bra or bathing suit, wearing clothing you could have never imagined yourself in! Finally, you will feel a tremendous weight lifted from your shoulders and chest – and from your spirit!