Also known as reduction mammoplasty, Breast reduction surgery reshapes the breasts and makes them smaller. Some people go through this procedure for cosmetic reasons. It is often recommended by doctors if large breasts are causing neck pain, back pain, or other health problems. If you are planning to undergo this procedure, here are some things that you need to consider:
- It is not the same as a breast lift procedure
People are often confused between the two procedures because, during the reduction surgery, a doctor almost always performs a lift surgery. It is important for you to know the difference between the two. Through the breast reduction procedure, all the excess glandular breast tissue and fat will be removed along with some skin. It will reduce the size of your breast. In the breast lift procedure, only the excess skin is removed for reshaping sagging breasts. It improves the breast’s silhouette without removing breast tissue or fat. When the two procedures are combined, it results in smaller breasts with tighter contours.
- There are criteria for insurance coverage for the breast reduction procedure
Before you talk to a doctor about a breast reduction procedure, you should check your insurance policy. Give a call to your insurance provider and talk to them about the preconditions you must meet for getting your breast reduction procedure covered. This might include trying nonsurgical treatments before going for the surgery. In many policies, the length of time for trying other treatments is specified. After approving the surgery, the policy might define the minimum amount of breast tissue that the surgeon should remove.
- The surgeon won’t be talking in terms of cup size
During the consultation appointment for the breast reduction procedure, the surgeon might not describe the results in terms of cup sizes. The reason behind this is that there are no standards in the bra industry. Every manufacturer has a different cup size. Instead, the surgeon will talk about breast tissue grams that will be removed. It might be frustrating because one might be used to talking about cup sizes. In order to gauge the size changes, note that one pound has 454 grams. Another way of describing results is by discussing proportions.
- There might be drains in your breasts
Even though they might sound scary, drains can aid your recovery process. Drains are thin and flexible tubes sitting under the skin that empties into a small bag. They help in removing blood and fluid from the area. So while the patient is healing, this can decrease discomfort and swelling. In most cases, the doctor will remove the drains a week after the procedure. In order to avoid any surprises after the procedure, it is important to ask the surgeon if drains will be required.
- Seeing the breasts for the first time after the procedure can be shocking
Once the surgical dressings have been taken off, the patient might be a little shaken at the results. There will be significant bruising and discoloration on the breasts along with stitches. Depending on the technique used by the surgeon, the stitches might go down the front of the breast and around the nipple. Also, the breasts will be swollen and look unnatural. Bruising will disappear in about 7 to 10 days while the swelling will improve gradually over several weeks.
- It will be a little challenging to sleep for a while
The patient has to keep their upper body elevated to decrease swelling and discomfort while sleeping. Doctors recommend using a wedge, a recliner, or several pillows for propping the body while sleeping. Also, it is important for the patient to stay on their back as much as they can during recovery. They can position pillows along the sides and under the knees for preventing rolling. Sleeping on the stomach should be done only after the surgeon has cleared it.
- The final results will take some time
As the patient recovers, their breasts’ size and appearance will continue changing. In fact, it might take several months to get rid of all the swelling. The breasts need some time for settling into their new appearance. The scars will continue changing as well, slowly fading into softer and paler reminders. It is wise to wait before going out and buying new clothes and fancy bras. The surgeon will help in gauging the progress.
Women who go through the breast reduction procedure experience improvement in their quality of life. They feel good about their appearance and have increased psychosocial, physical, and sexual well-being. But, it is important to have deep knowledge about the procedure before going through it. So, take some time before deciding on the surgery.