- Am I A Good Candidate For Breast Reduction?
- What To Expect During Your Breast Reduction Consultation
- How Are Breast Reductions Performed?
- What Are The Risks Associated With Breast Reduction?
- How Is Recovery After Breast Reduction?
- What Can I Expect Following Breast Reduction?
- How Much Does A Breast Reduction Cost?
Patients who choose breast reduction have typically spent years dealing with the many discomforts associated with overly large breasts. A skilled cosmetic surgeon can not only reduce the size and weight of large, heavy breasts, but can also help create a more aesthetically pleasing breast contour that is better proportioned to a patient’s body. Dr. Rodriguez treats patients residing in McAllen, Brownsville, the Rio Grande Valley, and all of South Texas.
Am I A Good Candidate For Breast Reduction?
Reasons for moving forward with this cosmetic breast surgery procedure include:
- Neck, back, and shoulder pain
- Posture problems
- Limitations on physical activity
- Rashes and skin irritation under the breasts
- Painful indentations from bra straps
- A feeling of being out of proportion or “top heavy”
- Enlarged areolas
- Extensive sagging, stretched skin, stretch marks
Just as compelling as the physical reasons for wanting breast reduction are the psychological ones. Many breast reduction patients say their overly large breasts have caused them to be self-conscious due to unwelcome attention. Often, these women have been teased since puberty, and many feel the need to hide their bodies beneath baggy, shapeless clothing due to their self-consciousness.
Women are not the only ones who suffer from this condition. In men, enlargement of the male breast tissue, also known as gynecomastia, can be an equivalent source of discomfort and embarrassment. For men, the breast reduction procedure is often performed using liposuction.
What To Expect During Your Breast Reduction Consultation
Dr. Filiberto Rodriguez will take a complete medical history and conduct a thorough examination to evaluate your general overall health, and also perform a detailed analysis of your breasts’ shape and asymmetries. During your consultation he will also use this time to offer any additional breast augmentation information you may need to feel more comfortable and confident about the procedure. Ideally, the breast reduction patient has no health problems, no pre-existing breast disease, and wishes only to improve the shape and appearance of the breasts. Breast reduction generally does not interfere with the ability to breast-feed, if future pregnancies are anticipated.
Photographs will be taken before and after your cosmetic breast surgery procedure. Most patients will be required to have a recent normal mammogram (within six months prior to the procedure), or we will arrange for a screening mammogram to be done prior to surgery.
Also, during your consultation Dr. Rodriguez will discuss your options, based upon your preferences and the physical characteristics of your breasts. The location of the incisions will also be discussed with you, as well as the potential risks and complications. To minimize the possibility of excess bleeding, you will need to avoid taking drugs containing aspirin and will receive a complete list of medications and supplements to avoid before surgery. You may also be advised to shower with an antiseptic soap for a day or two prior to surgery.
How Are Breast Reductions Performed?
Breast reduction surgery is designed to remove excess breast tissue, skin, and fat through incisions made directly on the breast. It is performed as an outpatient procedure utilizing light general anesthesia. Depending on the amount of reduction desired, Dr. Rodriguez will use one of the following breast reduction techniques:
- Liposuction of the breast can produce both a significant breast reduction and a moderate but gratifying breast lift. The use of microcannulas permits breast reduction with minimal postoperative pain, rapid postoperative recovery, quick return to normal activities, and virtually no scarring. Not only can liposuction reduce the breast by more than 50 percent in size, the breasts are also lifted to a significant degree. This breast lift is the result of the reduced weight of the breast, which allows the breasts’ natural elastic properties to contract and produce elevation, and the skin tightening that occurs after liposuction. The breasts do not change shape after tumescent liposuction; they simply become smaller and somewhat elevated. After liposuction, the breast’s shape is simply a smaller version of the shape before liposuction. Not all patients are candidates for breast reduction with liposuction alone.
- If you are not a candidate for liposuction breast reduction alone, then the vertical breast reduction or LeJour approach will be used. This is also called the “lollipop” reduction, because of the shape of the incision. It encircles the areola, and then descends in a straight line, forming the lollipop shape. Through these incisions, the excess breast tissue, skin, and fat are removed, and in some cases, the areola is reduced. The nipple is placed higher on the breast, while remaining attached to nerves and blood vessels. When the incisions are closed, the result is a lifted and tightened breast that is more in proportion with the patient’s body. This approach is ideal for women who require a lesser degree of reduction.
- If your breasts are too dense or excessively droopy, then an extended LeJour approach will likely be needed. This results in extending the vertical incision along the underlying breast fold.
What Are The Risks Associated With Breast Reduction?
Anyone considering any type of surgery should be aware of both the benefits and risks. Fortunately, significant complications from breast reduction are infrequent, and patients are generally quite pleased with the results.
Potential risks of breast reduction include bleeding, infection, and reactions to anesthesia. There may rarely be tissue loss and delayed wound healing along portions of the incision, especially in cases where the procedure has been extensive, or in smokers and diabetic patients. This may result in a widening of the scars. Breast reduction does leave permanent scars, although most of the necessary incisions are placed within natural skin folds, and all incisions are generally covered by a bra or bathing suit. Scars from liposuction are almost invisible, and the appearance of other breast scars can be expected to improve with time. Occasionally, the scars will require revision at a subsequent procedure, if they have healed poorly. Very rarely, problems with the shape or position of the nipples or permanent loss of sensation or loss of tissue in the nipples, or breasts, may occur.
Most of the risks associated with this cosmetic breast surgery can be lessened and managed by carefully following the recommendations and instructions you will receive during your consultation. All of your personal questions or concerns will be addressed at that time as well.
How Is Recovery After Breast Reduction?
After surgery, your stitches will be covered with gauze and a soft wrap with a surgical bra will hold the bandages in place. Your breasts may be slightly bruised or swollen, and you may experience some mild discomfort for a couple of days. You will be prescribed pain medication strong enough to counteract any pain or discomfort you may feel. In the recovery stage, it is important to wear the post-surgical bra at all times, in order to support the breasts following surgery, and to maintain their shape during healing. If drains are placed, they will be removed after two to five days.
You may experience a temporary loss of feeling in your nipples or breasts, which is generally caused by swelling during the initial post-operative period of six to twelve weeks. Normal sensation usually returns after three to six months.
To ensure proper healing, follow the detailed instructions you will be given at the time of your pre-operative consultation. Most patients may return to normal daily activities within 24 to 48 hours. You may resume non-strenuous work within one week or less following the surgery, and you may gradually resume strenuous physical exercise after approximately three to four weeks. We recommend that patients obtain a follow-up mammogram six months after breast reduction, which will serve as their new baseline mammogram.
What Can I Expect Following Breast Reduction?
Our patients generally find breast reduction to be an extremely “uplifting” procedure. They are enthusiastic about the restoration of a more proportionate appearance to their breasts, and decreased back and neck pain. In many cases, patients are able to wear more revealing clothing, and are able to select from a wider and more appealing variety of bra styles. Many patients also report feeling more self-confident about the appearance of their breasts when not wearing clothing. In summary, the great majority of patients are very pleased with the results of breast reduction, especially when they are well informed regarding their options, and realistic in their expectations.
How Much Does A Breast Reduction Cost?
To determine the cost of your breast reduction, we invite you to schedule a private consultation at our practice. During your consultation, we will assess your cosmetic goals in order to pursue a treatment plan that matches your unique needs. Then, we will be able to provide you with a clear breakdown of the costs associated with your treatment. At RGV Cosmetic Surgery & Vein Center, we accept a number of payment and financing options, including cash, checks, money orders, major credit cards, and CareCredit® financing. We also offer simple and secure online payment options for the convenience of our patients.
Breast reduction surgery involves more than just making your breasts smaller. It is an aesthetic procedure that involves sculpting and re-shaping the breasts into a pleasing contour. As with any cosmetic surgery procedure, it is critical that you choose a cosmetic surgeon with high levels of training, experience, and patient satisfaction, such as Dr. Rodriguez. If you would like to find out if breast reduction surgery is right for you, contact our offices to schedule a consultation. We proudly serve patients in McAllen, Brownsville, the Rio Grande Valley, and all of South Texas.