Many women who underwent breast reduction surgery walk away completely satisfied with their decision. But there’s more to the procedure than merely spending a few hours under the knife. Here are 10 things to know if you’re getting breast reduction surgery:
Some people confuse breast reduction and breast lift. But these two procedures are different. One likely reason for the misconception is plastic surgeons generally perform a breast lift during a reduction. During breast reduction, your surgeon will remove excess fat and breast tissue along with some skin. The loss of volume often results in drooping breasts. A breast lift helps correct the sagging breasts by raising and reshaping them.
Many insurance companies cover breast reduction. But that’s not always the case. Some insurers require patients to meet preconditions before they cover the operation. One of the usual criteria is for you to try nonsurgical treatment options first. It’s best if you would review your insurance policy before consulting a surgeon.
During the initial appointment with your surgeon, they usually won’t describe your operation results in terms of cup sizes. This is because there is no fixed standard in the undergarment industry. Your cup size in one manufacturer will likely be different in another. So, your surgeon will probably talk about the outcome according to proportions and grams of breast tissue.
Drains may sound frightening. But these thin plastic tubes that your surgeon will put inside you during the operation can aid your recovery. These small flexible tubes will sit under your skin for a few days or so. It empties into a small collection bag to remove fluid that may accumulate following the procedure. Surgical drains reduce swelling and discomfort as you heal.
It’s common to experience some soreness during the first couple of days after your surgery. But there shouldn’t be severe pain. Little things may catch you out, though. These include stitch removal or the itchiness around the surgery site. They’re manageable, and it’s still going to be worth it in the end.
Expect to deal with the most discomfort during the first few days following your breast reduction. You’ll experience pain for several days. So, don’t be afraid to use painkillers during this time. You must follow your plastic surgeon’s post-operative care instructions. This way, you can stay on top of the pain and recover faster. It usually takes about six weeks for patients to heal. Time off work and prior arrangements will be necessary. Have someone look after you to relieve you of childcare and household duties.
There are always risk factors with any operation. Complications include blood clots, infection, and allergic reaction to anesthetics. Like any surgery, breast reduction also comes with its own side effects. One of these is losing some or all of your nipple sensation. In some cases, you may experience hyper-sensation. It’s usually temporary. Either way, it can impact your sex life. So, it’s worth talking with your doctor about any concerns you may have.
This generally depends on the extent of your surgery. But breast reduction typically impacts a patient’s ability to breastfeed. The operation often involves removing the breast tissue and moving up the nipples and areola. There may be a reduction of milk ducts where the tissue was divided. A significant impact on the milk-producing glands can result in lower milk production. Therefore, the procedure is not advisable for nursing women or those who plan to get pregnant soon. The slowing down of milk production will make breastfeeding difficult after the surgery.
Expect your breasts’ size and appearance to continue to change as you heal. For many patients, it takes a few months for the swelling to resolve completely. Your scars will keep on changing too. They will gradually fade from inflamed, red marks to softer, finer reminders. You may be tempted to go out and start buying fancy brassieres and new clothes. But it’s best to wait. Let your plastic surgeon gauge your progress. Speak with them before you shop.
Studies that look at satisfaction rates among breast reduction patients suggest that most women are happy with their decision. Their heavy, oversized breasts no longer limit their activities. They feel better as their quality of life improves. Researchers report a significant increase in their physical, sexual, and psychosocial well-being. It’s also worth mentioning that those who had more information about the procedure beforehand tend to be more satisfied. So, take your time and learn all you possibly can before deciding on getting this major surgery.
Find out if getting a breast reduction is right for you, contact Aron Kressel, MD in New York, NY at (212) 772-6968 to book a consultation.