Women with overly large breasts commonly have significant physical and emotional discomfort related to the size of their breasts. Back, neck and shoulder discomfort, as well as occasional numbness in the arms, are common symptoms that can occur in women with large breasts. There is a significant emotional and physical benefit from having a breast reduction procedure, which will give patients smaller and firmer breasts. The freedom to do more exercise and other activities, as well as the ability to wear different clothing styles, are benefits from this procedure. Because of these additional benefits, as well as the relief of symptoms, breast reduction remains very high on patient satisfaction lists.
Breast reduction is commonly performed under general anesthesia and is a very safe outpatient procedure in an experienced surgeon's hands. There are several different types of breast reduction and depending on the patient's medical problems, the type needs to be tailored specifically to the patient.
The Reduction Procedure
In total reduction, skin, as well as volume of breast tissue, is removed. The nipple areola complex, breast tissue and skin are repositioned, reshaped and lifted into a smaller, more shapely breast. Several different options to minimize scarring are available, depending on the size of the breasts and the patient's skin qualities. Most patients return to work after several weeks. After several months the breasts settle out quite nicely and shape up more naturally.
Most insurance plans do cover breast reduction procedures; however, they typically need letters from the plastic surgeon, as well as letters from the primary care physician to obtain authorization.