Have you been suffering from consistent neck and back pain and/or have dealt with the discomforts of under-breast irritation or that of your bra straps grooving against your shoulders? If so, you may be a candidate for a breast reduction in Fairfax, VA. Continue reading to learn more about what to expect from the procedure performed by Dr. Vineet Mehan or Dr. Earl M. Johnson, Jr. of Dominion Plastic Surgery.
What is a breast reduction?
Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure performed for women with large, pendulous breasts. There are also patients who are unhappy with the cosmetic appearance of their breasts. Large breasts make the body disproportionate and can cause problems with daily activities such as exercise, work, social interaction, or clothes selection.
What size should I reduce my breasts to?
Like breast augmentation, breast reduction is performed for personal reasons. There is no “right size” that makes breast reduction worth it. Meeting with a plastic surgeon, each patient has the opportunity to explore the breast size that would best suit their physical frame, their lifestyle, and their personal preferences for their appearance.
How to prepare for My Breast Reduction in Fairfax, VA?
Before meeting with our plastic surgeons about breast reduction surgery, it is advantageous to write down all medications that are being taken. This includes nonprescription medications, vitamins, and supplements. Some medications may need to be stopped or switched before surgery. Patients also need to avoid using tobacco products in the weeks leading up to surgery. The few days before surgery, alcohol should be limited. Finally, arrangements should be made to have an adult stay with the patient for a day or two after their procedure.
The Breast Reduction Procedure
The procedure involves removing glandular tissue and skin from the breasts making them smaller, lighter, and firmer. The procedure usually takes three to four hours depending on the extent of surgery needed. Very large reductions may require a one-night stay in the hospital. Patients are up and able to move the day after surgery, but the tenderness in the breast area lasts for a couple of weeks. Most patients will return to work and social activities in about one to two weeks. Because of the functional problems associated with abnormally large breasts, insurance will often cover some of the costs associated with the surgery.
Is the Procedure painful?
Breast reduction surgery is usually conducted on an outpatient basis utilizing general anesthesia. This places the patient into deep sedation under the observation of a licensed anesthesiologist. General anesthesia eliminates pain sensations and may also make it so the patient does not remember their surgery.
How long is breast reduction recovery?
Patients are advised to arrange at least one week off from work and other obligations. Total recovery time can take up to two weeks. Initially, patients may feel tired and sore. Prescription pain medication should be taken as directed for a few days before trying to transition to an over-the-counter pain reliever.
At least one follow-up appointment will be scheduled to examine incisions as healing progresses. Exercise and more vigorous activities should be resumed only when cleared by the surgeon. This includes heavy lifting and activities that increase the heart rate substantially. Most normal activities can be resumed approximately 4 weeks after surgery.
Some patients have an emotional reaction to surgery. This is a normal side effect of the physical stress incurred during a surgical procedure. It is helpful to understand that emotions can fluctuate during this time and to have a strong support system of loved ones in place to provide uplifting company.
Can I breastfeed after a breast reduction?
Most women who have breast surgery can breastfeed. According to La Leche League, milk supply seems to be better when five or more years pass in between surgery and breastfeeding. This is not to say that milk supply will be significantly affected before that time. Studies suggest that procedures in which the nipple and areola remain attached during surgery result in the best outcomes in regards to breastfeeding. Women who are interested in breastfeeding sometime after breast reduction surgery are encouraged to speak with their surgeon about the potential for the surgery to affect milk ducts. Also, when the time comes to breastfeed, women who have undergone breast reduction may benefit from consulting with a lactation specialist.
Will the surgery leave scars?
Scars are a natural result of surgical procedures. Breast reduction surgery may utilize one of two common incision patters. The smaller of the two is the lollipop incision that travels around the areola and in a straight line down the center of the breast. The lollipop incision may only be appropriate in certain circumstances of relatively minor reduction. The anchor incision is the other technique commonly used for breast reduction. This includes the areolar incision and line straight down the breast as well as a horizontal incision along the crease below the breast.
Scarring is an important matter to patients. When completely healed, incision scars may fade into very subtle lines on the skin. This can take several months and might be aided with silicone sheets or other scar remedies.
Are breast reductions covered by insurance?
Although large breasts can present several physical complaints, medical insurance companies typically do not consider breast reduction medically necessary. Historically, a patient has been required to provide documentation of physical symptoms caused by large breasts, as well as documentation of treatments for those symptoms. For example, if back pain has resulted from large breasts, the patient was advised to undergo physical therapy or some other type of care to address that pain before the insurance company would consider covering breast reduction. Recently, we are seeing subtle changes in this arena, so encourage women interested in breast reduction to contact their insurance provider. Patients may find it helpful to obtain financing that provides an easy monthly payment plan. We are happy to assist patients with financing through CareCredit.
Schedule your breast reduction in Fairfax, VA
To learn more about the breast reduction procedure we offer the Washington, DC, Bethesda and Potomac, MD, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church, and Alexandria, VA areas, fill out our contact form.
Call us 703.544.8971 for information on any of our services.