Women with large breasts often experience pain, discomfort, and embarrassment. Large, disproportionate breast volume can lead to problems with the back, neck, and shoulders, and can often interfere with day-to-day life and comfort. Conditions associated with large breasts include indentation from bra straps and hunched shoulders, restricted physical activity, skin irritation beneath the breast crease, and sagging and stretched skin. Reducing breast size can improve comfort, posture, and self-confidence. Our plastic surgeons in Chicago will discuss realistic outcomes following your procedure.
What is a breast reduction?
Breast reduction is a surgery to make the breasts smaller. Breast reduction may be desirable for women who have back, neck, or shoulder pain. This procedure also repositions the nipple and creates a more youthful shape to the breast. We will work with you to determine how much breast tissue you would like removed.
Will Insurance Cover the Procedure?
Breast reduction surgery is sometimes considered a medically necessary procedure, and can be covered by insurance if carried out in the treatment of medical symptoms. In order for the procedure to be covered by insurance, the breasts need to be large enough to cause health issues such as the following:
- Breathing issues, especially during sleep because the large breasts cause restricted air movements due to pressure on their lungs
- Too much stress on the natural frame and structure on the body, causing back, bone and joint issues
- Restricted activity
- Nerve pain
- Chronic rash or skin irritants underneath the breasts
- An overall poor self-image because of large breasts
Medically necessary breast reductions may be fully or partially covered depending on the plan, the amount of time spent in the hospital and the medicine necessary during recovery.
Details of the Procedure
Most commonly, breast reduction is accomplished through removal of excess breast tissue and skin through incisions in a keyhole incision pattern. The nipple is then repositioned and the areola reduced, and the skin is brought back together to reshape the smaller breast. In some cases, liposuction is also used to reduce breast volume.
Depending on the amount of tissue to be removed, incisions may vary. One alternative is a circular pattern around the areola. Another is similar to the keyhole pattern, with an additional incision extending along the fold under the breast. Scars from incisions are usually easy to conceal.
What is the recovery for a breast reduction like?
After a breast reduction procedure, you will be sore and the breasts will be tender and swollen. We most commonly tell patients that you will be in pain for a day or two, sore for a week or two, and not completely feeling back to normal for about a month or two. The most common feedback received from breast reduction patients is that they feel immediate relief from their symptoms of back/shoulder/neck pain. After the first 1-2 weeks, you are free to return to most normal daily and physical activities. The swelling and bruising immediately following the procedure normally lasts a few weeks and will improve with time. The final result of the breast size and shape is most commonly noted between 6 months-1 year.
Are you interested in exploring a breast reduction? Don’t hesitate to contact our team at Northwestern Specialists in Plastic Surgery today.