Breast Reduction Overview: Is it for Me?

The information in this section is made available through the generous support of Dr. Grant Stevens.
Breast Reduction

Women with large, heavy, pendulous breasts frequently suffer tremendously beneath their excess breast weight. The excess weight can cause neck pain, back pain, skin irritation, bra strap
indentations, numbness, or weakness.  It also carries with it a psychological toll on many levels. 

Breast reduction is known as reduction mammaplasty. The procedure involves removal of excess skin,fat, and tissue. There is a misconception that losing weight will solve the problem. Breasts are glands, with a mix of some fatty tissue, but they are not mountains of fat that can be dieted off. 

Breast reduction scars can be extensive, some measuring over 42” in length, but most resolve and are nearly invisible with proper healing. Normal breast sensation, nipple-areola sensation, and milk production are preserved during the surgery. In some cases a FNG or ‘Free Nipple Graft’ is required to reduce the breasts.

Very large breasts often require a more resectional type of procedure with grafting of the nipple-areola complex rather than a reduction procedure. This results in a loss of sensation and function of the nipple. In most cases this can be avoided, but careful eduction as well as careful doctor selection is imperative in these cases. We work extensively with our FNG candidates to be certain this procedure is actually indicated for them. In many cases, better education can help overcome the need for Free Nipple Graft procedures.

Most reduction procedures reduce the breast appearance, volume, and contour, while preserving breast sensation and function. After breast reduction, women report tremendous improvement in their symptoms, a return to activities their cumbersome size had prevented, better health and even weight loss if exercise had been previously precluded.

Insurance often covers breast reduction, a fact that's often unknown to its sufferers. With proper navigation even insurance denials can be turned around, covering the patient for the procedure. 

Is Breast Reduction for Me?

Breast reduction is a very personal decision. Many of us are unsure about various aspects of it, such as: Am I large enough? Will insurance cover the surgery? What will my new breasts look like? You also may feel very alone in all of this.

Identifying the need is a good place to start. The following questions may be helpful to you:
Do you get rashes under your breasts?
Do you have groove marks in your shoulders from your bras?
Are your shoulders, back, and/or neck sore at the end of the day?
Do you have tingling and/or numbness in your hands and fingers?
Do you get great physical relief when you take off your bra?
Do you have difficulty buying tops that fit? Do your button up shirts gape open? 
Do you have to buy bras in large and uncommon letter sizes?
Do your breasts prevent you from doing things such as jogging, aerobics, and other physical activity?
Do your bras fit you comfortably, or do you find yourself stuffing into a bra and then adjusting it throughout the day?
Are you self-conscious about your breasts?
Do others identify or relate to you based on your breasts and not for who you are?
Do you feel discriminated against at work or in society due to your breasts?

All of these points are indicators that exploring a breast reduction can make a marked changed in the quality of your life. 

Am I a good candidate for surgery?

If you experience some or more of the following, you probably are a good candidate for breast reduction surgery:

Breast size not in proportion to your body.
Pain due to breast size involving back/neck/shoulders.
Numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers.
Skin irritation beneath breasts. 
Shoulder grooves from bra straps. 
Restrictions in daily activities.

After you have determined that breast reduction surgery is for you, then you can move on through our 'Answers' to learn about aspects you may not have even considered.

Please make good use of our 'Answers' to create a knowledge base for yourself first. After reading through, you'll be prepared to join in to ask more in-depth questions directly through our community as they pertain uniquely to you.

When you join us, you'll receive direct and comprehensive help by our experienced staff and members who understand exactly what you've been going through. As an established member, you'll be able to view a vast archive of before and after photos and discuss them and receive feedback directly with the members who posted them.

We're here to help and look forward to you joining us.

  • Friday, 23 March 2012