A patient can never quite imagine the amazing benefits of breast reduction surgery until they’ve been through it. It’s literally a weight being lifted off your chest, as well as your back, neck and shoulders.
Along with no longer having to keep pain killers within arm’s reach, patients can finally engage in the activities they’ve always wanted. There’s also the reduction in rashes on the chest and the ability to explore more clothing choices, including underwear. Life-changing is the only way to truly describe breast reduction surgery.
Before you rush ahead and schedule your procedure though, it’s important to remember that this is still a major procedure that requires careful consideration.
Whether you’ve started searching for a surgeon or you’re still weighing up the pros and cons of this surgery, here are a few things you should know.
9 Must-Know Breast Reduction Facts
1. Look Forward to a Self-Esteem Boost
Breast reduction surgery has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates. Patients have reported feeling healthier and having higher self-confidence following the procedure. When you’ve been dealing with the health complications and unwarranted stares for years, it’s refreshing to feel free and more confident again.
2. You Will Need Time Off
While the actual procedure only takes about 3 hours to complete, patients will need to take a few days off work – a week is ideal if possible. Most patients are able to go home on the same day or at the very latest, the next morning. You will be tender and tired for a few days but the recovery period is well worth the results. Even though you won’t be able to do any vigorous activities for about a month, you will be encouraged to move around regularly.
3. An Exact Cup Size is Not Guaranteed
The results of your breast reduction will depend on your current size, expectations and breast composition. While it’s not possible to determine exactly how many cup sizes you will lose, on average, it’s one to two. You can discuss the possibilities with your surgeon during your consultation.
4. A Lift is Part of the Process
When you schedule a breast reduction with a surgeon such as Dr Magnusson, your breasts will also be lifted during the procedure. Heavy breasts stretch the skin and move the position of the nipples over time. Along with removing excess skin and tissue, your surgeon will also move the nipples to give the breasts a lift.
5. There Will Be Scarring
Unfortunately, scarring is an inevitable side effect of surgery in general, not just bread reductions. The scarring you can expect will depend on the type of incision your surgeon decides on. In most instances, a lollipop incision is used to reduce the breasts. This involves making a circle around the nipple and extending the incision down to the fold of each breast. The good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce scarring, however, your genetics will also play a role. There are a number of ways that you can reduce scarring, including keeping the scars moist while they’re healing and protecting them from harsh UV rays. Your surgeon will take you through the steps to follow during your recovery to keep scarring to a minimum.
6. Decreased Nipple Sensation is a Possibility
It’s very likely that your nipples will feel numb after your breast reduction surgery. Most nipple sensation does return after several months. However, it is possible to lose nipple sensation for good in some rare cases. Specific surgical techniques are designed to preserve nipple sensation, so be sure to mention this during your consultation.
7. It May Be Covered By Insurance
When breast reduction surgery is undertaken to alleviate physical concerns such as back pain and skin problems, the procedure may be covered by insurance. You will, however, need the necessary details from your surgeon before approaching your insurer about coverage for this procedure. It can take up to a month to process these claims, so the sooner you start this process, the better.
8. The Ability to Breastfeed Could Become a Concern
It’s not impossible for a woman to lose the ability to breastfeed after a breast reduction, but there’s no way to say for sure. In many instances, a woman is unable to breastfeed with or without surgery, so this is a risk you need to be willing to take. Again, you can discuss the techniques used to reduce the likelihood of this issue with your surgeon during your consultation.
9. Taking the Next Step
Now that you know more about what breast reduction surgery entails, you can begin the process of finding the right surgeon. Know that a cosmetic surgeon is not the same as a plastic surgeon – it’s important to know the difference.
Plastic surgeons need to pass several exams and be board certified in order to use that title, so be sure to double-check your surgeon’s credentials before you schedule a consultation. Breast reduction surgery can be life-changing but only if the procedure is performed by the right professional. The last thing you want is to have to schedule a second surgery, which will leave you with additional scarring.
When reviewing surgeons, don’t forget to read through their reviews and browse through breast reduction before and after photos. If your surgeon doesn’t specialize in breast reductions, it’s best to keep looking. Overall, it’s always recommended that you get at least two opinions from two different surgeons before you proceed.
Once you schedule your surgery, it’s important to follow the necessary preparation instructions. Along with keeping your body healthy, it’s also essential for you to prepare for your recovery. Taking time off work, setting up a recovery area and getting support for a few days from a friend or family member is necessary.
From there, you can look forward to purchasing new bras, clothing and enjoying the activities you’ve always wanted to – as long as you take the time to fully heal first.