BREAST REDUCTION Procedure Pictures
Many woman feel that full breasts are an asset, but in some cases a woman’s breasts are so large, heavy, and out of proportion to their bodies that their breasts can cause them many issues: neck, back, and shoulder pain, difficulty exercising, bras or clothes that don’t fit properly, unsought stares, and skin irritation/rashes. The excess weight and pain can make everyday activities like work, childcare, and playing sports difficult. Also, very large breasts can make women fell self-conscious, embarrassed, and depressed.
If you are ready to learn more about how breast reduction can reverse the problems caused by large breasts, request a consultation online with Dr. Steele, or call my office at 712-224-8677. He serves patients in Sioux City, IA and surrounding communities and he welcomes patients who wish to travel from Sioux Falls, SD and Omaha, NE.
Who is a candidate?
Breast reduction surgery has a very high success and satisfaction rate and is appropriate for healthy women of all ages, provided their breasts are fully developed. Dr. Steele also recommends that you are at or close to your ideal body weight to decrease the risk of complications. While woman planning future pregnancies are not excluded, consideration should be given to the possibility of decreased ability to breast feed and the breast changes a future pregnancy may cause. Breast reduction surgery will improve the following symptoms associated with large breasts:
- Neck, back, and shoulder pain
- Rashes and irritation of the skin under the breast
- Deep shoulder grooving due to bra straps
- Large areolas
- Poor posture
- Sagging, stretched out skin, and breast asymmetry
Because a breast reduction includes a breast lift, your breasts will not only be smaller and more proportional, but also perkier and shapelier. Other benefits include:
- Improving or eliminating pain and other physical discomfort
- Increased exercise ability
- Better bra and clothing choices
- Improved self-confidence and body image
During your private consultation with Dr. Steele, he will review your concerns and discuss the improvements you desire. He will review the risks and benefits of the procedure and give you an opportunity to ask questions without being rushed. Since many women choose breast reduction surgery for medical reasons, the procedure may be covered by your insurance. Dr. Steele and his staff will assist you with determining whether or not your insurance plan will cover the procedure.
Breast reduction is usually performed with general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. The typical surgery time ranges from 2-4 hours. In some cases, a woman may decide to include breast reduction surgery as part of a mommy makeover or in combination with a tummy tuck. With longer surgeries, an overnight stay may be required.
During the procedure, excess skin, fat, and breast tissue is excised. The tissues are rearranged to form smaller, shapelier breasts that are positioned higher on the chest wall. The areolas are also reduced and repositioned with the nipples onto the center of the breast. While a breast reduction procedure results in fine scars, most women are so pleased with symptom relief that the scar is of minor concern.
Most women are left with an inverted “T” scar (anchor) due to the large amount of skin removed. In smaller breast reductions, a lollipop scar (vertical) may be an option.
Most women can return to a non-strenuous job after one week. In some cases a drain tube may be inserted to reduce fluid accumulation and swelling. This is typically removed at the first postop visit (within one week). You will be directed on the appropriate bra to purchase postoperatively. It is important to avoid exercise and heavy lifting for 4-6 weeks. Some women will experience temporary nipple numbness due to swelling that may takes months to return. It is rare to have permanent nipple/areola sensation changes.
BREAST REDUCTION FAQS
Where is the nipple placed during surgery? Is it taken off and replaced?
Preoperative markings are made before surgery to locate the optimal position of the nipple on the newly shaped breast. In surgery, the patient is sat up on the operating room table to confirm the nipple is centered on the breast in the most aesthetically pleasing position. Except in vary rare cases of extremely long breasts, the nipple is not detached from the breast. It is left attached to the breast tissue (the breast pedicle) and this preserves blood and nerve supply. In the rare situation when the nipple is removed and placed as a graft, the patient will lose nipple sensation and may notice pigment changes involving the areola.
Will my nipple have sensation after surgery?
Yes, it is rare to have permanent nipple sensation loss. You may have some temporary nipple numbness due to swelling and this will resolve in a few months. You will likely have some areas of numbness on the breast skin due to the incisions, but this improves with time.
When can I return to work?
You will likely be able to return to a non-strenuous job within 5-7 days. Cardio activity should be limited for 3-4 weeks and heavy lifting (>15 pounds) should be limited for 6-8 weeks.
What about the scars?
Many women are concerned about scarring on their breasts. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent a scar once an incision is created. Every effort is made to minimize the length of scars while leaving behind expertly repaired incisions that typically heal very nicely. It will take up to one year for the scars to fade and mature. Additionally, silicone gel products such as Biocorneum are available for purchase to help optimize the final scar appearance. Most women feel that the improved shape and position of the breast is worth the scars left behind. Click here to see examples of scars after a breast reduction.
How long will my results last?
Results after a breast reduction should remain the same as long as the patient maintains a stable weight and avoids pregnancy. The natural aging process and gravity will still occur, resulting in normal breast sagging over time.
Other factors that may affect the longevity of your result include: whether or not you smoke, how significant your reduction was, the overall condition of your skin, and the size of your breasts.
How small will I be after surgery?
This will vary depending on the preoperative breast size and patient goals. Some women want to be as small as possible, while others just want to be more proportional. In most cases, it is common to drop at least 1-2 bra cup sizes.