What is Breast Reduction?
A breast reduction is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the breast. Most breast reduction methods involve incisions on the breasts and work to elevate the nipple, improve the breast shape, take away volume in the unwanted areas of the breast, and preserve as much sensation and ability to breast feed as possible.
Dr. Freed has performed over 1500 breast reduction surgeries since 1993. He has provided this service to patients in the foothills and Auburn area since 2000.
When should I consider having breast reduction?
Although Dr. Freed has performed breast reduction on patients in their teens as well as in their 80s, most women chose to have breast reduction when the symptoms of neck, upper back, and shoulder pain associated with a large breast size becomes chronic.
For some women this may occur early in life, particularly if the breast size is causing extreme self consciousness or the appearance of the breast is stretched out to an unattractive shape.
Others may wait to finish having children or even after menopause as they may see a progressive increase in their breast size over the years.
Ultimately, the timing of breast reduction is a very personal decision that Dr. Freed may be able to help you with. Breast reduction often makes an immediate dramatic change in your appearance. Your breasts will be smaller, lifted, and firmer. In fact, the level of patient satisfaction resulting from breast reduction is among the highest of any plastic surgery procedures. Without the excessive weight of large breasts, you will find greater enjoyment in physical exercise as well as everyday activities that might have previously been hindered.
Am I a good candidate for breast reduction?
Large and heavy breasts can cause a great deal of strain on a woman’s back, shoulders, and neck. They may also impede her ability to exercise, limit her clothing choices, and make her feel self-conscious about her appearance. Breast reduction surgery can relieve this physical and social discomfort by reducing the size and weight of the breasts.
From an insurance standpoint, breast reduction may be a covered benefit. Each insurance company has specific guidelines that give patients an idea if breast reduction will be covered for them. These guidelines may include the following information.
- Amount of estimate tissue to be removed. Approximately one pound is a common requirement.
- Documentation of symptoms. Notes from a primary care doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist discussing treatment of upper back and/or neck pain help.
- Duration of symptoms and attempts to improve them such as the use of pain medication, wide strapped bra usage, need for massage, difficulty with work, etc.
If insurance will not cover the procedure, Dr. Freed can also perform breast reduction on a fee for service basis. This allows for no minimum amount of tissue to be removed and is often the best for patients that desire only a modest reduction of breast size.
Breast reduction before and after pictures
Viewing breast lift pictures is an important part of choosing your surgeon. You can view some of our photos online; however, you may schedule a complete viewing of breast lift before and after pictures if you schedule a session with our patient coordinator.
How is breast reduction surgery performed?
Generally, the nipple has an incision made around it in a circle about 4.5 cm in diameter in most patients. The nipple is left attached to a stalk of breast tissue connecting to the chest wall to provide it blood and nerve supply. The bottom breast tissue is removed and the skin on the upper breast is pulled over the nipple and sutured to the crease below the breast. The nipple is then pulled out at a higher position by removing skin where the desired position for it is and sutured in place.
The surgery is usually about 2 to 2.5 hours long with an average stay of about an hour and a half in the recovery room before you are able to go home.
How much does a breast reduction cost?
Dr. Freed will provide you with a cost estimate following your consultation with him if the breast reduction is not covered by your insurance.
A breast reduction with Dr. Freed includes the consultation, surgical fees, anesthesia, operating rooms fees, postoperative garment and follow up. The total cost is in the $6000 range, however; an accurate cost estimate will be provided after Dr. Freed has a chance to evaluate you for surgery.
Are there payment options for surgery?
Patients often inquire about payment options for breast augmentation. Breast surgeries are probably our most common procedures that utilize payment options.
At Freed Plastic Surgery we work with two different companies that offer easy and convenient ways to help pay for your breast procedure. CareCredit and Alpheon both offer a wide array of monthly payment options to help you reach your individual beauty goals.
What should I do to prepare for surgery?
- Discontinue smoking. Nicotine can impair and delay the healing process.
- Discontinue all blood thinners prior to surgery. Blood-thinning medications include, but are not limed to, Advil, Motrin, Nuprin and Aleve. These types of medications can increase your chance of bleeding and increase complications. Dr. Freed will let you know how many days prior to surgery to discontinue the specific blood thinner.
- Discontinue diet pills, herbal medications, fish oil, flaxseed oil and vitamin E.
- Pre-operative mammogram if over the age of 40. Dr. Freed requires that you have had a mammogram within the last 2 years if you are between the ages of 40-50. If you are over the age of 50 you must have had a mammogram with the last year.
- 2 weeks prior to surgery you will meet with our patient coordinator, for what we call a Surgical Orientation. At that time, you will sign your consent forms, be educated on the specifics of surgery, what to do to be prepared, what the day of surgery will be like as well as all your follow care and instructions. You will also pay your remaining surgical balance at this appointment.
- Our anesthesiologist will contact you the day before surgery as well as our nurse manager to remind of what you can and cannot eat or drink prior to surgery as well as review what the process of surgery will be like as well as answer any questions you may have.
What should I expect the day of surgery?
You will arrive 45 min to an hour before surgery. Our nurse manager will tell you exactly when to arrive when she calls you the day before surgery.
Immediately after surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room. You will be closely monitored in the recovery area for at least 1 hour after surgery, or until you are safe, stabilized and prepared to be discharged to your home.
Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings and an ace bandage. You will be sent home with a support bra that you will put on 24 hours after surgery. This will help minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal.
Before you leave the recovery room, our staff will provide you with specific post breast augmentation instructions and review with you your post-op appointment for 4-6 days after surgery.
Dr. Freed will have prescribed your medications in advance to the pharmacy of your choice.
What is recovery like for breast reduction?
First two weeks of recovery
Limit your activity after surgery. An increase in your blood pressure or pulse rate may cause bleeding. Also reaching high above your head or lifting excessive weight may cause a blood vessel to break open and cause blood to accumulate.
- Most patients will take 1 to 2 weeks off work – more time may be needed if your work is strenuous. After the first few days patients usually feel less pain and are able to do things around the house.
- The day after surgery, you will be encouraged to get out of bed and take short walks around your home, this keeps the blood flowing and prevents blood clots.
- Dr. Freed will prescribe you pain medication for after surgery. The medication is given with the instructions take 1 to 2 pills every 4 hours as needed for pain. If you are not experiencing pain do not take pain medication.
- Some patients are sensitive to pain medication and may experience nausea with it. Taking small amounts of food may help this. Also, patients can begin taking ibuprofen after surgery for pain. Remember not to take ibuprofen before surgery, however.
- You may shower 24 hours after surgery. A washcloth and regular soap and shampoo are fine. Please have someone with you the first time you shower because patients occasionally will become dizzy the first time the dressing is removed.
- Apply Bacitracin antibiotic ointment to your incision twice a day until your first visit back, then once a day thereafter until 2 weeks post-op. It is normal to have drainage from the incision site for the first 24 hours. This may seep onto the ace wrap.
- Do not bend over at the waist or pick up heavy objects greater than 20 lbs for the first two weeks.
- Bruising, swelling and discomfort are expected after surgery.
- IMPORTANT: A small amount of swelling is normal after surgery, but if one breast is significantly larger than the other, then it’s important that you contact Dr. Freed at 530-885-4151 or 530-889-5841.
Two to six weeks after surgery
- Most patients will have normal sensation in the breasts after several months. However, most patients do experience some numbness in the nipple and the lower breast skin initially. Be patients while this returns.
- At first, your breast shape will likely be flat on the bottom and a little wider than desired. This is normal. Over a couple of weeks to months, the shape will round out and narrow.
- Incisions will initially be red or pink. They will lose this color sometime after 6 months in most cases.
- You may resume mild exercise after two weeks.
- You may experience mild pain after the first few weeks, but such feelings are normal. If you have severe pain, please contact Dr. Freed at 530-885-4151 or 530-889-5841.
Why should you choose Freed Plastic Surgery for your breast reduction surgery?
We believe that choosing a plastic surgeon is a very important decision and there are many questions that must be answered when considering cosmetic surgery. You want to make sure your physician is board certified in plastic surgery, experienced, confidential, caring, provides excellent care, and many other things.
We have listed just a few reasons why we believe Freed Plastic Surgery is the best option for you:
- Dr. Freed and his staff have a wonderful reputation in the Sacramento, Roseville, and Auburn area for being kind, patient-focused, and providing excellent care in a private setting.
- Dr. Freed has 22 years of post-residency experience with the breast reduction procedure and has performed this operation over 1500 times.
- Dr. Freed understands the anatomy of the body as well as normal proportions that the body should have in order to have natural looking breasts. However, with that said, he listens to your desires, concerns, and lifestyle, and will instruct you in the best technique and size based on your cosmetic goals.
- We have a fully accredited private operative suite on-site.
- We have an on-site medical spa and all cosmetic patients receive 10% savings for a year after surgery at the spa as well as receive a complimentary DiamondTome Facial ($150 value).
- We have a trained and certified massage therapist that can offer our patients lymphatic massage after surgery. Lymphatic massage is a lighter massage that uses strokes that move the lymph fluid to decrease swelling.
Will my insurance cover my breast reduction?
Although most cosmetic surgery procedures are not covered by insurance, in some cases the breast reduction may be. This is particularly true in cases where overly large breasts are causing neck and back pain or other health issues. Before scheduling surgery, check your insurance policy to find out which expenses you will be responsible for. Your primary doctor may need to provide documentation before the insurance company will approve your procedure. In addition, there may be restrictions regarding the surgical technique used or the amount of tissue removed. While not all breast reduction procedures will be covered, it is worth checking with your insurance provider.