Breast Reduction FAQ

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Introduction | FAQ

How is breast reduction surgery performed?

For this procedure, Dr. Shu will first use VASER liposuction to remove excess fat in the breast under the tumescent (local) anesthesia and IV sedation. A probe is used to dissolve and liquefy the fat, which is then removed through a gentle suction process. After the VASER portion is completed, an incision is made around the nipple, then downward on the breast in a keyhole form. Any excess skin, tissue and fat are removed; the nipple is relocated for cosmetic purposes. Your surgeon may use drainage tubes, and the incision site is then stitched up. Your breasts are wrapped in special gauze, and a surgical bra may be required.

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Can I breastfeed after breast reduction surgery?

Being able to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery cannot be predicted since many of the milk glands are removed during the procedure. Scar tissue may also impair the ability of the breast ducts to transport milk to the nipple. However, many women do successively breastfeed after breast reduction surgery.

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Does insurance pay for breast reduction surgery?

In many cases, medical insurance will cover most of the cost of breast reduction surgery. However, individual insurance plans vary, so the conditions may vary for coverage.

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What are the risks of breast reduction?

Complications are rare but can occur. Risks that pertain to almost all surgeries include risks associated with bleeding, infection, scar formation and adverse effects related to medications. The risks specific to breast surgery include loss of feeling or sensation of the nipple and skin of the breast, delays in healing, and loss of circulation to the nipple. Most of the scars from reduction surgery will be found along the crease between each breast as well as around and below the nipples. The scars will fade somewhat after the surgery has been completed but could take many months or even years to do so.

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What is the age limit for getting a breast reduction?

There generally is not an age limit for this procedure. Although not everyone in their sixties or seventies are suitable to undergo this procedure, many women in this age group are in excellent health and would be good candidates.

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What cup size will I be after breast reduction surgery?

Most women who undergo breast reduction will end up as either a large C or a small D cup. However, some women have expressed that they would like to be smaller than this size. Although it is possible to reduce the size down further, reducing the breasts to a large C or small D is usually enough to relieve patients of their symptoms. In addition, the build and weight of the average breast reduction patient is such that anything smaller than a large C cup would not be proportional.

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What is the recovery period like?

After surgery you will experience some pain. There may be initial sensation loss while your breasts are swollen. Also, pain medications are usually given. You ay be required to wear a surgical bra for several weeks until the swelling and bruising decrease. Follow-up visits are required after surgery in order to keep track of the stitches and healing process. For the first few months after surgery you may also experience shooting pains throughout your breasts, which eventually fade away. Recovery time varies for each patient, but most patients resume normal activities within 48 hours of the surgery. Continuous bed rest after surgery may increase risk of pneumonia and blood clots.

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