Breast reduction has become a fairly popular procedure among women in recent years. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 40,650 breast reduction surgeries were performed for aesthetic reasons in 2015 alone. While many women seek this procedure to improve their appearance, there are other benefits to gain from breast reduction surgery. Is breast reduction worth the time and discomfort? Most women would give a resounding yes as their answer.
PATIENT SATISFACTION RATES
A study that was published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in March 2012 found that women tend to have a high satisfaction rate after breast reduction surgery. Patients report psychological benefits, such as reductions in depression and increased self-esteem. They also experienced physical benefits like a reduction in headaches and back pain. They also slept better and had an easier time breathing after surgery.
These advantages were all in addition to the simple improvement to a woman’s appearance that can be gained through breast reduction surgery. Patients find their bodies are in better proportion, which makes them feel more confident of their appearance overall. In fact, there are many different benefits women stand to gain from moving ahead with breast reduction surgery.
The cosmetic benefits of breast reduction surgery are usually quite clear. Women with disproportionately large breasts, a condition also known as macromastia, may never feel comfortable with their appearance. They may have difficulty finding clothing to fit properly and they could be restricted with the type of styles that they can wear comfortably. In addition, women with excessively large breasts often have to endure stares and comments just because of their breast size.
Breast reduction surgery does more than remove skin and tissue from the breast. This procedure actually produces smaller, rounder breasts that enhance the body profile overall. It can also reduce the size of the nipple and areola, repositioning them for a more aesthetically-pleasing, natural appearance. Finally, breast reduction combined with a breast lift can place the breasts in a higher more youthful position on the chest.
Large breasts can cause more than social embarrassment. The weight of the breasts can also lead to neck and back strain. Women in this situation often experience chronic back pain and headaches that can directly impact their quality of life.
Skin issues can also arise as a result of very large breasts. The weight of the breasts can place extra pressure on bra straps, which can produce painful grooves in the shoulders. The skin friction underneath the breasts can also lead to irritation, rashes and even skin infections. All of these medical issues can be addressed with a single breast reduction surgery.
Numerous studies have linked macromastia with an increased incidence of depression, anxiety and low self-esteem. These issues can occur at any age, which is why plastic surgeons typically see women of all ages pursuing breast reduction. In fact, it is one of the few plastic surgeries that is actually performed on some teen girls, due to the psychological benefits some of these patients stand to gain.
Studies have also shown that breast reduction can relieve symptoms of depression and improve self-esteem for some women. One study, which was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and Hand Surgery in 2009, found “significantly” less depression and anxiety, while self-esteem was restored. Another study, published in the Eurasian Journal of Medicine in 2012, found that in addition to improvement of physical symptoms, women that underwent breast reduction surgery also felt better psychologically.
Breast reduction surgery is not a one-size- fits-all procedure. Each woman seeking this surgery has very specific concerns and expectations for the outcome of their procedures. Surgery must be tailored to the unique needs of each of these patients, from the placement of the incision to the amount of tissue and skin that is removed.
At Rodeo Surgical Art, Dr. Mashhadian is highly experienced in a variety of breast reduction techniques. He will work with you to understand your expectations and choose the surgical techniques that will work best for you. In some cases, that might mean combining the breast reduction surgery with liposuction or a breast lift procedure to achieve the best possible results.
Plastic surgery is not typically covered by insurance because it is usually considered an elective procedure. However, exceptions may be made for some breast reduction procedures. If the patient can show they are suffering physical symptoms as a result of their disproportionately large breasts, insurance coverage may apply.
Women seeking coverage for their breast reduction procedure will likely need to submit sufficient documentation to their insurance company. This might include photos, measurements of the breasts in proportion to the rest of the body and estimates on the amount of tissue that will be removed. It is important to understand the process your insurance company requires prior to your surgery to ensure your coverage will not be compromised. About the Surgery Breast reduction surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia. The procedure involves incisions around the areola, down the lower half of the breast and across the breast crease. The specific incisions will depend on the amount of skin and tissue to be removed. In some cases, just the incision around the areola or around the areola and down the lower half of the breast are needed.
RECOVERY AND RESULTS
After breast reduction surgery, your results will become apparent right away. Most patients are ready to return to most of their regular activities within two weeks, although more strenuous activities may be restricted for additional time. Once you are fully healed from your procedure, the results of your breast reduction surgery will be permanent.