When prospective patients enter a breast reduction consultation, every single one of them is new to the procedure, to the benefits that it offers, and to the risks it may pose. Breast reduction surgery is a life-changing surgery that can provide both physical and emotional benefits for each patient. That’s what brings patients into a plastic surgery clinic with lots of questions about how, why, and when. For women with heavier breasts, life can be a challenge every day; breast reduction can boost self-image, relieve some of the weighty burden, and alleviate chronic pain. If you’re wondering a lot of the same things that other prospective patients do, here are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions and their answers.
Question: Are Breast Reductions Covered by Medical Insurance?
Sometimes breast reductions are performed for purely cosmetic reasons, but these surgeries are very rare. The vast majority of breast reduction patients seek the procedure because of constant pain, discomfort, physical limitations, social troubles, emotional distress, and other problems. Overly large breasts can get in the way of many things, from bending over to wearing the perfect wedding dress. Because of the enormous strain this situation can put on women, some insurance companies have begun to cover breast reductions.
If you are one of the many cases where overly large breasts have actually begun to cause medical problems, you’ll find your answer more easily: yes, your breast reduction is covered by your medical insurance provider. In these instances, heavy breasts have caused chronic pain in the shoulders, neck, and back. If you have been working with a general practitioner to alleviate these pains, you may already know that a plastic surgery consult is your very next step. Through this clinic, you can coordinate the procedure you need under the coverage available to you. Find out more specific information for your insurance carrier, who may require a co-pay for the procedure.
Question: Can I Pick the Cup Size I Want to Have After My Breast Reduction?
If only everything were as easy as ordering from a fast food menu, plastic surgery procedures would happen with a snap of the fingers. Sadly, you won’t be able to ask for a specific cup size during your breast reduction consultation. Well, you could ask, but your plastic surgeon won’t be able to guarantee it. Basically, the surgical process can’t work backwards in that manner. Instead, your plastic surgeon will evaluate your body’s structure and proportions to determine what size breasts would be best suited to your frame. Aiming for that size, he will remove as much breast tissue and fat cells as is safely possible to achieve that size. You might get close to the size you had in mind, but it’s not exactly as easy as ordering from a catalogue. In the meantime, hold off on buying any new bras until after your breasts have healed from surgery and you are no longer required to wear a surgical support bra. You’ll likely end up with a lot of store returns to make.
Question: How Much Pain Should I Expect From Breast Reduction Surgery?
Because the breasts are a very sensitive part of the female anatomy, most prospective breast surgery patients expect that they’ll be in quite a lot of pain afterwards. The truth is that there’s no reason to be nervous at all. In fact, most patients are surprised at their very manageable amount of pain and discomfort, which tends to be moderate at worst. Cold compresses, pain medication, plenty of rest, and other healing strategies can all be used to minimize the discomfort felt after breast reduction surgery. Your breasts will definitely be swollen, bruised, and sore for a few days to weeks, but you will feel better with each passing day.
Question: What Will Happen to My Nipples After Breast Reduction Surgery?
Many prospective patients assume that any breast surgery will harm the nerve endings in the nipples. This is easy to assume, considering that the nipples are removed and relocated to a more appropriate position as part of the breast reduction process. However, today’s plastic surgeons are skilled at surgically repositioning nipples and areolae more today than ever before. Permanent nerve damage and even the inability to breastfeed later in life are not unavoidable outcomes from your breast reduction.
While some nerve damage is possible, most patients retain much of the sensation in their nipples following a breast reduction. At first, it is typical to experience some tingling and numbness in both the nipples and areolae, something that will fade with time. A skilled surgeon will be able to minimize the damage done to the nerves during the relocation of the nipples.
He or she will also take every measure to preserve the milk ducts, especially if you have expressed a desire to have children and breastfeed in the future. Make sure this is part of your conversation during your breast reduction consultation, as it may factor tightly into his or her surgical plan for you. Most surgeons today are able to transplant the nipples without damaging the milk ducts and milk glands that make breastfeeding possible. While many women choose to hold off on breast reduction surgery until after they have finished breastfeeding once and for all, some women cannot choose that option for themselves. In these cases, your plastic surgeon can preserve as much of the nipple function as possible while still achieving the results you desire.
Question: How Important Is My Choice of Plastic Surgeon?
As with any surgery, the success or failure rests greatly on the shoulders of your surgeon. Choosing the right plastic surgeon to perform your breast reduction is an essential part of planning for success. An experienced, well trained, and skilled plastic surgeon can reshape your breasts to better complement your body type while alleviating the strain they have caused you. He or she can provide you with invaluable advice on preparing for and recovering from your surgery, guiding you through every step of this important part of your life.
If you’re ready to learn more about how a breast reduction surgery could help you, a consultation with a skilled plastic surgeon is the best way to get the information you need. Contact the office of Dr. Douglas S. Steinbrech, a fully trained plastic surgeon who is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, to book your consultation today. He will be happy to walk you through what you should expect from a body lift procedure or any other surgery that might address your areas of concern. A specialist in Minimally Invasive Aesthetics, he incorporates this philosophy into all of his surgical and nonsurgical procedures, while aiming to get you the best results possible. Dr. Steinbrech has been selected by the Consumers’ Research Council of America as one of America’s Top Plastic Surgeons. Contact his office, located at 60 East 56th Street, Suite 3A, in New York City, by calling (212) 750-0070.