In an effort to make their breasts more proportional to their bodies, and rid themselves of the debilitating and often embarrassing effects of overly large breasts, women and men alike pursue a breast reduction procedure.
Female patients often desire a breast reduction to alleviate a number of concerns, including:
- Excessive drooping or sagging
- Shoulder, neck, and back pain
- Indentations caused by the bra-strap
- Inability to wear certain types of clothing
Male patients struggling with similar issues surrounding larger than normal breast tissue, considering a breast reduction—or gynecomastia treatment—is the first step in alleviating these problems. Regardless of the reasons for seeking information on the breast reduction procedure, Orange County plastic surgeon Dr. Daniel Mills supports all of his patients throughout the decision-making process by providing 3D tutorials explaining the procedure in detail.
Benefits of Breast Reduction
Breast reduction can be incredibly rewarding for individuals suffering from the physical and/or emotional effects of having overly large breasts. Most commonly, this procedure benefits patients by:
- Decreasing the size and weight of the breasts
- Alleviating irritating or painful skin rashes beneath the breasts
- Reducing bra strap pressure and indentations caused by heavy breasts
- Improving sleeping and breathing
- Relieving pain the neck, shoulders, and back
- Improving poor posture
Along with these benefits, breast reduction surgery can make exercising, playing sports, and participating in other physical activities more comfortable, as well as make it easier to find properly fitting clothing.
What to Expect
During the consultation process and other pre-operative visits, Dr. Mills will help his patients make important decisions regarding the breast reduction surgery, including the eventual size of the breasts, to satisfy each patients’ needs and meet their ultimate goals. Together with his qualified staff, Dr. Mills will review all aspects of the procedure to ensure the surgical outcome will represent the expectations of each patient.
Breast reduction is typically for patients whose breasts have fully developed. Those patients with certain medical conditions, as well as those who are intending to breastfeed will need to discuss their options with Dr. Mills during the consultation period to ensure these needs are a part of the surgical plan.
Once Dr. Mills and his patients have developed the surgical treatment plan and scheduled the surgery, each patient will meet with our pre-operative patient coordinator. She will review the pre-operative instructions and make sure all the necessary lab tests and required health screenings based on individual medical histories have been completed. If the patient is a smoker, she will recommend stopping two weeks prior to the date of surgery, until two weeks after. She will also advise that certain medication and supplements will need to be stopped during the same period. This final pre-operative appointment will also be a time for patients to address any final questions or concerns, to ensure that they are fully prepared for the surgery and an optimal period of recovery.
“I would implore ANYONE who is considering this serious operation to make a beeline to Dr. Mill’s office and find a slot on his busy calendar. Can’t wait to see Dr. Mill’s smiling face again, and show him what spectacular work he did on my breasts.”*
About Breast Reduction Surgery
On the day of surgery, patients should allow for approximately four hours from pre-operative admission to post-surgical recovery. Dr. Mills and his experienced surgical team, which includes a nurse anesthetist, a registered nurse, and a surgical technician, will be with each patient throughout the surgery and recovery. To further support the process, the Aesthetic Plastic Surgery practice asks that patients have a responsible adult accompany them to and from the surgical facility that will be accessible by phone throughout the procedure.
During the breast reduction surgery, Dr. Mills will typically make an incision in the breast to allow for excess tissue, fat, and skin to be removed, and the nipple and areola to be repositioned. The breasts are then reshaped and the incisions are closed. Liposuction is sometimes necessary in breast reduction procedures to eliminate excess fat from the armpit area; and, in some cases may be the only procedure required. The entire procedure is generally performed under general anesthesia, on an outpatient basis.
For the first few days following breast reduction surgery, recovery will be facilitated by an elastic bandage or surgical bra designed to bind the breasts and help the incisions heal. Dr. Mills makes every effort to minimize scarring; however, residual scarring can often be easily concealed beneath undergarments. If necessary, some patients will be fitted with drainage tubes to remove any excess fluids and ensure the best possible results. After roughly a week the stitches will be removed, but the surgical bra must be worn for about a month following the procedure. While patients can expect some discomfort, swelling, and bruising following the surgery, these side effects as well as pain can usually be managed with medication. Patients are generally able to resume normal daily activities after about two weeks, but heavy lifting and strenuous activity should be avoided for at least three to four weeks.
The day following the surgery, and several times during the following week, patients will come in for a post-operative visit with Dr. Mills. These appointments are extremely important, and we encourage regular office visits during the first week when help with the post-operative regimen is needed. Strict adherence to the post-operative regimen is highly recommended by Dr. Mills, as he feels strongly that the exercises and routine is critical to yielding the best results and minimizing the potential for complications.
During the first post-operative visit, Dr. Mills will remove the surgical bra, and determine which type of garment the patient should wear. Following this visit, most patients should be able to shower and use a non-scented deodorant, as long as extreme care is taken with the suture line. Dr. Mills will continue to monitor each patient’s progress and post-operative regime to ensure the breast reduction surgery results in an optimal outcome.
Breast Reduction FAQs
Will I have much pain after surgery?
The amount of discomfort experienced after breast reduction will vary from patient to patient, as every individual’s tolerance for pain is different. That said, the majority of women report only a mild to moderate degree of tenderness and/or discomfort during the initial stages of recovery, and these symptoms can usually be managed easily with medication until fully resolved.
Will my breast reduction scars be noticeable?
The extent and visibility of any breast reduction scarring will be dependent on the specific technique employed. Regardless of the approach, however, Dr. Mills does everything in his power to minimize the final appearance of scars, and all incision lines can typically be concealed underneath most blouse, bra, and bathing suit varieties. In the end, patients generally say the physical and psychological benefits of their breast reduction far outweigh any concerns they initially had about post-operative scarring.
Will I also need a breast lift?
Most breast reduction procedures involve certain aspects of a breast lift. This is because the removal of breast tissue during a reduction will often result in extra skin that needs to be excised to create an optimal appearance. Once this excess skin is eliminated, Dr. Mills will lift and reshape the breast tissue (as well as reposition the nipple-areolar complexes) until the desired look is achieved.
How soon can I return to work and normal daily activities?
The majority of patients are able to return to office-based jobs and non-strenuous daily routines after approximately two weeks. That said, any work or activities that involve heavy lifting, hard labor, or intense physical actions will need to be avoided for a minimum of three to four weeks. Adhering to these restrictions should help reduce the potential for any undue strain to be placed on chest throughout the recovery process, allowing the breasts to heal fully and properly.
How much does a breast reduction cost?
The total cost of breast reduction surgery will depend on factors such as the expertise and experience of the plastic surgeon, as well as the extent of tissue removal needed. Some insurance companies offer partial and/or full coverage for breast reduction, though this will vary by provider and each patient’s specific plan. For individuals paying out-of-pocket, Dr. Mills provides numerous plastic surgery financing options through reputable healthcare lenders to help make breast reduction as affordable as possible for every budget.
Schedule Your Consultation
We look forward to meeting you in consultation to develop a surgical plan that best suits your needs. Please contact the Aesthetic Plastic Surgical Institute to schedule your one-one-one consultation. Dr. Mills wants this to be a great experience for you and his staff will do everything we can to serve you.