Many women suffer from overly large breasts that cause pain, self-consciousness, and limitations in physical activity. For these women, a breast reduction may help them achieve a better quality of life.
Breast reduction surgery is a popular procedure that takes off some of the weight of the breasts, leading to less back and neck pain. In addition, it can provide a mild breast lift for breasts that are sagging due to their weight.
If you have large breasts that are causing problems in your everyday life, don’t hesitate to contact board-certified plastic surgeon David Bottger, MD at 610-355-1929 to schedule your breast reduction consultation. We serve patients in and around Philadelphia, Newtown Square, and other areas of Pennsylvania.
Who Is a Candidate for Breast Reduction?
You may be a good candidate for a breast reduction procedure if your breasts are the cause of significant discomfort as well as possibly health problems, including:
- Neck and back pain
- Restriction of strenuous physical activity
- Breathing problems
- Shoulder pain from bra straps
- Irritation or rashes under the breasts
In addition to physical problems, overly large breasts can cause mental and social issues such as:
- Low self-esteem
- Discomfort during intimacy
- Discomfort when your breasts are the first thing people notice about you
- Trouble finding clothes that fit comfortably or appropriately
Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast reduction surgery can be extremely rewarding. Many patients find that their chronic pain is significantly reduced or eliminated, and they feel much more comfortable going out in public and being intimate. In addition, clothes fit much better, and many women are excited to be able to wear things like tank tops, bandeau tops, and bikinis comfortably and confidently.
After a breast reduction surgery, women can expect to:
- Find bras that fit well much more easily
- Reduce pain from bra straps digging into shoulders
- Be able to lay on their stomachs more easily
- Achieve better posture and health
- Be able to exercise more comfortably
Being able to exercise easily and comfortably is a big step in leading a healthy lifestyle. With the reduced pain, increased mobility, and better posture that comes along with breast reduction, many women find that their overall health improves, leading to an improvement in overall quality of life as well. Take a look at some of our breast reduction before-and-after photos to see what kind of results you can expect.
Breast Reduction Procedure
Breast reduction surgery in Philadelphia is performed under either general anesthesia or intravenous sedation. Dr. Bottger will discuss which option is best for you during your consultation.
During the procedure, excess fat, tissue, and skin is removed, and the nipple is repositioned higher on the breast. The breast is reshaped, and the incisions are closed. Dr. Bottger has years of experience performing breast reduction procedures, and he is able to create and close incisions in such a way as to result in scars that are as inconspicuous as possible.
After your breast reduction, your breasts will be swollen for a few weeks to a few months. After the swelling subsides, your breast size should remain stable. Factors that may cause your breasts to change in size after breast reduction can include:
- Significant weight gain or loss
To learn more about the breast reduction procedure, please ask Dr. Bottger during your consultation.
Recovery from Breast Reduction Surgery
After your breast surgery, you should follow all of Dr. Bottger’s instructions in order to ensure proper healing. Each individual heals at a different rate, but generally you can expect to return to work within a week. If your work is physically demanding, you may need to take more time off.
Dr. Bottger usually recommends light walking immediately after surgery. Most patients can resume light exercise after two weeks. Strenuous exercise and weight lifting can usually be resumed after four to six weeks, but you should check with Dr. Bottger first to make sure that you are okay to resume a more intensive exercise routine.
There will be some pain after breast reduction surgery, but this can be managed with the prescription medications Dr. Bottger will prescribe. Most patients only need these medications for three to five days following surgery.
Staying upright and sleeping at an angle can help manage swelling, although you should expect to be swollen for around two weeks before it starts to subside. Residual swelling from a breast reduction can last for a few months, but is nothing to worry about.
If you are concerned about anything during any time during your breast reduction recovery in Philadelphia, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Bottger with any questions or to schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure you are healing well.
5-Star Average Rating
Dr. Bottger made my breast reduction experience the best it could possibly be! I had the operation just two days ago and am already so impressed with the results. He and his team are incredibly kind, caring and professional. They do everything they can to answer any and all questions/concerns. I would recommend him to anyone!.
Breast Reduction Scars
As with any surgical procedure, breast reduction surgery does leave some scarring. However, Dr. Bottger always does his best to create minimal scars that will heal well, and the majority of women find that a small amount of scarring is worth the overall benefits of a breast reduction.
The breast reduction scar is typically an anchor shape, with the following components:
- A circular scar around the areola
- A vertical line from the areola to the lower breast fold
- A horizontal line in the fold which can vary in length depending on the technique used
Initially, breast reduction scars will appear red, but they will slowly fade over time until reaching their final appearance around a year after surgery. Most patients will end up with faint, barely noticeable scars, although there is always the possibility of more visible scars. If you are one of the few to end up with irregular scarring, there are options available to help reduce their appearance.
While you should expect somewhat visible scars, the benefits of breast reduction surgery generally outweigh the downside of scarring. Most women find their new breasts to be much more manageable and comfortable, with a greatly improved shape and firmness. Scars often seem minor in comparison to these benefits.
Does the Nipple Need to Be Removed During Breast Reduction?
Generally, the nipple does not need to be removed during a breast reduction procedure. It is left attached to a mound of underlying breast tissue and repositioned a bit higher. However, in cases involving extreme breast size, it is often safer to use a technique in which the nipple is completely removed in order to reposition it.
If you are concerned about nipple removal during a breast reduction procedure, discuss your concerns with Dr. Bottger during your consultation. He will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Nipple Sensation Following Breast Reduction
Some women may experience a temporary change in nipple sensation following a breast reduction surgery. The nipple may become numb, or in some cases sensation may increase. This can last for anywhere between six weeks to six months.
Permanent partial or complete loss of sensation may occur, but it is very rare and most often happens when the nipple needs to be entirely removed during surgery.
Can You Breast Feed After a Breast Reduction?
Most patients will still be able to breast feed following a breast reduction surgery. As long as the nipple remains attached to a significant amount of breast tissue, it shouldn’t be a problem. However, the amount of tissue needing to be removed will vary from person to person, and it is possible in some cases to have difficulty breast feeding after surgery.
In rare cases involving very large removals, the nipple will need to be completely detached before being repositioned and reattached as a graft. If you require this type of breast reduction, then unfortunately you will not be able to breast feed afterward.
Is Breast Reduction Covered By Insurance?
Unlike most cosmetic surgery procedures, breast reduction can be covered by insurance. Check with your insurance company, as criteria for breast reduction coverage varies between insurance companies.
During your initial consultation, a detailed history is taken, examination performed, and photographs taken. A letter and photographs are then sent to your insurance carrier for approval. This approval can take up to a month, so be patient during this time.
Insurance companies are more likely to cover your breast reduction procedure if you can prove that it is being done for health reasons rather than cosmetic. Documented health conditions that can qualify as reasons for a breast reduction can include:
- Back and neck pain
- Grooves in your shoulders or back from bra straps
- Breathing problems
- Restriction of physical activity
- Irritation or rashes under the breasts
Schedule Your Breast Reduction Consultation Today
If your breasts are uncomfortably large and you’d like to reduce their size, contact Dr. Bottger at 610-355-1929 to schedule your initial consultation. He will walk you through your options and what to expect, and answer your questions.
Dr. Bottger serves patients in Newtown Square, Philadelphia, and other nearby areas of Pennsylvania.