Breast reduction surgery is the most common operation I perform. Which is perfect, because it’s also one of my favorite operations.
Why I love doing breast reduction surgery.
Breasts are integral to the female figure. They’re right out there, front and center. And how they look plays a significant part in a woman’s overall appearance. So it’s really satisfying to take a woman who is top-heavy and make her proportional. After breast reduction patients look like they’ve lost 10 pounds. (I only remove about 2-5 pounds of tissue, if you wondered.) Plus the surgery itself is really fun, because I get to create a perky, nicely-shaped breast.
Why patients love breast reduction surgery.
My breast reduction patients have several things in common. They get aches and pains in the upper back and neck from having the weight of their large breasts constantly pulling. They have trouble exercising because it’s impossible to find good support for very large breasts, even if you wear two sports bras. Many women get rashes and skin irritation in the crease under the breasts. Breast reduction surgery significantly improves all these symptoms, and makes it much easier to find shirts and bras that fit.
You may be surprised to learn that recovery after breast reduction isn’t terrible. No muscle is involved, so the pain is more of a deep soreness that gets better fairly quickly. I don’t leave drains after surgery, and my patients are able to shower only two days after surgery. Most of my patients take a week or less of work. They take prescription pain meds for the first couple days. After that Motrin or Advil is enough for pain control.
So why do patients complain after breast reduction surgery?
Because they waited so long! This is the number one complaint I hear after breast reduction, and it’s what I tell my younger patients who wonder if they’re too young for surgery.
There is no maximum age. I’ve done breast reduction on patients in their 80s, and they are thrilled. The most important risk factors are:
- Heart and lung disease that would make surgery unsafe
- Being very overweight (BMI>35)
- Smoking- I ask that patient quit 4 weeks prior to surgery, and for at least 4 weeks after surgery.
- Medications that slow healing, such steroids
- Diabetes- I require patients to have a HbA1c of 7 or less prior to surgery.
Having one or more of these risk factors doesn’t mean you can’t have surgery. But it does put you at higher risk of having healing problems or other complications.
Can you be too young for breast reduction surgery?
There are two reasons you may want to wait to have breast reduction surgery:
- Your breasts are still growing. If you’ve been wearing the same size bra for over a year, you’re good to go.
- Breastfeeding future children is very important to you. Breastfeeding is usually possible after breast reduction surgery, but any surgery on the breast can affect the success rate of breastfeeding. So if breastfeeding is something you really want to do, I recommend avoiding any breast surgery until after you’re done having children.
Have you been thinking about breast reduction surgery, but you’re not sure where to start? Download my breast reduction preparation worksheet and set up a consultation by calling us at (440) 974-8577.