It may seem counterintuitive in this age of breast augmentation being the country’s most popular cosmetic surgery, but having naturally large breasts can be a burden — both physically and emotionally. They can cause back and neck problems, even nerve damage. They can affect a woman’s posture. They can keep her from participating in many sports or forms of exercise. And they attract unwanted attention in seemingly every social situation.
That’s where breast reduction surgery with Dr. Charlotte Rhee can help. Dr. Rhee is a Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in Long Island that specializes in breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) surgery. Dr. Rhee can downsize your breasts, bringing them into proportion with the rest of your figure. The procedure can be life-changing. If you are interested in breast reduction and want to see if you are a candidate, Dr. Rhee offers free consultations at her office in Huntington, NY. Contact our Long Island office at (631) 424-6707 to schedule your consultation
What Is Breast Reduction?
Women with very large pendulous breasts may experience varied medical problems including back and neck pain. Also, the weight of large breasts can cause the bra straps to dig into the shoulders leaving groove markings. Large breasts get in the way of physical activities such as running, making exercise and weight loss very difficult if not impossible. Breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) removes fat, glandular tissue, and excessive skin, resulting in smaller, lighter and firmer breasts that are better-shaped in proportion to the rest of the body.
Before And After Breast Reduction With Dr. Rhee
Benefits Of Breast Reduction Surgery
For a woman who has been burdened her entire life with overly large breasts, reducing their size to be proportional can really be freeing. Gone is the constant back and neck pain. Gone is the feeling that it’s hard to stand up straight because of the weight pulling you forward. Suddenly it’s fun to buy clothes, rather than an exercise in searching for cover-up options. It’s great to enter a party, restaurant or bar, or even a meeting and not feel as if eyes focus on your large breasts.
After breast reduction, Dr. Rhee’s patients start taking exercise classes they’ve always avoided. Impact sports such as running or playing tennis are an option now. Patients often find themselves reengaging in social situations they’ve not even realized they were avoiding.
Plus, patients love the look of their reduced breasts. Sagging skin is removed and the breasts are lifted to a higher position on the chest. With severe sagging, nipples may even have pointed downward, but now they sit high on the chest. The reduced breasts are firm and don’t have the flattened, sagging appearance that was so depressing
After this procedure, most patients find a whole new level of self-confidence and develop an entirely new body image
Breast Reduction Patient Testimonials
Candidates For Reduction Mammaplasty In Nassau County, NY
If your oversized breast causes any of the following, you may be a candidate for breast reduction:
- Medical Problems
- Physical or social discomfort
- Low Self-Esteem
- Frustrations related to size
Ideal candidates for breast reduction surgery are women with oversized breasts that cause medical problems, low self-esteem, physical or social discomfort or frustrations with the size of their breast. Women must not be pregnant or be breastfeeding while undergoing this procedure. It is important for patients to understand the details and risks associated with this procedure, and to have realistic expectations in order to be satisfied with the results of their surgery. To find our if you are a consultation, schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Rhee.
How Do I Prepare For Breast Reduction Surgery?
Your physical preparations are the same as for any surgery: stop taking anti-inflammatory medications, stop taking most supplements, and stop taking any blood thinning medication. We also require that patients stop smoking at least six weeks prior to and after surgery, however, the risks of smoking are still present even if the patient quits.
Preparation really needs to position for your recovery. You’ll need to get your recovery area ready, as you’ll need to take probably at least one week off work. You won’t be able to lift much, either, so plan on someone helping you around the house for the first week. Fill your pain medication prescription beforehand and plan to need to lay low for a week or so. Have Netflix or a couple of good books ready.
Choosing Your Cup Size
This procedure is meant to make you happy with your new breasts, not be the picture Dr. Rhee has in mind. With every surgery, she treats each case as unique. The goal is to meet the goals and expectations of the patient. You will choose the size of your breasts.
Breast reduction can be difficult for patients to visualize, however. The patient has been used to such large pendulous breasts that it can be hard to settle on a new, smaller size. Dr. Rhee can help with this decision if you would like. She can help you visualize what your smaller breasts will look like with the aid of simulation software.
Breast Reduction Procedure With Dr. Rhee
There are two typical incision types. The method used by Dr. Rhee will depend on the extent of sagging skin that needs to be addressed.
Traditional incision breast reduction
In this method, Dr. Rhee creates an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola, runs down to the breast crease, and follows the breast crease a few inches in each direction. This incision is normally used for women with extremely large breasts, as it allows the most tissue removal.
Vertical incision breast reduction
Also known as the Lejour or Wise method, this incision doesn’t add the two horizontal extensions along the breast crease. Instead, the incision is more like a lollipop, circling the areola and running straight down to the breast crease. This is used for women with moderately large breasts and creates a smaller scar than the traditional method. Actual tissue can be removed in a keyhole shape and then the two sides can be brought together to form the single vertical line. This is the method preferred by Dr. Rhee, if possible, due to the lesser visible scarring.
In both cases, fat, excess glandular tissue, and skin are removed. The nipples and areolae are usually relocated to a higher position, as well. The areolae will likely be made smaller.
Does Breast Reduction Surgery Require Anesthesia?
Breast reduction surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia.
How Long Does Mammoplasty Take?
Your breast reduction procedure can take three to four hours in the operating room. After your surgery, you may be in the monitored recovery room for one to three hours. You will be released to a loved one who can drive you home once you've regained sufficient alertness from anesthesia. Before your outpatient surgery, we can discuss how you can plan well for your surgery day as it pertains to your arrival and release. Someone from the surgery center may touch base with your loved one to keep them informed about when they can expect to pick you up.
Candidates For Lejour Breast Reduction Incision
This incision works very well for patients with breasts that are sagging and have flattened but don’t need to be lifted a great distance. While Dr. Rhee tries to choose incision options that minimize scarring as much as possible, it’s important to match the method and incision to the individual patient’s unique needs.
Is Breast Reduction Painful?
Your outpatient breast reduction procedure will be performed with general anesthesia. This will keep you in a sleep state for the duration of your surgery, during which your pain receptors are essentially shut down. When you wake up from surgery, you will likely be in some pain. This may feel like a tightness, soreness, or heaviness in your chest area. As you enter your recovery phase, you can expect your skin and incision area to feel tender to the touch. Wearing your compression garment as directed can help reduce the uncomfortable side effects of your surgery. You'll also receive prescription painkillers to take for a week or two. Taken as directed, your pain medication can effectively manage a better comfort level.
Will Insurance Cover My Breast Reduction Surgery?
It's relatively uncommon for insurance to cover any of the costs associated with breast reduction surgery. This is because, generally, the procedure is seen as being done primarily for cosmetic reasons. If you are interested in learning more about the potential for insurance coverage for your breast reduction, it can be advantageous to contact your insurance provider directly. They may have benefits that you can take advantage of if you can meet their requirements that prove your procedure is medically necessary. Your insurance provider should be able to provide you with an outline of the documentation they would require to consider your request for coverage. Keep in mind that some insurance providers may have a strict policy that does not extend benefits for breast reduction for any reason.
Advantages Of Lollipop Incision
With breast reduction, in order to access enough skin and tissue to reduce and lift the breasts, areolar incisions aren’t sufficient. The most used incision has been the “anchor” incision. This incision is partially the same as the lollipop incision, but it then moves outward in each direction along the breast crease. The end shape resembles an anchor. Obviously, an anchor incision makes quite a bit of visible scarring due to those outward incisions on the bottom of the breasts. The Lejour incision eliminates those outward additional scars. It also eliminates the pain in recovery that can be associated with a heavy scar under the bra.
Does Reduction Mammaplasty Also Lift The Breasts?
Breast reduction is basically a more involved breast lift. A breast lift is meant to remove sagging skin and bring the breasts back up to a higher position on the chest. The nipple/areola complex is also usually moved higher on the breasts. This is exactly what breast reduction surgery does. Breast reduction simply makes these changes on a larger scale.
Recovery After Breast Reduction Surgery
You will have soreness, swelling, and bruising because breast reduction involves a fair amount of tissue trauma. After two days, your bandages will be removed and replaced by a surgical bra. Dr. Rhee stresses the importance of wearing this surgical bra (and then transitioning to a support bra) for 24 hours a day for a full month.
This removes any weight and pressure on your incisions. You’ll have to take it easy for the first one to two weeks, and avoid strenuous activity for probably six weeks. You’ll need to take at least one, and more likely two weeks off of work. Dr. Rhee is often able to maintain nipple sensation and breastfeeding function after breast reduction, but it may be impacted.
It’s important to be patient during your recovery. Full recovery after breast reduction will likely take at least six months and could need up to a year. There will be residual swelling and sensitivity. Your breasts can slightly change shape as the tissues adjust and heal.
How Long After a Breast Reduction Will I See My Results?
You can expect to look and feel different as soon as you wake up from surgery. That said, considerable tissue manipulation occurs during the breast reduction procedure. With that comes swelling and bruising that will initially obscure your surgical outcome. Your breasts will look smaller but will also look swollen and perhaps also a little high and tight. These side effects begin to diminish as early as week one after surgery. By your fourth week of recovery, swelling should be greatly reduced and, by six weeks, you should have a very good idea of y our new breast size. That said, it can take up to nine months for your breast tissue and skin to completely settle. It's wise to wait at least six months before purchasing new bras.
What Will My Scarring Look Like After Breast Reduction Surgery?
Your scars will be quite visible in the beginning. But if you think long-term and how happy you’ll be to have breasts that are proportional to your figure and not such a burden to everyday life, then your recovery will be manageable. Scars will continue to fade with time and can usually be concealed by a bra, bathing suit, or low-cut top.
What Results Will I Achieve with a Breast Reduction?
Dr. Rhee’s patients are thrilled with the results of these procedures, and their results endure. The excess, sagging skin and heavy breast tissue that are removed are gone for good. Your breasts will be higher, shapelier, and completely proportional to the rest of your figure, and they will stay that way. Of course you can have some sagging as you age, but it will be minimal because you’ve already removed much of the tissue that would have sagged. As long as you maintain a healthy weight, you should enjoy your new smaller breasts for the rest of your life.
Will Breast Reduction Affect My Ability To Breastfeed Later On?
Dr. Rhee makes every effort to maintain the function of your milk ducts and ability to breastfeed in the future. Still, this procedure removes some glandular tissue and milk ducts that produce milk and transport it to the nipple. Whether or not this affects the ability to breastfeed varies by the patient. Sometimes regular breastfeeding is possible. In other cases, the patient has to supplement breast milk with some formula. With the extent of tissue repositioning it’s simply impossible to absolutely ensure breastfeeding capability will not be affected.
Reduction Mammaplasty Risks
Breast reduction surgery has the same basic risks as any other type of major surgery: excessive bleeding, infection, poor wound healing, and reaction to anesthesia. Beyond that, these are the specific risks:
- Loss of sensation in the nipples
- Loss of sensation in the areola area
- Difficulty or inability to breastfeed
- Differences in size, shape, symmetry of the surgically altered breasts
- Vertical scarring on each breast
- Circular scarring around the areola of each breast