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Breast Reduction and Lift Review: Extremely Happy With the Outcome!

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

“My experience with Dr. Brandon Richland was wonderful! I really wanted a breast reduction (and lift!), but also thought that it was self indulgent and not necessary at my age. After discussing with Dr. Richland, I was very comfortable with him and the procedure. He answered all my questions, was very patient, and extremely happy with the outcome!”

Read the full Google Review here.

Understanding Breast Reduction and Lift

Breast reduction and lift are cosmetic procedures that aim to reduce the size of the breasts and lift them to achieve a more youthful, proportionate appearance. These procedures can help alleviate physical discomfort such as back, neck, and shoulder pain caused by the weight of large breasts, as well as improve self-esteem and body image.

What Is Breast Reduction?

Breast reduction, medically known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove excess breast tissue, fat, and skin from large breasts. The goal is to achieve a breast size in proportion with the body and to alleviate discomfort associated with overly large breasts, such as breast pain and physical limitations.

  • Candidates: Individuals with large breasts experiencing health issues
  • Procedure: Removal of breast tissue, fat, and skin; repositioning of the nipple and areola
  • Benefits: Reduced discomfort, improved appearance

What Is a Breast Lift?

A breast lift, or mastopexy, involves elevating and reshaping sagging breasts to a more youthful and aesthetically pleasing position. The nipple and areola are often repositioned to match the new contour of the breast.

  • Indications: Breast sagging due to aging, weight loss, or childbirth
  • Procedure: Excess skin is removed, and breast tissue is lifted
  • Outcome: Firmer breasts, enhanced appearance

Breast Anatomy and Changes

Breasts are composed predominantly of breast tissue, fat, and connective tissue, all of which can change over time. Factors such as aging, hormonal fluctuations, and changes in body weight can affect breast size, shape, and firmness.

  • Changes: Loss of skin elasticity, breast sagging, volume fluctuations
  • Anatomy: Nipple, areola, breast tissue, breast crease

Aging, Weight Changes, and Breast Shape

As individuals age, breasts often lose their elasticity and may begin to sag. Weight gain or loss can also impact breast shape and size, sometimes leading to discomfort and a desire for cosmetic or medical intervention.

  • Aging Impact: Diminished skin elasticity, altered breast shape
  • Weight Impact: Changes in fat distribution, breast size variations

Benefits of Combining Procedures

Combining breast reduction and lift can provide comprehensive results by resizing and reshaping the breasts. This combination can alleviate symptoms like breast pain and improve appearance.

  • Combination Advantages: Symmetrical reshaping, excess skin removal, nipple and areola repositioning
  • Results: Enhanced contour, more proportionate breast size, relief from discomfort

Selecting a board-certified plastic surgeon for these procedures ensures the highest standards of care and results that align with the patient’s expectations.

The Breast Reduction and Lift Procedure

Breast reduction and lift, technically known as reduction mammoplasty and mastopexy, involve the removal of excess breast tissue and skin to achieve a breast size proportionate to the individual’s body. It also aims to elevate the breast to a more youthful position. This procedure often alleviates discomfort associated with overly large breasts, while also improving breast symmetry and shape.

Initial Consultation with a Plastic Surgeon

Before undergoing the procedure, a patient has a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. During this meeting, medical history is reviewed, and a mammogram may be recommended to examine the breast tissue. The surgeon discusses the potential risks and complications including scarring, changes in nipple or breast sensation, and the ability to breastfeed. The patient’s expectations are also reviewed along with information on the surgery, recovery, and postoperative care. Patients are advised on preoperative preparations, like avoiding smoking and certain medications to reduce the risk of bleeding and infection.

Surgical Techniques and Incisions

The surgical procedure is typically carried out under general anesthesia. A number of incision options are available:

  • Wise (anchor) incision: around the areola, vertically down and across the breast crease
  • Vertical incision: around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease
  • Periareolar incision: around the edge of the areola

The choice of incision depends on the desired outcome and the amount of reduction needed. Excess fat may be removed through liposuction, and the nipple and areola might be repositioned to a natural height. Drainage tubes may be placed to collect excess fluid, and the incisions are sutured. This process typically results in some level of scarring, but a skilled plastic surgeon can minimize scar visibility.

Recovery and Aftercare

After the surgery, patients will typically wear a surgical bra to minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. Prescription pain medications are often provided to manage pain and discomfort. Instructions for care include:

  • Guidelines on how to care for the surgical site and drainage tubes
  • Medications to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection
  • Specific concerns to look out for at the surgical site or in general health

The patient will be advised to limit certain physical activity and follow a recommended diet and exercise regimen during the recovery period. Normal activities can typically be resumed after a few weeks, though full recovery may take several months. It’s crucial to attend follow-up appointments to ensure proper healing and discuss any concerns like chronic pain, asymmetry, or nipple necrosis with the surgeon.

Insurance coverage varies; many providers consider breast reduction a reconstructive surgical procedure and may cover it if it’s deemed medically necessary, while cosmetic breast lift (mastopexy) is usually not covered. Out-of-pocket costs, potential health insurance benefits, and financing options are clarified during the initial consultation.

The guidance of a board-certified plastic surgeon is instrumental in navigating through the process of breast reduction and lift, from the initial consultation to full recovery.

Considerations and Risks

Before undergoing a breast reduction and lift, it’s important for individuals to understand the physical and emotional impact, potential complications, and insurance and financial aspects of the procedure.

Physical and Emotional Impact

Breast reduction and lift procedures can greatly alleviate physical discomfort such as back pain, shoulder pain, and chronic pain, often improving poor posture. They can also have a positive effect on self-image and self-esteem, as well as make it easier to find comfortable, well-fitting clothing. However, there may be an adjustment period as one adapts emotionally to their new body image.

Potential Complications

Like any cosmetic surgery, breast reductions and lifts carry certain risks and complications. Patients may experience side effects such as redness, fever, or skin irritation near sutures. Loss of or change in nipple sensation can occur, as well as the risk of more severe complications. It’s essential to discuss all potential risks with a qualified surgeon.

  • Common Side Effects:
    • Temporary pain or bruising
    • Swelling
    • Numbness
  • Severe Complications:
    • Infection
    • Bleeding
    • Scarring
    • Asymmetry

Insurance and Financial Aspects

Medical insurance coverage for breast reduction and lift varies. Generally, if the surgery is deemed medically necessary to relieve symptoms like chronic pain or physical discomfort, insurance may cover it. However, when performed solely for cosmetic enhancement, insurance providers might not offer reimbursement.

  • Insurance Coverage Considerations:
    • Surgery for relief of pain and other medical symptoms
    • Documentation from healthcare providers
    • Pre-authorization requirements
  • Out-of-Pocket Costs:
    • Surgeon’s fees
    • Facility costs
    • Anesthesia fees

Schedule Your First-Class Cosmetic Consultation with Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Contact Dr. Richland today by visiting RichlandMD.com, scheduling a cosmetic consultation, or by calling 714-844-0398 or 949-997-2958 directly.

Cover Image Illustration by: Dr. Brandon Richland, MD