What is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is a procedure that reduces the size and lifts the breasts. It is usually performed on women with larger breasts who suffer from neck, back and shoulder pain with digging bra straps and occasionally, rashes under the breasts. Dr. Dahan performs numerous breast reduction surgeries using highly specialized techniques that reduce and reshape the breasts while minimizing surgical scars that are common with this procedure. This is one of the most satisfying breast procedures for women suffering from these symptoms and in many cases, it is a life-changing experience.
What Our Patients Have to Say
“Dr. Dahan performed breast reduction surgery on me in May 2012. From the first day I walked into his office, Dr. Dahan’s staff treated me with respect, kindness, and professional care. They always made me feel like a VIP! I cannot thank Dr. Dahan enough. He was professional, kind, and humorous throughout the whole process. Without a doubt, he truly cares not only about my thoughts regarding the surgery results, but also my feelings overall. Dr. Dahan is really an artist! My surgery turned out better than I had hoped, my breasts are absolutely perfect! The surgery has totally freed me from my prison behind overly-large breasts. I now have more energy, confidence, and happiness in general. I highly recommend Dr. Dahan and his staff! I am grateful to them all for the wonderful service they provided to me.”
Am I a candidate for breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction is performed to treat a condition called breast hypertrophy (overgrowth). It is commonly recommended for women who suffer from neck, back and shoulder pain with digging bra straps and occasionally, rashes under the breasts. Breast hypertrophy may occur in young developing females, as well as mature women. Therefore, candidates for breast reduction surgery include fully developed adolescent females and any woman with breast hypertrophy who wishes to have smaller breasts.
Women who wish to nurse should wait until they are finished having children prior to undergoing breast reduction surgery. Patients should be in good health and not smoke 6 weeks before and after surgery. If possible, obese patients should attempt to lose weight prior to breast reduction surgery as postoperative weight loss may further diminish breast size. Dr. Dahan has performed hundreds of breast reduction procedures. Patients undergoing breast reduction surgery by Dr. Dahan tend to experience significant cosmetic, physical and psychological benefits.
Breast Reduction Before And After
Breast Reduction After Breast Cancer
Breast reduction surgery is also commonly performed in breast cancer patients who wish to reduce the size of the larger noncancerous breast in order to match the reconstructed cancerous breast. Dr. Dahan also performs a breast reduction technique to remove cancerous and noncancerous masses from large breasts.
Is Breast Reduction Surgery Covered by Insurance?
Most health insurances consider breast reduction surgery medically necessary and will pay for the procedure in patients suffering from a history of greater than 5 years of neck, back and shoulder pain, digging bra straps and rashes, as long as their bra cup size is DD or greater, and require a minimum of 500 grams of breast tissue removed. If Dr. Dahan is not a provider on your health insurance plan, but operates in an outpatient center or hospital which is contracted with your health insurance plan, you may be able to have your breast reduction surgery performed by Dr. Dahan as an out-of-plan provider. In this case, you can pay Dr. Dahan his fee for breast reduction and your insurance plan will pay for the operating room and anesthesiologist. Dr. Dahan’s office will bill your insurance plan for the breast reduction, and your insurance may reimburse you a portion of the amount they usually pay the surgeon.
As health insurance plans become less accommodating to women with breast hypertrophy, more and more patients are undergoing cosmetic breast reduction surgery at their own expense, which allows the patient to choose the final breast size without worrying about the amount removed.
What Should I expect at my Breast Reduction Consultation?
During your consultation with Dr. Dahan, he will examine your breasts to determine the exact size, weight, symmetry, and amount of excess or loose skin. He will also check for masses and suspicious lesions. Dr. Dahan will assess your nipple sensation prior to surgery. Women over 40 years of age should have a mammogram within one year prior to breast reduction surgery. Your first annual mammogram after breast reduction will become your new baseline mammogram for future reference.
Types of Breast Reduction Surgery
Dr. Dahan tailors each breast reduction surgery to the individual patient. There are a few different surgical techniques, but most plastic surgeons learn only one of them. Reno plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip E. Dahan offers two excellent breast reduction techniques including the Wise Pattern Breast Reduction and Vertical Breast Reduction. All breast reduction techniques are performed under general anesthesia in a surgery center as an outpatient or with an overnight stay. Some patients, particularly with larger breasts, may need to have drain tubes placed to reduce the risk of blood or fluid collection and to minimize bruising and swelling. The breasts are dressed with nonadherent gauze and a snug Ace wrap compression dressing for comfort and support.
The Wise Pattern Breast Reduction
The Wise Pattern Breast Reduction is typically best for women who have very large and pendulous breasts. There is usually significant excess and stretched skin which needs to be resected in order to achieve the best shape, lift, and symmetry. The nipple-areola complex is reduced (but not detached) with a circumareolar incision, and a lower vertical midline, as well as an inframammary fold incision, are made (anchor scar).
The nipple-areola complex with its blood and nerve supply remains attached to a pedicle of the mid-lower breast tissue. Breast tissue from the inner, outer and upper aspects of the breasts are removed reducing the 3-dimensional size of the breasts, lifting the breast tissue and repositioning the nipple areolar complex in a more youthful and attractive position. These incisions are then sutured meticulously to reduce the scars.
In Dr. Dahan’s hands, these incisions tend to heal very well and become inconspicuous scars over time. Dr. Dahan’s patients are always surprised to see how minimal the scars are and how little discomfort there is with this operation.
Unlike many plastic surgeons, Dr. Dahan almost never removes the nipple areola complex during breast reduction surgery preserving its sensation and pigmentation which is very much appreciated by his patients.
The Vertical Breast Reduction
The Vertical Breast Reduction technique eliminates the scar that runs underneath the breast. The scars on this reduction technique are around the nipple areolar complex and straight down the mid lower breast (lollipop scar). This technique is useful in women who have a smaller volume reduction and less skin to remove. Like the other technique of breast reduction, the scars in these areas are well tolerated and tend to fade very well. Unfortunately, this technique is less consistent in preserving nipple sensation.
How long is the recovery after breast reduction surgery?
Dr. Dahan will see you in his office the next day to change your dressing and answer all of your questions. If drain tubes were placed, they may be removed anytime between 1-7 days after surgery. You may shower 2-3 days after surgery after which you will wear a sports bra for support and comfort. Dr. Dahan will remove your sutures 7-10 days after surgery. Recovery time may vary, but most patients return to school or work within 5-10 days. Return to exercise and normal activities usually occur 3-4 weeks after surgery.
What are the side effects of getting a breast reduction?
There is typically mild to moderate discomfort, bruising and swelling associated with this procedure. Pain medications, antibiotics and anti-nausea medication prescribed by Dr. Dahan will minimize discomfort and significantly reduce the risk of complications. There may be some changes in breast skin and nipple sensation which may be temporary or permanent. Less than 1% of Dr. Dahan’s breast reduction patients experience permanent nipple sensory loss, and many will state that nipple sensation actually improves. The application of scar creams such as Silagen or Bio-Corneum will significantly reduce scarring.