Many women feel that oversize breasts prevent them from living a happy and full life. Breast reduction surgery – reduction mammoplasty – can significantly improve a woman’s health and quality of life while allowing her to feel comfortable and secure in her body.
There are many reasons why women choose to undergo breast reduction surgery, including long term effects of neck, back and shoulder pain caused by disproportionately large breasts. The surgery can also reduce future medical costs associated with these health issues including mental health issues and diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
Breast reduction surgery can also have long-term physical and psychological benefits for the patient. A BREAST-Q© study led by Andrea Pusic, MD. evaluated the benefits of breast reduction surgery for patients and found a significant correlation between breast reduction surgery and higher happiness measures in patients after their surgeries. The study also found that patient’s satisfaction with breast appearance increased from about 20% to 80% after surgery. Beyond satisfaction with the cosmetic outcome, patient’s psychosocial well-being, sexual well-being, and physical well-being increased from around 40% to 80% in all areas, showing that breast reduction can have positive effects on the patient that extend far beyond physical well-being.
After breast reduction surgery, women are able to more fully engage in physical activities and sports while feeling more at ease in their bodies in social settings.
During the surgery, the patient’s breast size is reduced through the removal of excess tissue. Then, the nipple position is raised and the breast width is narrowed. A surgeon may also alter the shape and size of the areola, the dark skin around the nipple, during the surgery.
The surgery is performed with either a “lollipop” or “anchor” scar incision. Surgery can take between 3-4 hours depending on the size of the breast and patients are put under general anesthesia for the duration of the procedure. Although there are risks associated with the surgery, most have an occurrence rate of less than 1% in patients. You can learn more about these risks and the surgery here.
The Recovery Process
After surgery, gauze is placed over the incisions and the breasts are wrapped with elastic bandage. It is recommended that women take 2-4 weeks off from work after surgery in order to fully recover. It is also recommended that patients not engage in vigorous physical activity for three to four weeks after the surgery. Your plastic surgeon will monitor the recovery and make sure there are no complications after the procedure.
In order to begin the process of determining whether or not you are eligible for the surgery and health coverage, talk to your family doctor or book a consultation with a plastic surgeon. Many women with oversize breasts are candidates for the surgery, however patients that smoke and women with a BMI > 32 are not eligible.