Downey Plastic Surgery 

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Breast Reduction

Comfortable and Proportionate Breasts

Breast reduction surgery, or reduction mammoplasty, is an operation intended to improve symptoms related to excessively large breasts. Heavy breasts can cause skin rashes beneath the breasts as well as chronic discomfort including back, neck and shoulder pain. They can also create problems with posture, exercise and buying clothes, which can all have a very real impact on a woman’s self esteem.

Downey Plastic Surgery practices highly individualized care based on patient needs, which are jointly identified during a thorough consultation and examination. Dr. Downey will discuss the treatment options for more comfortable and proportionate breasts, and provide you a plan of care individualized for your unique situation.

During this process, Dr. Downey will learn more about the changes you desire. He will review the entire treatment journey with you, including anticipated results, possible risks and recovery expectations.

Please note: Before your consultation for breast reduction, you will need an up-to-date mammogram and to have the films mailed to Downey Plastic Surgery.

The Breast Reduction Operation – A breast reduction operation typically lasts three to four hours and is performed under general anesthesia. Depending on the individual, the patient may have in-patient surgery and choose to leave the same day or remain in the hospital for observation overnight. During your preoperative visit, prescriptions for pain medicine and a postoperative care plan will be given to you. You will also be given a comfortable front-fastening bra which will be used to secure your dressings.

During the breast reduction operation, excess breast tissue and skin are removed, shrinking the entire breast. The incisions will encircle the areola, or darker skin around the nipple, and extend horizontally in the fold beneath the breasts. Special attention is given to matching the breasts as closely as possible in size and shape.

The nipples and areola will be repositioned to a higher, more elevated position proportionate to the new breast size. One of the primary objectives of the surgery is to ensure that the skin and nipples continue to receive good circulation. Since the incisions are made in the areola, the procedure leaves no scar on the upper chest higher than the areola. At the end of the operation you will have smaller, more elevated, and compact breasts with a natural appearance. Your bra size will be smaller, though the final size is hard to predict. The surgery should also improve skin health, increase your comfort during exercise and help reduce back, neck and shoulder pain due to disproportionately heavy breasts.

Recuperation and Aftercare

Pain following surgery is typically of mild to moderate intensity and oral pain medication usually works very well to keep you comfortable. A small drain tube is placed during surgery to help control swelling for a few days following the operation. During recovery you should remove your dressings and shower daily. You may wear normal clothing. Walking, sitting, and sleeping should be very comfortable during your recovery.

Discomfort may last for approximately a week and most tenderness will subside after three weeks. Most people are able to drive as well as return to work a week or two following the operation. You will be asked to refrain from exercise for two or three weeks, including lifting or pushing anything heavy. By six weeks, usually you will have resumed all normal activities.

It can take as long as six months or even a year before your breasts establish their final shape. They may still fluctuate in size, as common in most women, due to pregnancy, hormonal changes and weight gain or loss.

Risks of Surgery

Major complications of breast reduction surgery are uncommon and are explained in detail during your consultation. The primary risks involved are similar to those of any surgical procedure including bleeding, infection, numbness, and reaction to anesthesia. Other risks may include nipple or breast skin loss stemming from problems with blood circulation or reduced ability to breast feed after surgery. Breasts with significant asymmetry preoperatively will be noticeably more balanced in volume and position, though smaller differences may still persist. Final breast shape or bra size cannot be guaranteed; the operation is intended to improve symptoms related to heavy, mobile breasts, not to seek a specific breast size.

The tissue removed during your breast reduction surgery is analyzed fully by a pathologist after the operation. Abnormal tissue discovered from the analysis could require additional treatments including more surgery.

As with all surgeries, risks increase with smoking, obesity, diabetes, age and other medical conditions. You should discuss with us any medication you are currently taking, including natural or herbal remedies, to help avoid complications with your operation. If you plan to breast feed a baby in the future, Dr. Downey may advise you to consider postponing surgery.

Great care is taken around the time of your operation to reduce these risks. After the surgery, your job is to control your pain, remain active and keep your incisions clean and dry. In addition, we are available around the clock to answer any questions or address any problems you are experiencing.

Financial Considerations

For those patients who schedule a breast reduction operation without seeking insurance approval, Downey Plastic Surgery offers competitive pricing for this potentially life-changing operation.

Insurance companies require that we seek preauthorization before scheduling an operation. If you are interested in having your insurance cover the procedure, please contact your primary care provider for a referral prior to your consultation. Your insurance carrier may require that you have a certain cup size preoperatively, and that you have tried non-surgical measures to obtain relief from your symptoms. Some companies require that a minimum weight of tissue be removed at the operation, although this weight goal is not always possible to remove from your breasts.

For more information, please visit the financial section of our web site.

procedure leaves no scar on the upper chest higher than the areola.At the end of the operation you will have smaller, more elevated, and compact breasts with a natural appearance. Your bra size will be smaller, though the final size is hard to predict. The surgery should also improve skin health, increase your comfort during exercise and help reduce back, neck and shoulder pain due to disproportionately heavy breasts.


Recuperation and Aftercare
Pain following surgery is typically of mild to moderate intensity and oral pain medication usually works very well to keep you comfortable. A small drain tube is placed during surgery to help control swelling for a few days following the operation. During recovery you should remove your dressings and shower daily. You may wear normal clothing. Walking, sitting, and sleeping should be very comfortable during your recovery.

Discomfort may last for approximately a week and most tenderness will subside after three weeks. Most people are able to drive as well as return to work a week or two following the operation. You will be asked to refrain from exercise for two or three weeks, including lifting or pushing anything heavy. By six weeks, usually you will have resumed all normal activities.

It can take as long as six months or even a year before your breasts establish their final shape. They may still fluctuate in size, as common in most women, due to pregnancy, hormonal changes and weight gain or loss.

Risks of Surgery
Major complications of breast reduction surgery are uncommon and are explained in detail during your consultation. The primary risks involved are similar to those of any surgical procedure including bleeding, infection, numbness, and reaction to anesthesia. Other risks may include nipple or breast skin loss stemming from problems with blood circulation or reduced ability to breast feed after surgery. Breasts with significant asymmetry preoperatively will be noticeably more balanced in volume and position, though smaller differences may still persist. Final breast shape or bra size cannot be guaranteed; the operation is intended to improve symptoms related to heavy, mobile breasts, not to seek a specific breast size.

The tissue removed during your breast reduction surgery is analyzed fully by a pathologist after the operation. Abnormal tissue discovered from the analysis could require additional treatments including more surgery.

As with all surgeries, risks increase with smoking, obesity, diabetes, age and other medical conditions. You should discuss with us any medication you are currently taking, including natural or herbal remedies, to help avoid complications with your operation. If you plan to breast feed a baby in the future, Dr. Downey may advise you to consider postponing surgery.

Great care is taken around the time of your operation to reduce these risks. After the surgery, your job is to control your pain, remain active and keep your incisions clean and dry. In addition, we are available around the clock to answer any questions or address any problems you are experiencing.

Financial Considerations
For those patients who schedule a breast reduction operation without seeking insurance approval, Downey Plastic Surgery offers competitive pricing for this potentially life-changing operation.

Insurance companies require that we seek preauthorization before scheduling an operation. If you are interested in having your insurance cover the procedure, please contact your primary care provider for a referral prior to your consultation. Your insurance carrier may require that you have a certain cup size preoperatively, and that you have tried non-surgical measures to obtain relief from your symptoms. Some companies require that a minimum weight of tissue be removed at the operation, although this weight goal is not always possible to remove from your breasts.

For more information, please visit thefinancial sectionof our web site.