Breast reduction surgery is an amazing procedure. It can lead to tremendous improvement in back pain, neck pain, rashes, and even self-esteem. Women who undergo breast reductions are some of the happiest patients we see in our Fort Worth office. It’s a pretty big operation though. You don’t want just anyone to do it. If you’re going to visit with a surgeon about breast reduction, here are 8 questions you should ask.
How Often Do You Perform Breast Reduction?
Seems like a simple question. Yet, a lot of plastic surgeons don’t do many breast reductions. Other surgeons, including general surgeons and ‘cosmetic surgeons’, may do breast reductions. It’s worth knowing that the surgeon you’re considering does these frequently. If the surgeon only does a few of these in a year, it might be worth considering a visit with someone else.
If I Plan to Have Children, Should I Wait to Have My Breast Reduction?
This is a little harder question to answer. The short answer is, “yes”. But, I do see a number of young women who have tremendously large breasts. A young woman interested in running on the cross country team might have a very hard time with this. Most of the time breasts are fully developed by age 17 or 18. Sometimes they continue growing into the early twenties. A young woman with breasts that are so large that they interfere with her activities might consider breast reduction. However, a lot of breast tissue is removed during the surgery. It is possible that a woman may not be able to breastfeed after the surgery. She might not feel a baby on her nipple. Her breasts will change with pregnancy and breastfeeding. So, should a woman not undergo breast reduction if she plans to have more children? It depends on how much her breasts affect her daily life, and how much these other issues matter to her.
How Is The Size of My Breasts Determined?
Each woman hopes to achieve something different with breast reduction. A surgeon should listen to what the patient hopes to achieve, and design a procedure to try to help meet those goals. Some women want to be much much smaller, others hope to wear a specific bra size. We can’t really tell a woman what bra size she’ll wear, though. We typically try to take away as much tissue as we can to help the woman with her symptoms, but also leave enough tissue to maintain a nice overall size and shape. It is possible that a woman may end up being larger or smaller than she had hoped. However, we almost never hear anything like that. What we do hear often is, “I wish I had done this 10 years ago”.
What Kind Of Scars Will I Have After Breast Reduction?
There are different ways to do breast reduction surgery. Each plastic surgeon probably has a ‘go to’ technique, a technique they like best. Different scar patterns may result, though. In my experience woman are rarely bothered by their scars. Instead they love their new look, their new clothes, and that their neck and back feel so much better. Ask your surgeon about where your scars will be. It’s worth knowing.
What Are The Risks of Breast Reduction Surgery?
There are some risks, just as with any surgical procedure. Risks with any procedure include infection, bleeding, pain, and scars. There are some risks more unique to breast reduction surgery. These include loss of feeling of the nipples or breast skin, loss of a nipple altogether (uncommon), difference in size between the breasts, asymmetry of the nipples, and overall dissatisfaction with the result. There are other risks. You should discuss these with your surgeon.
Where Do You Perform Breast Reduction Surgery?
I prefer to do breast reductions in one of the Fort Worth hospitals. However, an outpatient surgery center may also be used. Some surgeons have an operating room area in their office. Any of these settings will likely be safe and you’ll likely do great. I like using larger hospitals in part because infrequently someone may need to spend the night. It’s easy to make that happen if you’re already in a hospital.
What Is Recovery Like After Breast Reduction Surgery?
Most woman are surprised at how well they do after surgery. There’s not usually very much pain. A lot of women note that their neck and back feel better the evening of their surgery. We suggest that women plan to take two or three weeks off of work. It takes about six weeks for the tissues to heal well, so we ask women to take it a bit easy during that time. No running, swimming, or working out during those six weeks.
Do You Have Before and After Photos of Your Own Patients You Can Show Me?
We show women a lot of photographs of my patients. No two women will look alike after surgery. We don’t show the photos to show women what they will look like, but rather to help them understand the degrees of changes we tend to see.
If you’re planning to visit with a surgeon to learn about breast reduction surgery, think about asking these questions. We see a lot of women for breast reductions in our Fort Worth office. Give us a call to learn more!