Breast Reduction FAQ
If you’ve been considering a breast reduction, you probably want to know more about what to expect. Here, Dr. Joseph J. Castellano answers the most commonly asked questions our patients have about breast reduction. You can also request a consultation with Dr. Castellano, who has helped men and women from Tampa-St. Petersburg to Orlando feel and look their best through a variety of cosmetic procedures.
What is breast reduction?
A breast reduction reshapes existing breasts by removing excess fatty and glandular tissue for a smaller cup size along with a beautiful, natural look. Breast reduction can also improve the shape and appearance of the nipple and areola. When combined with a breast lift at the same time, the surgery will also restore firmer texture and improve the look of droopy breasts.
Am I a candidate?
The best candidates for breast reductions are women who are in good physical and mental health, yet have persistent physical and/or emotional discomfort as a result of their breast size. Complaints of back, neck and shoulder pain; complications related to skin rashes or recurrent yeast infections; feeling self-conscious or bullied due to the appearance of larger breasts; and problems maintaining a healthy level of activity due to breast size are all reasons that women may consider breast reduction surgery.
Will insurance cover my breast reduction?
Many health insurance plans do cover the cost of a breast reduction. Typically, they require that a minimum amount of tissue that must be removed from each breast in order to provide coverage. Although that number varies from company to company, 500 g per breast is about average. Insurance companies will take a number of other factors into consideration as well, including as age, height and weight in order to make a determination about coverage. If you check with your provider to discuss requirements ahead of time, Dr. Castellano’s staff can work with you to help streamline the process.
Can breast reduction be combined with other procedures?
It’s very common to include a breast lift along with a reduction in order to ensure that your breasts look firm, high and youthful following your reduction. Breast reduction may also be performed as part of a mommy makeover, which is a combination of several procedures designed to bring out the best in your body, such as breast enhancement plus a tummy tuck. In some cases, liposuction may be incorporated as part of the breast reduction process as well, either through the breast or near the upper arm to further accentuate your improved breast contours.
I’m concerned about scarring. Is there an option for scarless breast reduction?
Although some doctors do perform breast reduction through liposuction alone, this only removes fat cells and not the glandular tissue that’s primarily responsible for large breast size. Dr. Castellano understands your concerns over your appearance, and makes every effort to ensure that scars will heal as inconspicuously as possible following surgery through the use of ultrafine sutures and special layering techniques to limit incision separation. The majority of women feel that the results are well worth the trade-off for the minimal scars that remain following surgery.
What should I expect during surgery?
Before your procedure, Dr. Castellano will discuss your appearance goals with you so that he has a clear understanding of your hopes following the procedure. There are a few different approaches that can be taken to reduce breast size while improving shape and profile:
A circular areolar incision alone may be used in some cases for a minimal reduction and lift
A lollipop incision follows the curve of the areola, combining a circular areolar incision with a vertical incision down the underside of the breast
An anchor incision continues the lollipop incision out to either side of the crease below the breast (inframammary fold)
The surgical approach will vary depending on your specific needs and appearance goals. Dr. Castellano will go over each option with you in more detail so you know exactly what to expect.
Excess fatty and glandular tissue is removed, sometimes accompanied by liposuction for further sculpting. The remaining breast tissue is reshaped for a flattering, natural profile. During surgery, Dr. Castellano can also reduce and center the areola and nipples. Your breasts will feel firmer, look perkier and also be more proportionate to your frame.
What should I expect during recovery?
Following your breast reduction, you can expect to feel a little sore and uncomfortable at first, usually accompanied by some swelling. Using cold compresses can help reduce both of these concerns. Dr. Castellano may ask you to wear a special garment to minimize impact on your new shape and help you feel more supported. Most breast reduction patients are back to their normal daily routine within a week or two, but more vigorous activities should wait until you feel more comfortable.
How long until I see results?
You should notice a difference almost right away after your surgery, with the effects becoming more apparent as post-operative swelling dissipates. Most patients can see their final results after a few months.