Breast reduction surgery is designed to accomplish two major goals: to make breasts smaller, and to lift them. Most women with excessively large, heavy breasts also have sagging breasts because of the effects of gravity. Virtually all women requesting this procedure complain of either upper or lower back pains, shoulder cramping, painful tender breasts and the general inability to purchase decently fitting clothing. Activities of daily living such as sports, jogging and general exercise are also restricted. There can be a component of emotional discomfort or extreme self-consciousness as well. Women who find they have large breasts which limit their physical activity and cause any of the symptoms mentioned above may discover that breast reduction surgery is right for them.
Dr. Nordberg will conduct a full medical evaluation in order to completely assess all possible secondary medical issues that arise from excessively large breasts. Past evaluations by other specialists will also be reviewed and addressed.
The operation involves leaving the nipple and areola (the pigmented circular area immediately surrounding the nipple) attached to its original blood and nerve supply and elevating them to a new, predetermined location higher up. Beneath the nipple, a "pie wedge "portion of full thickness breast tissue, including skin, breast gland, and fat is removed. The remaining breast tissue is brought together under the nipple and areola to support the breast in its new position.
There are a few different incision patterns that can be recommended depending on the amount of tissue and skin that needs to be removed. One common technique is to make an incision around the areola, continue it vertically down the breast and then horizontally along the crease underneath the breast. Dr. Nordberg will conceal most incision lines in the natural breast contours but some will be visible on the breast surface. Despite the scars which will fade with time, breast reduction surgery will result in better proportioned breasts in addition to correcting functional symptoms associated with large breasts.
The procedure can be performed in Dr. Nordberg 's private, fully-accredited Ambulatory Surgical Facility or in the hospital depending on particular circumstances. His experienced staff will prepare you with instructions before and after surgery. Initially your healing will involve swelling and discomfort which can be controlled with medications. A support bra will be applied to minimize swelling and support the breasts while they heal. A return to light activity is possible usually within a few days of surgery. Sutures can be removed within 10 days following surgery and you may be ready to return to work after this as long as you do not engage in heavy lifting or vigorous exercise.
The final results of your breast reduction appear over a few months while breast shape and position continue to settle.
The best way to learn about breast reduction and how it can help you fulfill your personal goals is to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Nordberg. Call or email us for an appointment so we can help you consider your options.
Note For Insurance-Driven Breast Reductions
If you are seeking breast reduction surgery through your insurance provider, please take note of the following items which they require for review and authorization.
- You must have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 35.
- BMI measures a person's weight in divided by the square of their height.
- A BMI calculator has been included on this page to help you determine your eligibility.
- You must provide physician records showing:
- Trial of therapeutic medication
- Long term wear of therapeutic bra with weight distributing shoulder straps
- Documented physical therapy sessions for back shoulders and neck
We do not accept Medicaid or Managed Medicaid for breast reductions.