Breast reduction or reduction mammaplasty is a surgical procedure that removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts making them smaller, lighter and firmer. It can also reduce the size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple. There are a variety of surgical techniques for breast reduction. Incision patterns will depend on the amount of the amount that the nipple areola complex will need to be elevated, the amount of tissue resection expected, and the amount of excess skin. A lift to the breasts is always done at the time of a breast reduction as well. Depending on your anatomy and the amount of reduction planned you may only need an incision around the areola, around the areola and down the front (like a lollipop), or around the areola, down the front, and under the breast (anchor pattern). A free nipple graft may be needed if it looks like the blood supply to the nipple areola complex is compromised during the surgery. The technique, along with surgical approach will depend on your preferences, your anatomy, and your surgeon’s recommendation. Again, Dr. Lovelace will perform a personal consultation with you to determine what the right procedure is for you at our Fort Worth office which is conveniently located to Southlake, Keller, Argyle and Mansfield just off of Heritage Trace Parkway.
What are other names for this procedure?
How much does it cost?
Typically, this procedure is covered by insurance. You may be responsible for your deductable, co-pays, or out of pocket expenses. If you do not have insurance, a price quote detailing the fees for the facility, anesthesia, any postoperative garments, and surgeon will be given at the consultation. Prices will vary depending on the time that is needed to do the procedure, and the complexity of the procedure. Dr. Lovelace will perform a personal consultation to determine what the right procedure is for you.
What is the hospital/surgery center time?
Surgery will be approximately 2-5 hours as determined on a case by case basis. Typically this is done as an outpatient procedure, but an overnight stay in the hospital may be needed depending on your individual needs.
What is the recovery?
Sutures that are placed are usually dissolvable and will not need to be removed. A drain is usually needed. These drains help prevent hematomas and seromas. If a drain is left in place, it is usually removed 1-2 weeks after surgery. If free nipple grafts are needed, you may need to do special dressing changes to them for a couple of weeks after your surgery. You will be placed in a compression garment after your surgery, and told to wear this at all times for 4 weeks, and then only at night for 4 more weeks. You will be expected to start walking immediately after surgery to help reduce the risk of blood clots. On average patients return to light duty work 1 week after surgery. You will be able to return to non-strenuous activity approximately 1-2 weeks after surgery. Approximately 8 weeks after surgery, strenuous activity will be allowed without restrictions. Scars will flatten and fade between 3 months and 2 years after surgery. No swimming pools, bath tubs, or hot tubs until the incisions are healed, and no scabs remain. You will be allowed to shower 48 hours after your procedure and wash over your incisions with soap and water. Final bra size can be determined within 8-12 weeks. No cup size is ever guaranteed, but Dr. Lovelace will try to give you close to the size you request and keep them proportional with the rest of your body.
What medications should I take or avoid with my surgery?
You should not take any blood thinners or anti-inflammatory medications for a week before your procedure, and you should hold all over the counter supplements a week before surgery. This will help reduce the risk of bleeding intraoperatively, and help reduce the risk of postoperative hematoma (collection of blood). If blood thinners are prescribed for you by your cardiologist or primary care physician, you should get clearance from them to hold these medications before they are discontinued. You should hold all hormones 6 weeks before surgery. Birth control pills should be held 6 weeks before surgery as well. Of course you should make sure to use alternative forms of birth control during and after this time. Hormones and birth control pills put you at a higher risk of blood clots. These clots can go to your lungs and cause serious illness or even death. We call this a pulmonary embolus. Steroids should be weaned off at least a month before your surgery, and this weaning process should be set up and cleared by your prescribing physician. Dr. Lovelace and the staff will go through your list of medication, and let you know what exactly you need to do with those medications preoperatively. Make sure that you bring all of your medications with you to your consultation. You will usually be given your prescriptions for your postoperative medication on your preoperative visit so that they can be filled and at your house when you get home from surgery.
Will I need clearances from any other physicians?
Depending on your age and medical issues, Dr. Lovelace and her staff will set you up with your primary care physician, cardiologist, etc. for clearance prior to your surgery. At that time any necessary labs, EKGs, or chest x-rays will be done. If you have not had a mammogram within the last year, Dr. Lovelace will request that you get one preoperatively.
What are the risks?
The risks of breast reduction include bleeding, infection, scarring, hematoma, seroma, possible need for free nipple graft, need for drains, dog ears, dehiscence, contour irregularities, asymmetry, poor cosmesis, need for further intervention, numbness/hypersensation, intra-thoracic injury, recurrence of breast ptosis over time, stretch marks, weight gain/loss/pregnancy can change result, nipple/skin necrosis, fat necrosis, difficulty breast feeding, cardiac/pulmonary/stroke/DVT/PE events, death, etc.
Of course if you have any questions about scheduling an appointment with Dr. Lovelace, please contact our Fort Worth office which is conveniently located to Southlake, Keller, Argyle and Mansfield just off Heritage Trace Parkway.