Considering Breast Reduction? Here’s What You Should Know

Woman lying on her side in bed smiling wearing lacy bra that enhances breasts

Of all plastic surgery patients, women who get breast reduction surgery may be the most thrilled with their results. It’s probably because for many—if not most—of them, the outcome significantly relieves pain related to having overly large breasts. As a board-certified plastic surgeon in The Woodlands, TX, I know that it’s truly gratifying to hear the relief in the voices of these patients.

This is one of the reasons that breast reduction surgery is increasingly popular. Statistics from The Aesthetic Society, one of the leading organizations of board-certified plastic surgeons in the U.S., show a 40% increase in breast reduction procedures between 2015 and 2019. Patients considering breast reduction surgery range from teenagers to women in their 40s and 50s.

Even though the age range is wide, the questions asked by patients during consultations and on websites such as RealSelf are quite similar. In this blog post, I’ll answer some of the most common questions.

Will insurance cover surgery?

This is, understandably, the most common question asked by women considering breast reduction. The answer is often yes, but it’s important that patients discuss their physical symptoms with a primary care physician and get any diagnosed ailments documented before scheduling surgery. If a procedure is deemed medically necessary, a patient’s health insurance typically will cover all or part of the costs.

How long does it take to recover?

Recovery times vary from patient to patient, and the answer to this question also depends on if you’re talking about returning to a desk job or participating in physically strenuous activities. In my experience, most breast reduction patients can return to non-physical work and stop using pain medication by 2 weeks. Recovery continues gradually after that, with unrestricted activity being okay by 6 weeks.

I want breast reduction, but I don’t want my breasts to be too small.

This is an issue I discuss thoroughly with patients during their consultations. Together, we’ll come up with a plan based on your desired goals with the understanding that the ultimate size of the breasts will depend on a patient’s overall size and the amount of existing breast tissue, among other factors. A decrease of 1 or 2 cup sizes is a pretty standard outcome.

Will I have scars on my breasts?

Any time a surgeon makes an incision, there will be a scar. That’s true of breast reduction surgery. But the good news is that there are products that help minimize the appearance of scars and that, for many patients, scars fade over time.

Do I need a breast lift, too?

Breast reduction surgery is a two-for-one procedure: a breast lift is part of the surgery. To get the best cosmetic results, surgeons not only remove breast tissue, but they also reshape and elevate the breasts so they look more youthful.

Am I too young for breast reduction?

Many teenagers seek breast reduction surgery for various reasons. They may experience physical discomfort, avoid competitive sports, or feel self-conscious because of the attention they attract. All 3 of these reasons may be true for some. Even though teens as young as 14 or 15 can get breast reduction surgery, I recommend waiting until the breasts are fully mature to avoid having to undergo a second operation in the near future. The exception is if a teenager’s symptoms are severe or incapacitating.

Breast reduction surgery at The Gill Center in The Woodlands can help improve a patient’s quality of life regardless of age. You can see the types of results that are possible by browsing my gallery of before-and-after photos featuring some of my actual patients. If you have additional questions or want to request a consultation, you can contact us using the online form or call us at (281) 853-5308 to schedule an appointment.

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* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.

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