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Breast reduction can relieve the physical and psychological burdens of excessive breast tissue. Men and women choosing breast reduction often suffer from back and neck pain, reduced mobility, and social stigmatization. A surgical breast reduction allows them to participate in active sports, relieves back pain, and creates a flattering profile.
Breast reduction formerly involved large incisions in the skin, surgical removal of the unwanted tissue (the actual breast reduction), repositioning of the nipple, and suturing of the wound, resulting in an "anchor scar." Newer breast reduction techniques, including liposuction, result in quicker recovery times and little or no scarring.
Candidates for breast reduction meet with the plastic surgeon to discuss options, risks, and desired outcomes prior to breast reduction surgery. Anesthesia is also discussed, and many patients will chose to remain conscious during their breast reduction procedure, while most others will elect for sedation rather than general anesthesia. Many side effects of breast reduction surgery are related to the use of general anesthesia, and most modern breast reduction procedures no longer require its use.
The recovery time for each patient following their breast reduction can vary based upon the amount of tissue removed and other factors. Many breast reduction patients are able to return to work within days of the operation, although a breast reduction often prevents individuals from resuming any heavy lifting or strenuous activity for a few weeks. Breast reduction results will emerge as the swelling goes down, over the first days and weeks following the breast reduction, with the final results appearing around a year after the surgery.
Some individuals may have their breast reduction covered by health insurance. Ask your insurance company and medical provider to see if your breast reduction qualifies for full or partial coverage.