Large, heavy, hanging breasts can contribute to neck and back pain

You can Find Comfort with Breast Reduction Surgery

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Breast Reduction

Patients who undergo breast reduction are some of the happiest patients in my practice. Generally, these patients have large, heavy, pendulous breasts in the D to DDD cup range (or larger), and suffer from a constellation of symptoms including mid and upper back pain, neck pain, furrows in the shoulders from bra straps and heat rash or yeast infections in the folds beneath the breasts. Clothing options for these patients are limited by the size of their breasts and they often have to special order brassieres. Breast reduction almost always alleviates these symptoms and makes patients feel better about the way they look.

The tradeoff for symptomatic relief and smaller breasts with better shape and position is the scar. The scar goes around the areola, down to the fold beneath the breasts and out in both directions (inverted “T”). It takes about a year for the scars to fade from red to white, and while they are usually flat, soft and inconspicuous, they never go completely away. The scars are all in the lower part of the breast, so they don’t show in clothes or a bathing suit. Most patients find the scars an acceptable tradeoff for better-looking breasts and relief of back, neck and shoulder pain. Over the years, less than 1% of my breast reduction patients have required scar revision.

The operation takes about 3 1/2 hours and I prefer to keep breast reduction patients in the hospital overnight. They return to the office in 48hrs at which time their drain tubes and dressings are removed and wound care is reviewed. Nipple sutures are removed at one week. The remaining sutures are all underneath the skin and dissolve on their own.

Most patients are up and around in a couple of days, can return to work in 7 – 10 days, and can resume exercise or other strenuous physical activity in 3 – 4 weeks.

At the initial consultation the procedure, recovery and risks will be reviewed in detail. The biggest surgical risk is a wound healing problem, which can range from a minor area of delayed healing at the “T” intersection beneath the breast, to a large open wound in the lower part of the breast, to complete loss of the nipple requiring a reconstructive procedure to make a new one. These problems are blood-supply related, and while the risk is only 1 -2% in healthy non-smokers, it is 5 – 10 times higher in patients who smoke or have other health issues that interfere with blood flow. If you are a smoker, this operation is not for you. We will determine if you are a reasonable candidate for breast reduction at your initial consultation.

Some insurance companies provide coverage for breast reduction provided that a large enough amount of breast tissue is removed. This amount is arbitrary and varies from company to company, but is usually around 500 grams per side. As a service to our community and patients, I am a provider for most insurance plans. This does not include Medicare or Medicaid so these patients should be aware that there would be some out-of-pocket expenses for the surgeon’s fee should you elect to pursue breast reduction at our office.

Breast reduction surgery can be a very positive, life changing experience. In the right patient, complications are few, symptomatic relief is consistent and breast shape and appearance is significantly improved. I invite you to review the before and after pictures in the photo gallery, then come in for a consultation to see if breast reduction is right for you.

I want to commend you and your staff for the excellent and attentive care I received from the initial exam and throughout my surgical recovery. Having Dr. Mickel perform breast reduction surgery has been life-altering. I no longer have back, neck or shoulder pain after years of going to doctors seeking relief. I’m now wearing tank tops and sundresses without being self conscious of having large, heavy breasts. Not only has my self-esteem soared, but I’ve resumed a daily exercise program and made other positive life style changes.

I have you, Dr. Mickel to thank for giving me a new lease on life!!!


Before and After Photos of Breast Reduction Surgery

Seeing is believing. Click the link above to view a selection of Breast Reduction Before and After Photos from patients who have allowed us to share their before and after photos on our web site. We hope you enjoy this opportunity to see the possibilities of Breast Reduction at Mickel Plastic Surgery in Monroe, LA.

If you are healthy, realistic about the limitations of breast reduction, and suffering discomfort or health problems as a result of oversized breasts, you are a good candidate for this procedure. At your initial consultation, Dr. Timothy J. Mickel will answer all of your questions regarding breast reduction surgery and discuss your goals with you.