Are you suffering from back pain, low self-confidence or limited wardrobe choices? Are you too bothered about your increased breast size? If yes, then you may probably consider breast reduction surgery.
You will have a lot of questions in your mind about whether or not to go through with the surgery. Instead of just worrying yourself perhaps a visit to an experienced plastic surgeon could assist you clear all your concerns about it.
Hence, if you wish to know whether breast reduction surgery could solve your problems or if it is safe for you, then book a consultation with the surgeon today. It is important to know what would be the questions to ask which would help you get satisfactory answers to let you make an informed decision. Here are a few essential questions that you must ask your breast reduction surgeon.
1. What Is the Expertise of the Surgeon in Breast Reduction Surgery?
It is vital to understand that the success of surgery, no matter how minor it is, is dependent on the skills of the surgeon. Therefore, make sure that you have picked the right plastic surgeon for your surgery.
Many plastic surgeons have expertise in specific surgeries; so ensure to pick one who has performed many breast reduction surgeries. Here are a few more questions you can ask regarding the surgeon’s experience in breast reduction surgeries.
Are you a medical board certified plastic surgeon?
● How long have you been performing breast reduction surgeries?
● How many breast reduction surgeries have you performed to date?
● How often do you perform breast reduction surgeries?
● What is your success rate?
● What is your specialty among all cosmetic surgeries?
Furthermore, you can ask the surgeon to show you the photographs of his previous patients too to see the kind of work he does. All of these details will give you better insights into the surgeon’s expertise, which you can also cross check online to find out his authenticity.
2. Am I a Good Candidate for Breast Reduction?
Not everyone who wishes to go for breast reduction is eligible for it. The surgeon will evaluate certain medical and physical conditions to check if you are a good candidate for the breast reduction. The surgeon will examine your breasts physically and ask about your medical history before deciding your eligibility. It is best to ask this question at the earlier stage of your consultation before proceeding with the next questions.
3. Can I Pick the Size of My Breasts to Which I Want Its Reduction?
Unfortunately, breast reduction surgeries do not work that way. You may put forth your request to reduce your breasts to a specific size, but the surgeon would determine if that is possible. Depending on your body size and height, the surgeon will give you an approximate size of your breasts after the surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon will remove the fat and the tissues from inside the breasts to achieve the size but it cannot be precisely the same size as discussed. There can be minor variations in the size and it is important to keep an open mind about such possibilities.
4. What Kind of Breast Reduction Surgery Will Be Performed?
The surgeon may suggest one of the various types of breast reduction surgeries depending on your breasts and the physical condition. He will usually discuss the method of surgery that is best for you before fixing the date. This is perhaps the right time to ask questions about how the surgeon will perform the procedure and what will be the associated complications. There are different types of incisions or cuts that are decided based on the amount of reduction that needs to be done. You can discuss those.
5. Will This Surgery Leave Scars?
Breast reduction surgeries leave scars but most of the time these will fade away after a few months. The position of the scar depends largely on the kind of procedure performed, and the surgeon will try as much as they can to minimize the size of the scars. Skin suturing techniques at the level of training for Plastic surgeons is already so refined that in itself this is nearly the same for Board certified plastic surgeons. Visibility of the scars differs based on your skin tone, tissue healing characteristics, and the type of incisions chosen for your procedure which you already asked your surgeon. Length of incisions is not based on expertise of the surgeon but depends more upon how much reduction is required. When he would show you the results of his earlier patients you may be able to see how scars are different in different settings. So do ask to look at the photographs of the previous patients of the surgeon.
6. Will My Nipples Be the Same Size as Before?
Most women going for breast reduction surgeries prefer to have the size of the nipples and the areola (the pigmented skin surrounding the nipples) to be reduced. As the breast enlarges the nipple and areola undergo two significant changes. One, they enlarge and two they move down. The surgeon plans the procedure in a way to reduce it and relocate it into a more upright and youthful location.
7. How Long Does It Take to Recover from This Surgery?
Again, this varies on the type of procedure performed and your physical conditions. Also there are different aspects of healing. While stitches are removed 7-14 days from operation, you are allowed to move and sit and walk, read or write within a few days. Yet you are advised not to strain in any way for at least 2-4 weeks. During the first few weeks you are also advised to sleep on your back only. Accidentally damaging your breasts soon after the surgery can cause severe issues and that is the main reason why the surgeons recommend avoiding straining, exercising, or any high impact work for a two to four weeks. But most surgeons will let you do office work, desk job or supervision duties after one or two weeks, and encourage gradually increasing activities thereafter.
8. Can I Wear My Normal Bra After the Surgery?
You can wear specific surgical bras after the breast reduction procedure. This bra will protect your breasts against any damages and will hold the breast in place for it to heal fast. On the recommendation of the surgeon, you should wear this special bra for a few weeks to months after which you can go back to your normal bra.
9. What Are the Risk Factors?
Ask your surgeon about the risks and how likely they are. He will educate you about those and also about the precautions that he would take during and after the surgery. He would also guide you about the steps and precautions that you need to take to ensure smooth recovery. As with any other surgery, there are chances of infections, excessive bleeding and blood clots. Most resolve with medication and some extra care which your surgeon will guide you through. You need to be aware that the breast reduction surgery may cause visible scarring and inspite of best surgical efforts and skill very slight differences between the two sides may develop. Loss of sensation in the nipples may be there in most but it improves in most over time.
10. Can I Breastfeed After This Surgery?
The scientists have diverged opinions in this case. But most of the literature on clinical evidence regarding the preferred techniques used today suggests that you may be able to breastfeed your child as any normal mother would. If you are pregnant or have undergone delivery recently, then it is better not to opt for breast reduction surgery immediately. Moreover, if you have plans to get pregnant after the breast reduction surgery, it is best to get the opinion of the surgeon first.
11. Can I Be 100% Assured That My Back and Neck Problems Will Be Solved After This Surgery?
While there is no 100% guarantee that a breast reduction surgery will eliminate any back and neck aches you have, you can see a significant improvement to your pain after the surgery. In a research published from the University of Utah, breast reduction surgery can improve the lower back pain by 76%. Many patients can feel complete relief from back and neck pains. If they are still facing pain, they can go for further treatment from an orthopedist.
12. Will My Medical Insurance Cover Breast Reduction Surgery?
If you are opting for breast reduction due to medical reasons like severe back pain, emotional issues or physical discomfort, then your insurance may cover your surgery. If your intention of the surgery is purely for cosmetic reasons, then your insurance provider wouldn’t accept it as a plausible reason for the coverage.
The coverage terms of the insurance vary and it is best to check with your insurance provider first with a letter from the surgeon detailing the need for the procedure.
13. Are There Any Chances of My Breasts Growing Back?
Weight gain and pregnancy are the main factors that could increase your breast sizes again. Surgeons usually advise to decide for breast reduction surgery only after you consider your family complete and do not plan to get pregnant again, this ensures long-lasting effects. However, if you opt to perform the surgery before pregnancy, you can always go for a second breast reduction procedure after childbirth.
14. Is This a One-Time Procedure?
You shouldn’t fail to ask your surgeon this critical question. Sometimes, after the surgery, there may be a need for slight touch-up in the position of the nipples or scar revision procedures. Though this is not a common occurrence, you should talk to your surgeon about how many of his earlier patients needed this revision procedure. Sometimes, this revision procedure may again require rest for a weak or two.
To sum up, it is important to know all the pros and cons of breast reduction surgery before you go for the treatment. Consultation with your surgeon will help you clear all the confusions in this regard. If you are shying around to ask those essential questions just because of the nature of surgery, you may be at loss. Hence, don’t hesitate and clear all your doubts.
The information is being provided by plasticsurgery.in and have no intention to replace the medical advice of your doctor. Please consult your doctor directly for advice about a specific medical condition. This document was last reviewed by Dr. Sumit Malhotra, Plastic Surgeon on: 12-JUN-2020