Breast reduction surgery is sometimes necessary for women with oversized breasts that have begun to droop. This is because heavy breasts often create various medical conditions including skeletal deformities, neck and back pain and severe headaches. Houston plastic surgeon, Dr. Leo Lapuerta, is a breast reduction specialist offering women in the greater Houston, Katy, and Pearland area the opportunity to have an increased quality of life with smaller, lighter breasts. During surgery, excess skin and tissue are removed. Some women may require a breast lift, and in many cases, the areola will be repositioned.
During breast reduction surgery, surgeon skill is important. In addition to minimizing scarring, there will be a focus on maintaining a healthy blood supply to the nipple areola complex. This is essential because once the nipple and areola are repositioned, blood vessels will work to reestablish blood flow in order to prevent discoloration of the nipple and loss of feeling. Excess breast tissue is generally removed through a liposuction method and loose skin will also be surgically removed.
An “anchor” incision is one of the most commonly used techniques during this surgery. An incision is made around the areola, which extends down to follow the natural curve and crease of the breast. It is also referred to as a vertical “T”. Once the breast is resized and reshaped, the nipple and areola will be repositioned and then the lift will be performed so the breast sits higher on the chest. The incisions will generally include absorbable stitches on the inside of the breast. There are variations to this incision pattern that can be used depending on breast size and aesthetic goals.
A breast reduction is performed under general anesthesia at an accredited surgical facility as an outpatient procedure. It typically takes about 2-4 hours to complete. During surgery, a training tube may be placed to control bleeding and swelling. For the first several weeks, patients will be directed to wear a surgical bra or compression garment. Most patients are able to return to work within 1-2 weeks, and may begin exercising by 4-6 weeks. The visible results of a breast reduction will be immediate. However, it may take 6 months or longer for nipple sensitivity to return.
Because larger breasts sometimes create physical problems for women, insurance may cover a portion of breast reduction surgery. Insurance coverage does vary, thus patients should confirm with their provider as to what will or will not be covered. After the initial consultation, our office will be able to submit an official surgery recommendation letter to the insurance company to assist in gaining coverage. Our billing and insurance coordinator will work with each patient on this. The average cost for a breast reduction procedure with a lift averages between $7,000-$8,500.