Dr. Rodriguez performed a Breast Reduction using the single vertical scar technique along with tummy tuck and liposuction on this 39-year-old woman in Baltimore, Maryland.View Patient Details
What is a Breast Reduction?
Breast Reduction, or reduction mammaplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure that removes excess skin and fatty tissue, lifting the breasts and making them smaller. Because it's commonly used to relieve pain associated with having large breasts, it is considered reconstructive surgery and is often covered by medical insurance.
What concerns are addressed with a breast reduction?
Breast reduction surgery is used to alleviate symptoms caused by having large breasts. Symptoms often include:
- back pain
- neck pain
- shoulder pain
- breast pain
- emotional/self-image issues
Who benefits most from the breast reduction procedure?
My breasts are so large that I have back pain.
If your breasts sag, but you are happy with the size when wearing a bra, you are better off with a breast lift or mastopexy. If you feel like your breasts are too large or uneven, causing back or neck pain, or if you have a difficult time finding clothes that fit or discomfort when playing sports, then you are an ideal candidate for breast reduction.
How is a Breast Reduction performed?
I prefer to perform the procedure under IV anesthesia, instead of General Anesthesia, because it eliminates much of the nausea in the post operative period. During the procedure, excess skin and breast tissue is removed. The nipple is left attached to remaining breast tissue and moved to a new position to match the new, smaller breast size.
To close and lift the breast I commonly use the vertical technique. I do not use the 'inverted T' scar (or Weiss pattern) for skin closure because this technique makes the breast flatter, with less projection because of the horizontal scar. The horizontal scars underneath the breasts are not only unattractive, but they also have a tendency to broaden, or become thick.
Instead, I always use the vertical scar, or lollipop incision. I've been performing this vertical breast reduction technique since 1989, after visiting Dr. Claude Lassus in France, who invented the vertical scar technique procedure in 1977. He is well known French Plastic Surgeon located in Nice, France who performed thousands of vertical scar breast reductions during his career. In the 70's and 80's French women were known to frolic topless on southern French beaches such as Nice, France, and minimum scarring was crucial to them. With Dr. Lassus' technique, there is less scarring and also a more youthful, perkier shape over the long term.
What exactly is the vertical breast reduction technique?
This technique carefully provides for the minimum amount of scarring, with no horizontal scars at all. The vertical incision also gives a much better shape to the final breast reduction result. The reason the vertical technique works so well is because it works much like a wire rim bra. Learn more about why the single vertical scar technique is superior to the traditional Weiss breast reduction technique in this blog post about breast reduction scars.
What are the pre-operative requirements for a breast reduction?
In my surgery center, we require patients to get a medical clearance two weeks prior to surgery. An H&P (history and physical) and a CBC blood test are the minimum requirements for a healthy adult. You should stop smoking 2 weeks prior to surgery, as well as stop aspirin products 2 weeks prior surgery. On the evening before surgery, you may not eat or drink anything after midnight.
How long is post-op recovery for breast reduction surgery?
Patients should plan to take off one to two weeks of time from work. Exercise can usually resume after 4 weeks, but you will receive specific instructions following your surgery.
What are the risks and possible complications?
All surgery poses some level of risk and potential complications. Following a breast reduction, these include, but are not limited to, the following:
- fluid accumulation
- skin discolorations
- bruising and swelling
What is the cost of breast reduction surgery?
The approximate total cost for breast reduction surgery in our AAAASF accredited out patient surgery center is $7300. This total cost includes surgeon's fee, operating room fee, and anesthesia fee for a 4 hour procedure. In our facility anesthesia is administered by only board certified anesthesiologist M.D.s, and not CRNAs.
In most cases, insurance carriers will reimburse the majority of the cost of the procedure as long as a certain amount of breast tissue is removed. On average, insurance companies are looking for a removal of at least 500cc of breast tissue from each breast in order to be considered a covered procedure. Dr. Rodriguez does not participate with insurance, but he will submit the claim after the surgery, so that your insurance company can reimburse you directly.
Breast Reduction Before and After Photos*
See our patient gallery of Breast Reduction Before and After Photos, all performed here in Baltimore. Please note that every patient featured in our gallery has given written consent for us to use their photos on our web site. We are very grateful for their participation in patient education!
Finding out if breast reduction is right for you
We see many breast reduction patients who come to Baltimore for the vertical scar technique. We also have many requests for additional procedures to be performed int he same operative session. Many patients elect to have liposuction or a tummy tuck performed at the same time so that the lower body will complement their new, smaller breast size.
Give us a call at +1-410-494-8100 or Contact Us online to set up a consult. We're happy to schedule a time for you to visit our offices or participate in a virtual consultation, after which I'll be able to explain your options fully to help you decide if a breast reduction is right for you.
Updated October 22, 2015
Ricardo L Rodriguez M.D.
Board Certified Plastic Surgery
*Note: Patients depicted in photos and videos have provided written consent to display their photos online. Every patient is unique, and surgical results may vary. Please contact us if you have any questions.
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