{Aired 3/8/14}

Large breasts affect nearly 1 million women each year, in fact the women who decide to have the breast reduction increases year over year. This show has the intention of educating women about their choices with breast reduction surgery since many women may suffer for years with back pain before making the connection to their over sized breasts.

Symptoms of Needing a Breast Reduction

  • Chronic back pain
  • Migraines
  • Neck pain
  • Numbness in fingers
  • Shortness of breath
  • DD or bigger cup size
  • Indentions in your shoulders from bra straps

Doctors all agree that the only sure fire way to resolve problem is with surgery. Losing weight can help reduce the size of breasts but it would take a tremendous weight loss to reduce breast tissue, also weight loss will not help reduce excess skin or pendulous breasts, a breast lift from traditional breast reductions would be the only solution. This procedure has a high satisfaction rate with patients feeling immediate relief from breast reduction post surgery.

Oversize Breasts and how they Affect Your Life

  • Cause shoulders to roll inward and after time cause poor posture and eventually develop pain
  • Inability to do exercises or daily activities with ease
  • Rely on pain relief medicine to reduce chronic pain
  • Not able to find clothes that properly fit
  • Must sleep with a bra at night for support

 Misconceptions of Breast Reduction Surgery

  • The circumference of the body will not change
  • Only cup size will decrease (ex. 40EE will change to 40C not a 37C)

Does Insurance Cover the Procedure?

The approval process today is based on how much tissue the insurance industry requires -this is not set in stone but doctors have to be willing to remove the amount they think is best instead of  leaving that totally to a scale set by the insurance industry. The best way to find out if your insurance covers the procedure is to do an online search for your insurance criteria. Simply type your insurance carriers name with the phrase “breast reduction criteria” and you will find the parameters of your insurance coverage. Next ask your plastic surgeon how many grams of breast tissue will need to be removed to be covered by insurance and how will that effect your cup size. However if you have medical documentation from a chiropractor of physical therapist that your chronic back pain is due to over sized breasts be sure to bring copies of these letters to your initial consultation with a plastic surgeon; this could help prove that your case is medically indicated.

Traditional Breast Reduction vs. Scarless Breast Reduction

A traditional breast reduction removes excess breast fat, skin and tissue to form a breast size that is more proportional to your body frame. This procedure may include a nipple graft to re-position the nipple as well as lift the breast so there is no sagging thus giving a more youthful appearance. A traditional breast reduction typically has 3 incisions leaving small scars where the incisions are made. Depending on how your skin heals the scar may expand or fade away.

A scarless breast reduction uses the technique of liposuction to remove extra fat from the breasts, reducing large breasts or fixing the problem of uneven breasts. The “Scarless” Breast Reduction surgery is performed with thin cannulas (“surgical straws”), which suck the fat from the breast through small, ¼ inch, incisions hidden on the breast. The traditional large cuts and scars are not needed for this type of breast liposuction surgery. The procedure is best for those patients that are not bothered by breast sagging and complain mostly of problems of breast and weight.

Although the scarless breast reduction sounds ideal most feedback from this procedure is usually not as well perceived as the traditional breast reduction due to the lift that occurs in this procedure.

 The Need for Revisions

After a traditional breast reduction, some people may need a revision to the surgery to repair scars or because the free  nipple graft do not take. A consultation with the surgeon will be needed to determine if additional surgeries will be needed but often, yes, both scar and nipple revisions may be necessary after a breast reduction.  Again it will depend on how your body heals and individual results will vary.

Click here for a list of questions to ask your surgeon about breast reduction.