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Breast reduction surgery, or reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure designed to reduce the size of the breasts and create an improved breast shape and form. Large breasts can cause pain in the breasts, back, shoulders, and neck. Some patients may experience problems with posture, shoulder grooves from bra straps, or skin discomfort.

How is Breast Reduction Performed?

Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast tissue and excess skin, reshaping the breasts to be in better proportion to the rest of your body. During the process, the nipple (which is droopy on a large breast) is elevated to a new, more aesthetically-pleasing position on the breast mound. Some liposuction of the chest may be performed at the same time to improve the resulting shape of the new breast.

Although you can expect relief from your symptoms with a breast reduction, many insurance plans will only cover the procedure if you are not overweight (BMI <= 26) and will have more than 2 pounds of tissue removed. Some carriers have even more stringent requirements. We have plenty of happy patients turned down by their insurance who had the procedure on their own with CARE and benefited just as much. Dr. Coan, located in Cary, NC is an expert in breast reduction. Give us a call today to learn more about your surgery with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can breast grow back after reduction?

If the breast is considered to be fatty in nature, there is the possibility that weight gain could lead to an increase in breast size, even after a reduction

Can you drink alcohol after breast reduction?

We do not recommend drinking alcohol in the immediate period after any surgery, including a breast reduction.

Do you lose feeling in your nipples after breast reduction?

Contrary to common misconceptions, Dr. Coan does not remove the nipple during a breast reduction procedure. Instead, the nipple is maneuvered into the correct position to provide a youthful breast shape. In doing this, the nerve and blood supply are kept intact. While it is possible that some nerves may be affected during surgery and cause possible diminished nipple sensation, there are several nerves responsible for providing sensation to the nipple and breast. Both nipple hypersensitivity and hyposensitivity are possible outcomes of surgery.

Do you lose weight after breast reduction?

Depending on the size of your breasts, you may lose weight from your breast reduction procedure. However, the amount is typically minimal and consists of only a few pounds.

Does breast size affect weight?

While breast size can affect an individual's weight to a degree, it is better said that weight can affect breast size. Breasts can be considered dense, comprised mainly of breast tissue, or they can be considered fatty. This is best determined by your board-certified plastic surgeon. With fatty breasts, weight fluctuations carry a greater impact on breast size. Dense breasts comprised mainly of breast tissue do not change much with weight fluctuations.

Does insurance pay for breast reduction?

Many patients consider having breast reduction surgery under insurance. This is a possible scenario if a patient meets the indicated criteria. At CARE Plastic Surgery, we are out-of-network with all insurance companies.

Does weight gain increase breast size?

Weight fluctuations can result in changes in a patient's breast size. We encourage our patients to be within 10 pounds of their ideal weight prior to surgery so as to provide the most accurate assessment of their size and proportions.

How dangerous is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is a relatively safe procedure if the appropriate protocol is taken. We always recommend choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for your cosmetic procedure to ensure all safety measures are taken accordingly.

How do you know when you need a breast reduction?

Signs of needing a breast reduction can include dissatisfaction with large breast size, neck/back/shoulder pain, and a feeling of heaviness and/or droopiness of the breasts. Ultimately, this is a patient-driven decision based on their desired aesthetic goals.

How is the recovery from breast reduction?

After a breast reduction, we recommend against any activity that will increase heart rate and/or blood pressure for 6 weeks after surgery, including exercise.

How long do stitches stay in after breast reduction?

The sutures used in breast reduction are completely absorbable and begin to dissolve about three months after surgery.

How long does it take for swelling to go down after breast reduction?

This can be patient-dependent, as every patient is different. Most commonly, peak swelling occurs around 3-5 days after surgery. Over the subsequent weeks, swelling will gradually decrease. At around 6 weeks after surgery, the majority of the swelling has resolved, and the overall breast volume will not change significantly. Final results are assessed three months after surgery.

When can I sleep without a bra after breast reduction?

We advise our patients to wear their compression bra for six weeks following surgery. After this time frame, patients may sleep without a bra. However, we do encourage patients to wear adequate support on a day-to-day basis.

What are the different surgical techniques used for breast reduction, and how do they vary?

Dr. Coan utilizes two different surgical techniques with breast reduction procedures: vertical short scar and wise pattern. These techniques differ in the location and length of the incision used. Different techniques are utilized depending on the patients breast size, breast shape, breast tissue, and aesthetic goals.

Can breast reduction surgery address both aesthetic and functional concerns, such as back pain and discomfort?

Yes, a breast reduction can address both aesthetic and functional concerns by resulting in more symmetrical and proportional breasts. Secondarily, reducing breast size can relieve some back pain and discomfort. Patients may find exercise and other general daily activities are easier after breast reduction surgery.

Are there any potential complications or risks associated with breast reduction surgery that I should be aware of?

With any surgery, there are risks and benefits to consider. Our double board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Coan, does everything possible to minimize risks before, during, and after surgery. Specifically, he abides by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons guidelines to ensure optimal safety standards. Common and uncommon complications can include swelling, bruising, bleeding, and sensation changes. Dr. Coan will discuss all considerations and questions at your consultation.

What is the typical timeline for returning to physical activities and exercise after a breast reduction procedure?

After breast reduction surgery, we instruct patients to avoid exercise and other activities that could increase heart rate or blood pressure for 6 weeks after surgery. This includes no pushing, pulling, or lifting objects over 20 lbs. Patients should avoid baths or swimming until all incisions are healed. Additionally, we encourage patients to sleep in a reclined position for approximately 2 weeks to help reduce early postoperative swelling. We instruct patients to wear a compression garment for 6 weeks after surgery to minimize swelling, bruising and risk of complications. At 6 weeks after surgery, patients can resume all normal activity and exercise with no restrictions.

How can I determine the right breast size for my body and personal preferences before undergoing a reduction surgery?

Patients may find it helpful to review before and after photos of patients with similar starting points and body types. Ultimately, you are not alone in the process, and a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Coan will provide guidance and support with achieving your aesthetic goals.

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Real Testimonials

I adore Dr. Coan & his whole staff. They are kind, warm, fun, & helpful. I trust Dr. Coan wholeheartedly. He is always honest with me, and would never sell or recommend a procedure that is not right for me. I love my office visits and look forward to going! Dr. Coan is my forever.

- Verified Care Plastic Surgery Patient

Everyone here at Care plastic surgery are completely amazing people. They all made me feel very comfortable and safe in their hands. Dr. Coan is an amazing surgeon and does his absolute best to make sure you leave here looking and feeling amazing. -Mary John

- Verified Care Plastic Surgery Patient

I knew what to expect, was treated intelligently, the office staff couldn’t be more cordial or professional.

- Verified Care Plastic Surgery Patient

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