Breast reduction surgery can be life-changing for women who suffer from unusually large breasts. Pendulous breasts can have an adverse impact on a woman’s health and quality of life, causing physical discomfort and an emotional burden. It may also be difficult to find clothing and bras that fit properly. The objective of breast reduction surgery is to reduce the size of your breasts and reshape them in a way where they are proportionate to your body and no longer cause physical discomfort. In some cases, breast reduction surgery may be covered by your insurance company. Patients throughout the Capital District areas of Albany, Schenectady, Troy and Saratoga trust New York Plastic Surgeon Dr. Lucie Capek to perform their breast reduction surgery. Many of our patients also travel from New York City, Vermont, Massachusetts and beyond to receive her skilled and compassionate care.
Am I a Good Candidate?
You may be an excellent candidate for breast reduction surgery if:
- Your breasts are too large compared to your body frame, and you find it difficult to find tops or dresses that fit.
- Your breasts cause neck, back, or shoulder pain, or skin irritation under your breasts.
- You are self-conscious about the overly large appearance of your breasts.
- You have poor posture caused by excessive breast weight.
- You experience difficulty breathing or notice shoulder grooving from your bra straps.
The best candidates for this procedure are women who have fully developed breasts, in a healthy state, and have realistic expectations of breast reduction surgery. The trade-offs of breast reduction surgery must be acceptable to you and include permanent scars on your breasts, the possibility of numbness in the nipple-areolar complexes and the possible inability to breastfeed. A consultation with Dr. Capek will help fully determine your candidacy.
Before Your Procedure
Before your surgery, you will meet with Dr. Capek so she can explain the best procedure options for you. Dr. Capek will also discuss how you can prepare for your procedure, what to expect, and review the alternatives, risks, and benefits of breast reductions. She wants you to be an informed participant in the planning process so she can ensure the best possible outcome for you.
If you have associated back/neck and shoulder pain, rashes under your breasts or shoulder grooves from your bra straps, you may qualify for insurance coverage. It is important to bring any supporting documentation with you to your consultation, such as a letter from your chiropractor, PCP or physical therapist. X-ray reports can also be helpful. This information will be submitted by our staff, along with Dr. Capek’s consultation report, to your insurance company for pre-approval.
As with any surgical procedure, you want to be in excellent health when considering breast reduction. Live a healthy lifestyle, including diet and exercise. We do not recommend this procedure if your BMI is higher than 32 because of the increased risk of complications, so pre-surgical weight loss may be necessary. It is important to follow Dr. Capek’s pre-operative guidelines to prepare for surgery and achieve the best results.
It is also imperative that you don’t smoke or be exposed to any nicotine-containing products for at least 6 weeks prior to and 6 weeks after your surgery. Smoking, and other forms of nicotine, decrease your body’s ability to heal normally and can lead to serious complications, including loss of skin or the nipple-areolae, poor wound healing, severe scarring and infection. Avoid taking aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs: Advil, Motrin, Aleve) and vitamins/homeopathic regimens. These can increase bleeding.
Breast reduction surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia at an outpatient surgery center. There are several techniques for breast reduction surgery, and Dr.Capek will recommend the best option to achieve your goals.
Generally, breast reduction surgery involves incisions on your breasts, which will vary depending on the size of your breasts, how much the breasts sag, and where your nipple- areolae are positioned. Most commonly, the anchor incision will be created, following the natural contours of your breasts. The anchor incision circles around the areola, vertically down towards the breast crease and along the crease under your breasts in an ‘anchor’ shape. Smaller reductions may be performed using a ‘lollipop’ incision only. Dr. Capek will discuss the location of the resulting scars with you before your surgery.
Dr. Capek will remove excess breast tissue and skin with the HARMONIC® scalpel, based on your desired breast size and shape. Then she will reshape your breasts to create a smaller and more lifted breast, relocating the nipple-areola complex (NAC) to a higher, perkier position. This is usually done without removing the NAC from the remaining breast tissue, which improved the likelihood of retaining feeling and possibly being able to breastfeed. In most cases, she will place drains for 24 hours. The incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures and skin glue so no wound care is required. Dr. Capek works diligently to provide outstanding results while making your recovery as comfortable and simple as possible.
Liposuction for Breast Reduction: In some cases, Dr. Capek may be able to utilize a liposuction technique like VASER LipoSelection to reduce breasts are fatty and need a minor to moderate reduction. This technique is virtually scar-less but does not address significant sagging since no skin is removed. The amount of lifting achieved will therefore be minimal.
After Your Procedure
You can expect immediate results with breast reduction surgery, providing a better-proportioned figure and usually decreasing any neck, back, or shoulder discomfort soon after surgery.
After Dr. Capek completes your breast reduction, you will be wrapped in a padded dressing for 24 hours followed by a surgical bra for optimal healing. You can expect some discomfort and tenderness for a few days after surgery, but patients usually find relief with either Tylenol or prescription pain medication. Drains will be removed the day after surgery and you can shower on the second day. You will be required to sleep on your back with your torso elevated, which helps relieve pressure on your breasts, and reduces swelling and pain. It is always important to follow Dr. Capek’s instructions on post-operative care to decrease the chance of complications. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to ensure you are healing properly and that you are satisfied with your results.
Unless you gain or lose a significant amount of weight, you can expect long-lasting breast reduction results. However, gravity and the effects of aging are unavoidable, which may cause your breasts to sag and loosen over time.
What are the risks?
Even under the care of Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Capek, every surgical procedure carries some risk. Fortunately, serious risks are rare, and the satisfaction rate for breast reduction surgery is very high. Some potential risks of surgery include reactions to anesthesia, infection, bleeding, permanent numbness of the skin or nipple- areola, poor quality scars and wound healing problems. You can help reduce these risks by following Dr. Capek’s instructions before and after your breast reduction.
Dr. Capek is always available to her patients for necessary follow-up appointments and long-term care to help you with any concerns that may arise after surgery. To learn more about breast reduction and to find out which procedure is right for you, schedule your consultation with Dr. Capek today.