Breast Reduction Phoenix
Breast reduction, commonly referred to as reduction mammoplasty, is ideal for women who experience chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain due to the weight of their large breasts. Other symptoms of macromastia may include: shoulder indentations (due to excessive breast weight on the bra-straps), headaches, inability to exercise, inability to maintain weight loss, and breathing problems. Some patients also complain of the inability to fit into clothes because they have to buy a larger top than the bottoms of their clothing. Often times, insurance companies will cover the procedure due to the associated problems with large breasts.
In most cases, breast reduction in Scottsdale at North Valley Plastic Surgery is covered by health insurance. The criteria for insurance coverage vary from carrier to carrier; but, the most common criteria are mentioned in the paragraph above. Additionally, most candidates for breast reduction surgery have tried support bras to manage the excessive breast weight, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen, Alleve, and Motrin to treat their pain, as well as exercise and/or physical therapy to manage their neck, shoulder and back pain. Documentation of rashes on the underside of one’s breasts, and their treatment, by one’s primary care physician is helpful in the pre-certification process.
Here, at North Valley Plastic Surgery, we accept most insurance plans and will fight to get our patients covered for their reduction mammoplasty surgery. Unfortunately, most plastic surgeons refuse to take insurance for this operation at this time.
What to Expect During the Procedure
Breast reductions are done as an outpatient procedure in most cases, where excessive breast tissue is removed in order to lift and reshape the breasts. There are many different types of reduction mammoplasty procedures. We perform most of our outpatient surgical procedures at North Valley Outpatient Surgery Center, an Arizona state licensed and Medicare accredited outpatient surgery facility.
The most common procedure is referred to as the Wise Pattern, inferior pedicle keyhole type of reduction mammoplasty. An anchor incision is done; it encircles the areola and goes down to the inframammary crease, underneath the breast. Once the tissue has been removed, the areola is pulled up to its new location, and is usually secured into position with dissolvable sutures, which do not need to be removed.
The areola is removed and replaced as a graft only in extremely large breast reduction cases. Nipple sensation, therefore, is usually preserved. Several nylon “key sutures” are placed in areas of tension to promote optimal healing. The nylon sutures will need to be removed at about two weeks postoperatively.
What to Expect During the Recovery Period
Post-operatively, one will wear a zip-up sports bra to protect and support the breasts over the next few weeks. The nylon sutures will be removed within three weeks.
Often times, a drain is sutured into the underarm area on both sides. The purpose of the drain is to collect excess fluid from the wound to lower the risk of infection. Drain logs will be provided to keep a record of the output of fluid. Drains will be removed when the output meets the doctor’s specifications.
Restrictions over the next six weeks may include but are not limited to: heavy lifting, pulling, or pushing. It will take several weeks for the swelling and bruising to dissipate. It is common to experience a loss of feeling around the areola, due to swelling.
The use of bath tubs, Jacuzzis, or anything that allows the body to submerge is not allowed, until clearance from the physician has been provided (usually three weeks after the surgery). Showering is allowed 24 hours after surgery. It is important to pat the operative areas dry and replace the dressings. If you have any questions, please call one of our licensed providers at North Valley Plastic Surgery.
It has been reported that 98% of breast reduction patients are “satisfied” at long term follow-up appointments. Interestingly enough, it has also been reported that breast reductions are the most common reconstructive procedure that results in medical malpractice lawsuits. The reason for this is that the rate of short term complications in the breast reduction patient population is substantially higher than in other reconstructive surgical procedures.
The most common complications are: thick and unsightly scars, poor healing that can result in open wounds and/or skin loss, partial and/or complete loss of the areolae and the nipples, and even (in very rare cases) complete breast loss. Sometimes, patients will have to do dressing changes on their breasts, and may have to undergo further surgery to treat infection and/or to close open wounds directly, or with skin grafts.
We all know that there are many social connotations attatched to a woman’s figure and, in particular, to her breasts. These complications can be very difficult for patients to deal with and can be emotionally devastating to the patient. Unfortunately, these complications can, and do occur, in otherwise well handled cases. Patients need to understand that the occurrence of these complications does not mean that malpractice has occurred. We expect our patients to work with us as a team so that we can treat and overcome any complications that may occur. By educating our patients about their reduction mammoplasty surgery before the date of surgery, we strive to maintain a positive working relationship afterwards.
Our patients must always keep in mind that 98% of patients are satisfied with their breast reduction outcomes long term. If you are not prepared to deal with any complications that may occur after breast reduction surgery, you should not have this operation.
For more information regarding Scottsdale breast reduction, Phoenix breast reduction, breast reductions or breast reduction surgery please contact North Valley Plastic Surgery Scottsdale Phoenix at (480) 991-6877.