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While breasts are often seen as a primary characteristic of physical attractiveness, women often seek a breast reduction when they want to decrease the size of the breast or eliminate physical pain. Large and sagging breasts often cause back and shoulder aches. Women also complain that is often difficult to find clothes that fit properly or that they are just unhappy with the size of the breasts. As a result, many women seek out a procedure known as “reduction mammaplasty,” or often called, a breast reduction.

A breast reduction is a commonly performed procedure that reshapes the breasts in order to make them smaller, lighter, and firmer. This is accomplished through the surgical removal of excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin. The reasons for getting a breast reduction are myriad. In addition to the aforementioned pain, reasons include:

  • Sagging breasts produced by their large size.

  • Dissatisfaction with the physical appearance of large breasts.

  • Disproportionate body frame attributed to oversized breasts.

  • Restriction of physical activity due to the size and weight of the breasts.

  • Painful bra strap marks and/or rashes as a result of large breasts.


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General Procedures

Breast reduction surgery can be performed in a variety of ways, the ultimate deciding factor based on the individual needs of the patient. The most common method of performing the procedure involves creating an incision that circles the areola and moves down, following the natural curve that forms underneath the breast. From there, the surgeon will remove excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin, until the desired amount has been eliminated from the breast. Once completed, the areola is moved to a higher position to account for the change in shape and size, where it is then held in place with stitches.

Recovery Process

Following the procedure, the patient will be bandaged and instructed to limit movement as much as possible so as to expedite the healing process and prevent the possibility of postoperative complications. The patient can shower a day after the procedure, and should take care when washing underneath and around the breasts.

Since breast reduction is a surgical procedure, some pain is to be expected.  As with any surgery, the chance of complications are possible, though they are rare. The chance of developing complications can be minimized by following proper postoperative care procedures.

Insurance Coverage

If you need a breast reduction for medical reasons such as back pain, neck pain, bra strap grooving or maceration many insurance companies will cover the costs.  Please be advised that most insurance companies use a formula to determine if they will cover the surgery.  This formula that is based on your weight, height, breast size and the amount of breast reduction needed.  Frequently the insurance company will insist on removing a minimum amount of breast tissue usually in the range of 400 to 500 grams (about 1 a pound).  Also, they are hesitant to approve breast reduction surgery if you still want to be a C cup size or larger after surgery.

If you feel that breast reduction surgery is right for you, call Smith Plastic Surgery at (702) 838-2455 to set up an initial consultation. Dr. Lane Smith is a board-certified plastic surgeon with years of experience performing this procedure, so you can rest assured knowing you’re in the best possible hands.