Ronald J. Edelson, M.D.
Breast Reduction
Phone: +1 858-452-9900
9339 Genesee Ave, San Diego,
CA 92121, United States

Breast Reduction


Breast Reduction Surgery

Excessively large breasts, known as macromastia or benign mammary hypertrophy, not only can make a woman self-conscious about her appearance but also cause true physical problems. Chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain, poor posture and skin irritation can all result from breasts that are too large. Such symptoms are usually greatly alleviated by breast reduction surgery and for this reason, many health insurance companies include this as a covered benefit for which they will pay.

Dr. Edelson has extensive experience with Breast Reduction surgery, known as a reduction mammaplasty, including the different techniques that are used, creating breasts that are nicely shaped and properly proporti0ned for a woman’s build. Not only will the size of the breasts be reduced but they will be lifted improving both physical symptoms as well as a woman’s self esteem.

Understanding Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast Reduction surgery, known as a reduction mammaplasty is performed either in a hospital or in Dr. Edelson’s outpatient surgicenter. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and takes approximately 3 hours. The concept behind breast reduction surgery involves raising the nipple to its proper location and removing excess skin and breast tissue. The remainder of the breast is then reconstructed and re-shaped to form a smaller breast which is no longer sagging. Because excess skin needs to be removed, there are some scars involved with breast reduction surgery but all attempts are made to minimize them.

Most patients are amazed at how little pain is involved in Breast Reduction surgery. Most patients can return to work in one week and resume exercise in about three weeks.

Breast Reduction FAQs

Can other surgery be combined at the same time as breast reduction?

Yes, but it depends on the individual situation. Most commonly, either liposuction or a tummy tuck can be performed at the same time. The decision regarding how much surgery to perform at one operative setting is individualized with safety being the main deciding factor. I will usually limit the surgery to what can be safely accomplished in 6-7 hours, especially if the surgery is done on an outpatient basis.

How do I know what size my breasts will be after surgery?

Breast reduction surgery can be custom tailored to achieve the desired breast size and fullness. Look at the surgeon’s photos to communicate the size you wish to achieve. There are some limitations to this based on the size and shape of the breasts to begin with. Also, bear in mind that the breasts will go down in size during the several months after surgery as swelling subsides.

Can breast reduction correct asymmetry?

Asymmetry is quite common in macromastia often requiring removal of more tissue from one side than the other. This is assessed pre-operatively and planned out in a way to achieve the best symmetry possible.

What is the youngest age at which a breast reduction may be done?

This decision must be made on an individual basis. Generally it is best to make sure there is no further breast growth for 6 months prior to performing breast reduction and this usually occurs by age 18. I have performed this surgery on younger patients (as young as 16) in extreme cases of breast enlargement especially if associated with severe physical symptoms or emotional issues such as peer ridicule. If done before age 18, however, parental consent is required since the girl is a minor at that age.

Do you ever use a breast implant at the same time as a reduction?

Not usually. It doesn’t make sense to remove volume in the form of breast tissue only replace the volume in the form of an implant. Some plastic surgeons may use an implant to obtain superior fullness of the breast, but most do not.

Can breast reduction be accomplished by liposuction?

Yes, although it works better in younger patients who have better skin elasticity and whose breasts are not excessively saggy.

The advantage of breast reduction by liposuction are many. The scars of a standard breast reduction are avoided. Sensation and circulation of the nipple are preserved as is the ability to breast feed. The surgery takes less time and recovery is a matter of a few days.

The main disadvantage is that there will not be as much lift achieved as in a standard breast reduction. You really need to be examined by a Plastic Surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure.

Will I be able to breast feed after a breast reduction?

This depends on many factors, including how much breast tissue is removed. Inability to breast feed is one of the risks of breast reduction surgery that needs to be considered and which your surgeon should address if you are planning to have children in the future.

How do I know if insurance will cover the cost of breast reduction?

For insurance coverage, most insurance companies require pre-authorization. The surgeon will write a letter and send photographs to your insurance company describing your symptoms. Most insurance companies will require a certain minimum weight of breast tissue to be removed from the breast at the time of surgery. This is usually 400 to 500 grams or about one pound from each breast. You may also contact your insurance company yourself to determine if this surgery is covered.

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