Breast Reduction

For many women the weight and size of large breasts can often be uncomfortable, cumbersome, and even painful. To relieve pain and create a more proportionate figure, St. Louis-area plastic surgeon Jeffrey Copeland, MD can perform breast reduction surgery. Whether breast reduction is medically necessary, desired for cosmetic reasons, or both, this procedure is often life-changing for many women. We invite you to learn more about breast reduction by exploring the informative sections provided below.

What Is Breast Reduction?

Breast reduction surgery (also called reduction mammoplasty) is a procedure designed to provide relief to women with overly large, heavy breasts. With advanced breast reduction surgery techniques, Dr. Copeland can lift, lighten, and reshape oversized breasts to alleviate discomfort and create a more proportionate breast size and shape. Breast reduction is, in fact, a procedure that Dr. Copeland does frequently.

Benefits of Breast Reduction

While it does offer improvement in appearance, breast reduction is in many cases a medically indicated procedure that can provide a number of health advantages. These potential benefits of breast reduction include:

  • Reduction in breast size
  • Reduction in breast weight
  • Improvement in the shape and positioning of the breasts
  • Relief from neck, shoulder, and back pain related to large breasts
  • Relief from skin irritation and infections caused by ill-fitting bras and overlapping skin
  • Elevation of nipple position
  • Ability to enjoy physical activities without discomfort
  • Improvement in the fit and appearance of a wider range of clothing styles
  • Improvement of personal confidence

Candidates for Breast Reduction

Candidates for breast reduction are sometimes suffering from some degree of physical impairment or health complication due to large breasts. In other cases, some women are simply bothered by the prominence or disproportionate size of their breasts and desire a smaller, more balanced bustline. If you are in any way dissatisfied with your overly large breasts, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Copeland to see if breast reduction surgery may be the right option for you. During your appointment, Dr. Copeland will perform a thorough physical examination and review your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate for breast reduction. Together you can freely discuss your concerns and goals to determine the best approach for achieving the results you desire. It is also important to know that patients must have a BMI of less than 35 to qualify for breast reduction surgery.

Dr. Copeland is an excellent surgeon. Both he and his staff conducted themselves as professionals and were always courteous and respectful. I had breast reduction surgery and the results are just amazing. I wholeheartedly recommend Dr. Copeland to anyone considering this type of surgery.

Will I Need a Breast Lift with My Reduction?

Most breast reduction surgical plans already result in a lift of the breasts, and therefore an additional breast lift procedure is not needed. During the procedure, excess skin and volume is removed to reshape and elevate the position of the breasts. As a result, the breasts can take on a perkier, more youthful appearance. At the initial consultation, Dr. Copeland will take time to thoroughly discuss your unique cosmetic goals and help ensure you are satisfied with the final outcome of your breast reduction.

Breast Reduction Procedure

Breast reduction surgery is always performed under general anesthesia. During the first portion of the procedure, Dr. Copeland will strategically remove excess weight and volume using the most appropriate breast reduction technique. The technique used will be determined by the tissue composition, size, shape, and weight of the breasts. Liposuction is frequently used to refine the shape and is considered part of the operation. After adequate excision of excess breast tissue, fat, and/or skin, the nipples are repositioned, and the breasts are reshaped. The nipples are not removed from the body during the procedure. Throughout the procedure, Dr. Copeland is careful to maintain symmetrical breast size and shape. Once surgery is complete, patients often stay overnight in the hospital.

Breast Reduction Recovery

Most patients do not experience significant discomfort with the breast reduction procedure since the chest muscles are not disturbed. Low-intensity activities can typically be performed a day or two after surgery, based on the individual. Heavy lifting or strenuous activities should be avoided for six weeks following surgery. The exact length of recovery after breast reduction surgery varies from patient to patient depending upon the extent of their procedure, the technique used, and the patient’s unique rate of healing.

Will Breast Reduction Scars Be Visible?

While the exact location of the scars from breast reduction surgery can vary from patient to patient, Dr. Copeland takes great care in planning the incision placement to minimize the prominence of any scarring. In many cases, a “lollipop” incision can be used to reduce visible marks from the incision. With this technique, an incision is discreetly made around the outer circumference of the areola and then extends downward toward the lower pole of the breast. When wearing a bra or swimsuit, this incision should be completely undetectable. In addition, Dr. Copeland will explain techniques that can further minimize the appearance of scarring once the healing process is complete.

Results of Breast Reduction

The majority of women who undergo breast reduction surgery are typically very pleased with the results they achieve with Dr. Copeland’s help. After years of struggling with the many challenges posed by large breasts, Dr. Copeland’s breast reduction patients often express that they have been able to reach a new level of physical and emotional freedom. Their more proportionate breasts are no longer a prohibitive burden when it comes to personal comfort, participation in physical activities, and choosing clothing. This improvement in quality of life makes breast reduction one of Dr. Copeland’s favorite procedures.

Is Breastfeeding Possible after Breast Reduction?

Women who were able to breastfeed prior to a breast reduction often retain the ability after surgery. That said, patients should clearly communicate their intentions regarding breastfeeding with Dr. Copeland, as this may influence the surgical techniques used. By ensuring that as much of the nipples, nerves, and milk ducts are left intact as possible, he can reduce the burden of overly large breasts while still giving you the highest likelihood of future breastfeeding success.

Is Breast Reduction Without Surgery Possible?

While there are a variety of exercise and diet methods that claim to be able to reduce breast size, the reality is that most of them are ineffective. This is because of the unique composition of the breasts, which contain both fat and glandular tissues. While fatty tissues may be somewhat responsive to weight loss, glandular tissues cannot be reduced without surgery. Furthermore, reducing only the fatty tissues within the breasts often leads to sagging, as the volume of the breasts is reduced but excess skin remains. Ultimately, surgery is the only reliable method of breast reduction, yielding superior aesthetic and functional outcomes while also giving patients greater control over their results.

What Risks Are Associated with Breast Reduction Surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, breast reduction does entail some degree of risk. Potential complications include: infection, unfavorable scarring, changes in nipple or breast sensation, impaired ability to breastfeed, and unsatisfactory results, among other things. During your consultation, Dr. Copeland will go over the possible risks associated with surgery in greater detail so that you can make an informed decision.

One of the ways in which you can reduce the risks associated with breast reduction surgery is by making sure your procedure is performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Board certification requires ongoing professional education and a demonstrated commitment to patient safety, comfort, and satisfaction. This ensures that your procedure is being performed by a highly qualified individual with the requisite training and skill to mitigate risks and maximize your surgical outcomes. It is also important to carefully follow all of your surgeon’s aftercare instructions in order to promote a smoother healing process. Dr. Copeland considers himself a partner in your healthcare, and he will do everything in his power to ensure that your needs are met throughout your breast reduction journey.

How Much Does Breast Reduction Cost?

The cost of breast reduction surgery varies depending upon the customized treatment plan designed by Dr. Copeland.

Factors that can impact the final price of the procedure include the volume of tissue excised, the incision technique used, and the overall complexity of the operation. Patients who are undergoing breast reduction for medical reasons may have a portion of the cost of the procedure covered by their health insurance provider. A diagnosis and referral from your primary physician may be needed prior to undergoing the procedure in these cases. All patients may also take advantage of our financing options, which can offer low monthly payments with low or no interest to qualifying candidates.

Contact Copeland Cosmetic Surgery

For more information about breast reduction surgery, please contact our office. A friendly member of our team can help schedule your breast reduction consultation with Dr. Copeland.