Breast Reduction in Houston, TX
A reduction mammoplasty, which is also known as breast reduction surgery is a plastic surgery procedure that addresses extremely large, droopy breasts and overstretched nipple-areolar complexes (NACs). During a reduction mammoplasty at Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, the surgeon removes excess fat, skin and glandular tissue from the breasts, and moves the breast mounds to a location higher on the patient’s chest. The surgeon also modifies the NACs, so they are in proportion with the patient’s new, smaller-sized breasts.
Who Chooses to Have a Breast Reduction in Houston, TX?
A woman with overly large breasts that cause her physical discomfort and a woman who has breasts that are not proportionate with her other body characteristics may choose to have a reduction mammoplasty.
What Are the Benefits of Having a Breast Reduction in Houston?
A reduction mammoplasty resolves a variety of problems that women with extremely large breasts frequently experience.
These issues include:
Chronic skin irritation or rashes
Chronic skin irritation or rashes — rashes frequently develop beneath the breasts. These rashes occur due to the moisture that accumulates between the breast skin and the skin of the upper abdominal area upon which the patient’s breasts rest.
Chronic pain requiring medication
Chronic pain requiring medication — neck, back, nerve and shoulder pain are some of the most common complaints expressed by women with extremely large breasts.
The inability to participate in certain activities
The inability to participate in certain activities — overly large breasts can make participating in physically demanding activities difficult. For example, a woman who enjoys jogging frequently may stop participating in this activity because she feels uncomfortable about the way her breasts bounce up and down. Furthermore, this bouncing motion can be painful.
Having difficulty finding proper-fitting clothes
Having difficulty finding proper-fitting clothes — a woman who is unable to find clothing that fits her properly may become less social.
Feels self-conscious about her breast size
Feels self-conscious about her breast size — this, too, could cause a woman to avoid social gatherings.
Can a Teenager Have a Reduction Mammoplasty in Houston?
Possibly, however, a female who undergoes a reduction mammoplasty before her breasts have fully developed will probably need another reduction mammoplasty later in life.
Cosmetic Benefits of a Reduction Mammoplasty
A breast reduction in Houston offers women a variety of significant benefits. The removal of excess glandular tissue, fat and skin allows the plastic surgeon to reduce the patient’s breast size, making her breasts more proportionate with the rest of her body. In addition, the surgeon moves the breast mounds higher on the patient’s breasts, reduces the size of her nipple-areolar complexes and attaches them to the newly created breast mounds.
Physical symptoms caused by overly large breasts:
- Tension and pressure on the shoulders causing an indention where the patient’s bra straps sit.
- Neck pain.
- Upper back pain.
- Shoulder pain.
- Tingling and numbness in the upper extremities.
- Poor posture. Since overly large breasts typically sit lower on the chest, poor posture is common among women with extremely large breasts. Nonetheless, following a breast reduction, the patient’s posture tends to improve.
Reasons a Woman Should Postpone a Breast Reduction in Houston
A woman who is interested in becoming pregnant at some point in the future should wait until she completes her family to have a reduction mammoplasty because afterwards the patient may be unable to breastfeed. Furthermore, pregnancy may alter the results of a breast reduction.
Since weight loss affects breast size, a woman who is interested in changing her diet and exercising to lose weight should wait until she reaches her target weight to have a reduction mammoplasty in Houston.
Is There Anyone Who Should Not Have a Breast Reduction?
Yes, women who have certain medical conditions (e.g., heart problems, diabetes, etc.), are extremely overweight and those who would prefer not to have visible scarring on their breasts are not good candidates for a reduction mammoplasty.
A Consultation for a Houston Breast Reduction
During the initial consultation, Dr. Patel asks the patient about her medical history (e.g., surgeries and treatments). The surgeon also wants to know whether she has medication or latex allergies.
In addition, the patient needs to inform the doctor of any breast procedures she has had (e.g., the removal of a lump).
Bring Results of Breast Procedures and Tests to the Initial Consultation for a Breast Reduction
On the day of the initial consultation, patients should bring the results of any breast procedures (e.g., a lumpectomy) and tests (e.g., a mammogram) they have had done with them. In addition, since breast cancer can be genetic, Dr. Patel wants to know if the patient has a family history of this disease.
Patients with chronic conditions (e.g., asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.) need to inform the surgeon about these health issues.
If the patient takes medications, herbal supplements or vitamins on a regular basis, she should make a list of these to provide the surgeon on the day of her initial consultation.
The plastic surgeon measures and examines the patient’s breasts. The doctor discusses reduction mammoplasty specifics including anesthesia options as well as the benefits and the risks associated with having a reduction mammoplasty.
If the patient decides to have a breast reduction procedure at Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston, the surgeon takes photographs of her breasts. The doctor takes these photos from different angles and places them in her medical record, which means they remain confidential. Therefore, unless the patient gives her permission, Lift Plastic Surgery will never use the patient’s photos for promotional purposes. The patient’s surgeon uses the photos and the patient’s breast measurements while creating her personalized surgical treatment plan.
Preparing for a Breast Reduction in Houston
Since patients who receive general anesthesia must refrain from driving for at least 24 hours after surgery, the patient needs to ask someone she trusts to bring her to and then take her home following her reduction mammoplasty. In addition, Dr. Patel would like someone to stay with the patient to care for her during the initial 48 hours of her procedure.
Before the breast reduction procedure, the surgeon may ask the patient to:
- have a baseline mammogram and breast exam.
- complete certain lab tests.
- avoid taking medications, herbal supplements and vitamins that thin the blood (e.g., aspirin, NSAIDs, vitamin E and Kava-Kava, etc.) for at least 10 days before surgery. Following this recommendation is crucial because thin blood increases bleeding during surgery. Patients who need to take medication for pain during the 10 days before surgery can take non-aspirin.
- stop using products that contain nicotine for at least four weeks before and four weeks after her reduction mammoplasty.
- reduce her exposure to second-hand smoke.
- stop drinking alcoholic beverages for at least a week before and a week after her reduction mammoplasty. Alcohol must be avoided because it increases swelling, which can cause the patient to experience more pain. In addition, if the patient is taking pain medication, mixing it with alcoholic beverages can be dangerous, for these reasons, alcohol must be avoided during this timeframe.
- Patients must continue to take all their prescription medications until they speak with their physicians and receive approval to decrease or discontinue their medications for a specific length of time.
Fasting Before a Reduction Mammoplasty
Patients need to fast before their breast reduction in Houston. Fasting usually starts at midnight the night of surgery. A patient who takes medications during this timeframe needs to speak with her plastic surgeon about whether she should go ahead and take these medications or hold off until after her reduction mammoplasty.
How to Prepare for Breast Reduction Surgery
Patients should take at least two weeks off work or school.
- The shirts the patient wears during early recovery must not require that she pull them over her head. Therefore, patients need to purchase oversized shirts that have buttons or snaps on the front. Patients should wear one of these shirts when they arrive for their reduction mammoplasty.
Create a recovery area:
- This area should be comfortable and allow the patient easy access to the bathroom and the kitchen (i.e., without needing to go up and down stairs, etc.).
- For several weeks after a reduction mammoplasty patients must sleep on their back elevating their upper torso. For this reason, many patients choose to create their recovery area in the living room where there is a recliner available.
- Patients who have a bed that is adjustable may choose to create their recovery area in the bedroom.
- Breast reduction patients who do not have an adjustable bed or a recliner can use several pillows to lift their torsos and keep their breasts elevated as they sleep.
Once the patient determines her recovery area location, she needs to have a table within easy reach. This table must have all the items the patient needs as she recovers on it.
Items on this table should include:
- Clean towels and washcloths.
- Hand wipes.
- Facial tissue.
- Prescription creams and ointments (for use on the incision sites).
- Bottled water.
- Cell phone and its charger.
- House phone.
- Remote controls.
Items to place near the recovery area:
- A garbage can.
- A small cooler to keep the ice/ice packs and bottled water in.
- Extra pillows and throws.
What to Expect During a Breast Reduction in Houston
A reduction mammoplasty is an outpatient procedure that usually lasts about two or three hours. Nonetheless, patients who decide to have a combination of procedures during this single surgical session remain in the procedure room longer.
As the nurse prepares the patient for surgery, the patient’s surgeon uses a surgical marker to make several marks on the patient’s breasts. These marks help guide the surgeon while performing the patient’s breast reduction. If the patient has any last-minute questions, she should ask them now.
The size and shape of the patient’s breasts determines the technique the surgeon uses for reducing the size of her breasts. Before surgery, the plastic surgeon discusses the steps of the patient’s surgery with her.
The patient receives general anesthesia, which places her into a deep sleep.
Breast Reduction Techniques
The technique the surgeon uses depends on the size and shape of the patient’s breasts. In addition, the amount of glandular tissue the plastic surgeon needs to remove also plays a role in the technique the surgeon decides to use.
The Liposuction Lift:
This technique works well for women who only need a small reduction mammoplasty and have skin with enough elasticity to snap back in place.
- The surgeon strategically creates small incisions in the patient’s breasts and then uses them to insert a hollow, thin tube (i.e., a cannula). This tube is connected to a vacuum that is specifically designed for the removal of fat and fluids from the human body.
- Through the cannula, the vacuum pulls the fluids and fat out of the patient’s breast placing it into a reservoir.
A Lollipop or Vertical Lift:
Dr. Patel use the lollipop lift technique when a patient needs a moderate reduction and has visible sagging.
- makes an incision that encircles the patient’s NAC.
- makes another incision that starts at the base of the NAC and continues down the beast to its crease.
- removes excess fat, tissue and skin before reshaping, and lifting the breast mound.
The Anchor or Inverted-T Breast Reduction Technique
This technique is ideal for women who have extremely large, uneven, sagging breasts.
- The surgeon makes an incision around the patient’s nipple-areolar complex, then down the center of the breast to the crease at its base.
- The plastic surgeon creates an additional incision that runs along the breast crease.
- The surgeon removes the excessive amounts of fat, glandular tissue and skin before moving the newly created breast mound to a location higher on her chest.
Reducing the Size of the NACs
The plastic surgeon reduces the size of the patient’s nipple-areolar complex. In order to preserve nipple sensation, this complex usually remains attached to the breast. However, women who have extremely large breasts may require NAC removal. After removal, the surgeon reattaches the complexes on the patient’s newly created breast mounds that are located higher on the patient’s chest.
At Lift Plastic Surgery, Dr. Shitel Patel will take great care while reattaching the patient’s nipple-areolar complexes to ensure they look natural and are evenly placed.
The surgeon’s goal is to create the patient smaller, symmetrical, natural-looking breasts with appropriately sized, evenly placed NACs.
Directly after the breast reduction:
The surgeon may place tubes in the breasts before suturing them closed. The surgeon places these tubes to assist with drainage. These tubes allow excess fluid and blood to drain, which reduces inflammation.
Then, the doctor covers the patient’s breasts with bandages or gauze dressings. The patient may also receive a support bra to wear as her breasts heal. This support bra protects the patient’s breasts and helps keep her inflammation down.
Patients may receive pain medication as well as antibiotics. The antibiotics decrease the patient’s risk of developing an infection.
Recovering from a Breast Reduction in Houston
Feeling tired after surgery is normal. Some patients experience an emotional reaction as well. This reaction can be normal; however, patients should always let their surgeon know about any changes they notice.
After a reduction mammoplasty in Houston, patients need to limit their physical activity. Dr. Patel does not recommend bed rest because inactivity increases the likelihood of blood clot development. Therefore, patients should walk around their home throughout the day.
Furthermore, for several weeks after surgery patients must avoid raising their hands above their heads and lifting anything that causes them to strain. In addition, patients must avoid wearing underwire bras for several months.
For about a week after a reduction mammoplasty, patients can expect:
- to experience breast tenderness and sensitivity.
- their breasts to be bruised and inflamed.
Taking Time Off Of Work and School
Patients having a breast reduction should take at least two weeks off work or school. Patients should prepare for the possibility of needing more time to heal.
Dr. Patel instructs the patient concerning her follow-up appointments for bandage and suture removal.
With time, the scars from the reduction mammoplasty incisions fade. Even so, these scars never disappear completely. It is vital that patients avoid exposing their scars to UV light because if the scars darken, they may not lighten again.
Houston Breast Reduction Results
Patients see results directly after surgery; however, they need to remember that the true results are not evident until the inflammation subsides.
Following a reduction mammoplasty, most patients experience pain relief in their neck, upper back and shoulders. Furthermore, patients are able to participate in activities that their oversized breasts previously kept them from enjoying. In addition, since patients can find clothes that fit them properly and feel comfortable, their self-esteem usually increases.
Breast reduction results are permanent, but the shape and size of the breasts can change due to weight changes and aging.
Risks Associated with a Reduction Mammoplasty
As with any procedure, complications are possible.
Some potential complications associated with a reduction mammoplasty include:
- Difficulty breastfeeding.
- Being unable to breastfeed.
- Variations in the shape, size and symmetry of the breasts.
- Additional surgeries to address complications resulting from the initial procedure.
- Removal of the nipple-areolar complex.
- A loss of sensation in the NACs or in the breast itself. This loss of sensation can be temporary or permanent.
Besides procedure-specific risks, the typical risks associated with any surgical procedure are possible, these risks include:
- An adverse reaction to the medications used to anesthetize the patient during surgery.
- Excessive bleeding.
- Blood clots.
- Nerve damage.
- Inadequate healing.
- The need for a skin graph.
- Highly visible scarring that does not fade with time. When it comes to a reduction mammoplasty, lifting heavy objects too soon can cause this problem.
What Signs Indicate that the Patient Should Contact Her Surgeon?
There are several signs that indicate the development of an infection.
These signs include:
- Unusual inflammation.
- A fever.
- Stitches that come out before the surgeon removes them.
- Discharge from the incision site.
Are Most Patients Happy with Their Breast Reduction Results?
Yes, reduction mammoplasty procedures have high patient satisfaction rates. After a reduction mammoplasty, many patients who waited until they reached a later stage in life state that they regret waiting so long.
How Much Will a Breast Reduction in Houston Cost?
Dr. Patel needs to speak with and examine the woman’s breasts to determine if she is a good candidate for a reduction mammoplasty. After the examination, the surgeon can provide her with a good idea about how much her procedure costs.
If you are in the Houston area, and you would like to learn more about the breast reduction procedure, please contact us.
Questions? Book a Consultation Now.
Contact Houston / Webster, Texas Plastic Surgeon Shitel D. Patel, MD at Lift Plastic Surgery.
Serving patients in Houston Texas, Webster, League City, Pearland, Galveston, Kemah, Seabrook and all other surrounding Greater Houston, Texas communities and more.