Breast Reduction

About breast reduction surgery in Asheville, NC

Being happy with your breast size is important. For many women, that means getting smaller, lighter breasts. If you feel your breasts are too large for your frame or interfere with your ability to live comfortably, breast reduction surgery can help free you from the physical and emotional discomfort of having very large, heavy breasts.
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Why have breast reduction surgery?

Each of our patient’s reasons for choosing breast reduction surgery are unique to the individual. While breast reduction is commonly chosen to help alleviate back, neck and shoulder pain, the procedure can have a very positive impact on emotional well-being, helping a patient feel more confident in her appearance and eliminating unwanted attention from others. Other benefits of breast reduction surgery:

  • Your breasts will have an improved, more youthful shape and symmetry
  • Bras will fit more comfortably and provide better support
  • Chronic chafing, shoulder grooves and skin irritation caused by heavy, pendulous breasts are eliminated
  • Running, dancing and other sports become more enjoyable
  • Comfortable, figure-flattering clothing is often easier to find

Am I a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction patients in Asheville are very diverse. Dr. Conway has worked with patients of all ages and backgrounds. While insurance companies require a certain amount of breast tissue be removed before they will cover the procedure, there is no “magic number” regarding breast size that you must have to benefit from breast reduction. Far more important than your age or current breast size is a desire to improve your breast contour so that you can improve your quality of life. If the following describes you, a breast reduction may be worth considering:

  • You feel your breasts are disproportionately large for your body
  • You are at a healthy, stable body weight and do not smoke
  • You would like smaller, shapelier breasts
  • You avoid certain activities due to having larger, heavy breasts
  • You have a hard time finding bras that fit and support properly

Why choose Dr. Conway as your breast reduction surgeon?

While a major goal of breast reduction surgery is to reduce breast size and weight, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Conway’s ultimate goal is to help a patient feel beautiful and comfortable in her own body. He applies his surgical expertise and artistic skill to create a new, more aesthetically pleasing breast shape that looks natural with a patient’s unique body contours while improving breast symmetry. He listens to each patient’s individual goals, developing a surgical plan to achieve her desired breast contour as closely as possible.

About the breast reduction procedure

Dr. Conway performs breast reduction as an outpatient procedure at our fully accredited, on-site surgery suite at our Asheville Plastic Surgery Center. General anesthesia is provided by a board certified MD anesthesiologist. Using the incision patterns discussed at your consultation, Dr. Conway will remove excess breast tissue, fat and skin, adjusting the amount taken from each breast to achieve optimal symmetry. He will then lift and reshape the remaining breast tissue, relocating the nipple and areola to a more forward-facing position in the middle of the breast.

Breast reduction incisions & scars

Dr. Conway typically performs breast reduction surgery using either a vertical or “lollipop” incision, or an inverted-T or “anchor” incision technique. Both involve one incision around the outer edge of the areola and one incision running vertically from the bottom of the areola to the crease beneath the breast. The inverted-T technique involves one additional incision running within the crease beneath the breast (the inframammary fold).

Resulting scars from either incision are easily hidden beneath a bra or swimsuit. With proper care, scars should fade significantly over the course of a year or two, after which many patients find they barely notice their scars.

Recovery from breast reduction surgery

Recovery following breast reduction is typically a very smooth, shorter-than-expected process for most patients. You will be up and walking around at home the evening after surgery, although you will need some help getting around. After mostly resting the first 1-2 days as anesthesia effects wear off, most patients feel ready to resume light activities, such as easy-paced walking or working at a desk, after 3-7 days, depending on the extent of their procedure.

Pain is typically well-tolerated with pain medications for the first couple of days, and most patients are fine with Tylenol thereafter. Driving is permitted when you are no longer on prescription pain medicine, you are comfortable twisting your neck and shoulders, and you have been cleared to do so by Dr. Conway. Aerobic exercise and other non-contact sports can typically be resumed after 3 or 4 weeks, and most patients are back to their usual routines about 6 weeks following breast reduction surgery.

What size will my breasts be after breast reduction surgery?

This is a common question among patients, most of whom are eager to shop for smaller, better-fitting bras after surgery. Breast reduction is in no way a “one-size-fits-all procedure.” Your final breast size will depend on the size of your breasts before surgery, your proportions, and your desired size decrease, as well as the amount of tissue that needs to be removed to decrease any physical symptoms you have experienced as a result of your breast size.

Initially, your breasts will appear swollen and may seem asymmetrical after breast reduction surgery. This is a normal after-effect from surgery, and your breast shape and size will improve over the weeks following your procedure. While your new breasts will continue to make subtle improvements for up to a year after surgery, most patients are very satisfied with their appearance by 8 weeks, and results are very close to their final appearance within 3 to 4 months.

Are breast reduction results permanent?

Breast reduction surgery is meant to provide lasting results. As long as you maintain a stable weight, your breast size should not change significantly over the years. However, nothing will stop the natural aging process, and skin will lose elasticity as you age, likely causing some sagging in the breasts. Also, while getting pregnant after breast reduction is safe, the procedure may hinder your ability to breastfeed, and future pregnancies are likely to affect your breast appearance.

Will insurance cover my breast reduction?

In certain cases, breast reduction may be covered by insurance. Typically, insurance companies require documented evidence proving that conservative treatments for back, neck and shoulder pain have not helped improve the condition. Otherwise, breast reduction is considered cosmetic and can be performed as an elective procedure, with the patient responsible for the cost of surgery. At our Asheville Plastic Surgery Center, the total cost of breast reduction typically runs between $5,000 and $8,000, depending on the individual case, sometimes involving additional liposuction.

Whether you wish to pursue insurance coverage or would like information on financing and payment options, our financial specialist will be glad to help you determine what steps to take.

Please contact us for more information

If you are considering your options for reducing your breast size, please feel free to contact our office in Asheville, North Carolina. We will be happy to address your questions and arrange a personal consultation for you with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Donald Conway.

Call Dr. Conway today for your personal consultation 828.210.9333