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For many women, large breasts can be physically uncomfortable and cause feelings of self-consciousness in social situations. When a large breast size dominates a patient’s appearance, it can cause an array of physical and emotional burdens, including back and shoulder pain, difficulty finding clothing, skin rashes, and the diminished ability to lead an active lifestyle. While these symptoms can be challenging to live with, our board-certified plastic surgeon offers breast reduction to eliminate the discomfort and physical burdens caused by large breasts while restoring a higher, more balanced profile in relation to your unique figure.

One of the most important aspects of undergoing breast reduction surgery is finding an experienced cosmetic surgeon to perform your procedure. Dr. Wesley Schooler of the Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery Center is highly experienced in helping women enhance their natural curves and beauty with breast surgery. With your aesthetic goals in mind, Dr. Schooler can renew your breasts with results that appear more proportionately to your body frame.

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“My friends all think I lost a lot of weight, my confidence has skyrocketed, and my posture is better! Now I can wear strapless bras and dresses!”

-Breast Reduction Patient

Who is a Candidate for Breast Reduction?

During your initial consultation, you will learn if you are a qualified candidate for breast reduction. One qualification is that the breasts must be fully developed, unless serious discomfort is present. Also, women who are planning on breastfeeding should not undergo breast reduction, as many of the milk ducts used for lactation are removed during breast reduction surgery. In general, you may benefit from breast reduction if you wish to achieve a more proportionate breast size or struggle with the following symptoms:

As with any other surgery, being able to emotionally handle the procedure is important. During your breast reduction consultation, Dr. Wesley Schooler will go over all of the information you need to know about breast reduction surgery. We will advise you on the risks and benefits associated with the procedure and you will learn about pre- and post-operative instructions, along with the healing time typical of breast reduction surgery.

How is Breast Reduction Surgery Performed?

Dr. Schooler usually performs breast reduction as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. During the procedure, excess fatty and glandular tissue, in addition to redundant skin, is removed to reduce the breast size. This typically enhances the breast shape, with the surgery including some of the cosmetic benefits of a breast lift to a certain extent. At the time of surgery, the type of incision used to access the breast tissue will depend on your needs and the degree of reduction desired. Dr. Schooler will either place the incision around the areola, in a keyhole shape encircling the areola, or in an anchor-like fashion along the breast crease. The underlying breast tissue will then be reduced and reshaped according to your goals for surgery. If desired, the nipples and areolas may be raised or resized as well.

What is Recovery From a Breast Reduction Like?

After breast reduction, a support bra or compression garment may be worn to decrease swelling and facilitate proper healing of your new breast shape. Patients usually experience normal post-operative swelling and/or bruising, but oral pain medications can help manage any discomfort. Most women who have undergone breast reduction require roughly one week to ten days of downtime before they return to their daily routines. Strenuous work and aerobic exercise should be avoided for at least four weeks, or until Dr. Schooler informs you that it’s safe to resume such activities. As swelling gradually subsides, the final outcome of surgery will generally improve. Those who have undergone breast reduction are usually among the happiest cosmetic surgery patients, with the procedure often considered incredibly rewarding.

How Long Do Breast Reduction Results Last?

Breast reduction is designed to achieve results that last a lifetime. The procedure can not only alleviate the stressors of a dominant breast size, but many patients also find they enjoy adjunctive benefits after breast reduction aside from the obvious aesthetic advantages. Many individuals are more physically active after they no longer have to contend with heavy, pendulous breasts, commonly resulting in improvements to their health as well as their mental and emotional well-being. Clothing is often more comfortable and form-fitting, and poor posture may also be corrected. Results can vary depending on the reasons you originally pursued breast reduction, but the vast majority of patients experience an outcome that lasts indefinitely without the need for future surgery. 

Will I Have Breast Reduction Scars?

Any scarring from breast reduction surgery will mirror the shape of your incision. While the scar will likely always remain present, it can be easily concealed under a bra or swimsuit top. Additionally, following Dr. Schooler’s instructions on proper wound care can allow the best healing of your incisions and increase the likelihood that your breast reduction scars will fade to some extent over time.

How Much Does Breast Reduction Cost?

Breast reduction is priced according to the details of your unique procedure; therefore, it is impossible to determine an accurate cost estimate without first assessing your needs. Factors that can affect the cost of breast reduction include the technique used during surgery and the extent of reduction necessary, as well as fees for the surgical facility, anesthesia, and post-operative care, among other expenses. Our patient care coordinator will be able to provide you with a personalized quote after Dr. Schooler evaluates your concerns in a consultation.

The Santa Barbara Plastic Surgery Center accepts plastic surgery financing from CareCredit® and Alphaeon Credit™, two reputable healthcare lending institutions that can make your breast reduction expenses more manageable. Simply apply through the fast application process and, once approved, select from a range of low- to no-interest payment plans. The payment options offered by these financing companies can allow qualified applicants to achieve their desired cosmetic enhancement while accommodating virtually any budget.

Additional Breast Reduction FAQs

Does a breast reduction include a breast lift?

With the procedure’s removal of excess skin, fat, and glandular tissue, breast reduction can yield some of the benefits of a breast lift to a certain extent. However, patients should not expect the same outcome as a full mastopexy after their breast reduction. The respective goals of each procedure differ, and ultimately the main objective of breast reduction is to achieve a more proportionate and comfortable breast size. Dr. Schooler can evaluate your concerns and help you make a decision about whether you would benefit from a joint breast lift and reduction procedure, if necessary. 

Do you offer male breast reduction? 

Dr. Schooler can absolutely help male patients who exhibit enlarged or overdeveloped breast tissue restore a flatter appearance in the chest. This condition, known as gynecomastia, is very common among men past the age of puberty, and often easily corrected with male breast reduction. Dr. Schooler can employ a combination of liposuction and/or surgical excision techniques to provide you with a more masculine look. This can typically be achieved using incisions that produce discreet, inconspicuous scarring.  

Do breast reduction exercises work?

Unfortunately, breast reduction exercises usually aren’t effective in actually reducing one’s breast size. Working out may help strengthen the pectoral muscles and potentially remove excess fat, but no amount of exercising can remove the glandular breast tissue that contributes to overly large breasts. Likewise, chest workouts cannot address the nipple-areolar complexes, which are often stretched and drooping to some extent in cases of breast reduction. Surgery is currently the only way to not only achieve a lighter breast size, but also to ensure that the results are aesthetic and proportional to the rest of your body. 

Can breast reduction make you lose weight?

The weight of the breast tissue removed during the procedure typically amounts to less than two pounds, depending on the extent of your breast reduction. That said, the surgery is very often the catalyst that motivates patients to begin living more active lifestyles and, in turn, losing weight. In this way, breast reduction can certainly lead to weight loss after the procedure. 

Is breast reduction covered by insurance?

Since a large breast size can present certain medical and health concerns, breast reduction is one of the few cosmetic procedures that can potentially qualify for insurance coverage. Every insurance company has its own criteria for coverage of breast reduction costs, so it’s essential to reach out to your policy provider and obtain their qualifications in writing. It’s generally advised to chronicle all of your symptoms with your primary care physician as soon as possible, as many insurance companies require extensive documentation and a history of having undergone more conservative treatments before offering coverage for the procedure. 

To learn more about breast reduction, or to schedule a confidential consultation, please contact us today.