Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery, also called “mammoplasty”, is a procedure that removes excess breast tissue and skin, making your breasts more proportional to the rest of your body. The areola (the pigmented skin surrounding the nipple) may be reduced and repositioned as well.

This is one procedure that may be covered by insurance.

The Best Candidates For Breast Reduction

Breast reduction can be performed at any age, but doctors generally recommend waiting until breast development has stopped. Childbirth and breast-feeding may affect the size and shape of your breasts. If you plan to breast-feed in the future, you should discuss this with Dr. Rajagopal. As one of the leading cosmetic surgeons in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Rajagopal has performed countless breast reduction procedures and will take the time to educate you in order to help you better understand the various options available to you.

You may be a good candidate for breast reduction if you have any of the following conditions:

  • back, neck, or shoulder pain caused by the weight of breasts
  • heavy, sagging breasts with very low nipples and areolas
  • breasts that are too large in proportion to your body frame
  • skin irritation beneath the breasts
  • indentations in your shoulders caused by tight bra straps
  • restriction of physical activity due to the size and weight of your breasts
  • feelings of self-consciousness about the large size of your breasts
  • one breast that is much larger than the other

The Breast Reduction Procedure

The specific method chosen for your breast reduction will be determined by your anatomy, Dr. Rajagopal’s preferences and your desired results. The most common method uses a three-part incision. One part of the incision is made around the areola (nipple area). Another runs vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast. The third part is a horizontal incision beneath the breast, which follows the natural curve of the breast crease.

After Dr. Rajagopal has removed the excess breast tissue, fat and skin, the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position. The areola, which is usually larger than ideal, is reduced in size. Skin that was formerly located above the nipple is brought down and together to reshape the breast. Liposuction may be used to improve the contour, especially on the sides of the breasts.

The nipples and areolas usually remain attached to their underlying tissue as they are moved to their higher position-much like a button being moved to a higher buttonhole- and this may allow for the preservation of sensation. This method may also preserve the ability to breast-feed, although it is not guaranteed.

The type of incision used for your breast reduction may vary, depending on the size and shape of your breasts and the desired amount of reduction. Women who seek smaller reduction in size may be able to avoid the horizontal incision that runs underneath the breast.

Breast Reduction Before & After Photos

After Your Breast Reduction

When the surgery is complete, gauze dressings will be placed on your breasts and covered with an elastic bandage and/or surgical bra.

On the day of surgery, you’ll be encouraged to get out of bed for short periods of time. Most of the discomfort you feel in the days following the procedure can be controlled with medication prescribed by Dr. Rajagopal.

Although everyone heals at a different rate, you can expect that your recovery will follow this general time line:

Within the first week:

  • You will begin to move about more comfortably and perhaps even return to (non-strenuous) work.
  • At the end of the week, dressings will be changed.

After several weeks:

  • Bruising, swelling and normal periodic discomfort will diminish.
  • You can discontinue wearing a support bra.
  • Sensation within the nipple and areola area will gradually improve.
  • You may return to most of your normal activities, including mild exercise.

After a few months:

  • Your breasts will start settling into a more natural shape.
  • Incision lines will begin to face.
  • If you haven’t felt it sooner, you will notice relief from neck, back and shoulder pain.

How Much Does Breast Reduction Surgery Cost?

Learn about financing options, discounts and cost of breast reduction on our costs & financing page.

Will my insurance plan cover Breast Reduction surgery?

While this procedure is referred to and categorized as cosmetic surgery, your insurance plan may cover breast reduction procedures. However, the final amount payable by the insurance company depends upon the overall cost of the procedure.

Dr. Rajagopal is a pioneer in cosmetic surgery and is regarded as one of the best cosmetic surgeons in the bay area. Combining an artistic eye with over 20 years of experience and skill; Dr. Usha Rajagopal truly takes the time to listen to the concerns of each patient; working with them to produce their desired results.

If you have any questions regarding Breast Reduction Surgery, or wish to schedule a consultation with Dr. Rajagopal in San Francisco, California, please call the San Francisco Plastic Surgery & Laser Center at 415-392-3333.