Is Breast Reduction Surgery Right For You? Find Out.

From back pain to self-consciousness, you may be thinking about breast reduction surgery for many reasons. And you’re not alone. Each year, close to 50,000 women (and men) undergo this procedure, and it’s consistently included in the top five cosmetic surgeries. But is it the right choice for you? North Carolina Specialty Hospital, one of the most recognized names in North Carolina plastic surgery, can help you decide if breast reduction surgery is the best treatment option for you.

How To Decide If Breast Reduction Surgery Is For You

All surgeries have risks, whether it’s cosmetic or medically necessary. Breast reduction surgery is no exception. Understanding what you need to know and managing your expectations are critical in making the right decision. These nine questions and answers can help.

 A middle-aged woman with her hand held up to shade the sun from her eyes considers breast reduction surgery in NC.

1. What is breast reduction surgery? Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is an operation to remove excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts. This surgery is performed under general anesthesia in a hospital or an out-patient facility.

2. What are the reasons you may consider breast reduction surgery? People may look into breast reduction surgery if they:

  • Are suffering from chronic pain (in neck, shoulders, and back) that requires medication
  • Experiencing rashes or irritation underneath breasts
  • Have trouble fitting into clothes
  • Lask self-esteem and feel self-conscious
  • Have difficulty or discomfort with activities or exercising (including the need to wear additional sports bras)

3. Who should you talk to about breast reduction surgery? Schedule a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, such one from North Carolina Specialty Hospital. The surgeon will ask about your medical history, personal situation, and problems. They’ll also examine your breasts and might take photos at this time. With this information, they’ll develop the best plan of action for you. If you don’t have an idea of the breast size and appearance you want after surgery, your surgeon can guide you. They’ll also talk to you about the surgery and what to expect afterward.

Close up of North Carolina Specialty Hospital sign on brick wall by hospital where people go for breast reduction surgery.

You may decide after your consultation that you don’t want to move forward. For example, some people may be concerned about scarring, worrying about the ability to breastfeed, the potential of decreased nipple sensation, or even have concerns about the surgery itself. That’s why the consultation is critical.

Note that if you smoke, have certain health problems, or are very overweight, it may turn out that breast reduction surgery might not be recommended.

4. How much does a breast reduction cost in North Carolina? Costs average around $6,000.00, but that does not include the cost of the anesthesia, operating room, medical tests, prescriptions, or the surgeon’s fees.

5. Is breast reduction surgery covered by insurance? While insurance covers breast reduction surgery in most instances, it may need to be deemed medically necessary. Some plans only cover if at least one pound of breast tissue per side is removed. Make sure to check with your insurance company before proceeding and find out if you need pre-authorization or to submit photos or plans.

6. What happens during the surgery? Surgery usually takes three to five hours, and you can often return home the same day. The surgery used will vary. Sometimes it is handled through incisions only, while liposuction may also be used to remove fat. After the removal of excess tissue, fat and skin, the breast gets reshaped, and the nipple and areola undergo repositioning.

A plastic surgeon stands in OR corridor, dressed in blue scrubs and mask, getting ready for breast reduction surgery.

7. What is recovery like? After surgery, gauze dressings or bandages will cover your breasts. Drainage tubes may go under each arm to get rid of excess fluids. You’ll be taking pain medication and antibiotics to lower infection risk. For the first few days and possibly weeks, your breasts may be swollen, bruised, and/or tender. You may be told to wear a compression bra for protection. While breasts heal, you’ll need to limit physical activity for several weeks. Your stitches will be removed at your follow-up visit.

8. What are the results? Most patients welcome relief from chronic pain, love wearing more appropriately-sized clothing and exercising, and their confidence boosts. In fact, over 95% of people say they are satisfied with the results and would do it again.

Once you understand what happens before and after breast reduction surgery, you’ll be ready to take the next step. Choose the best breast reduction surgeon from your North Carolina plastic surgery options from the expert physician staff at North Carolina Specialty Hospital.

Treating North Carolina Residents Since 1926

At North Carolina Specialty Hospital, our specialty is you, and it’s been that way since we first opened our doors in 1926. In no department is that more true than in plastic surgery, where we dedicate ourselves to providing exceptional service in a non-judgmental atmosphere and utilizing cutting-edge technology to ensure your best possible outcome.

If you’re considering breast reduction surgery, talk to us. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Hughes, Dr. MacPhee, or Dr. Zenn. Find them on our Physicians page under Plastics and click on their photo to make an appointment from their personal page. Or contact us.

If you’re considering breast reduction surgery, we wish you the best of luck with your decision. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.

Stay Current

Educational Articles & More

View News & Press