Who is a good candidate for a Charlotte breast reduction?
Patients seek breast reduction surgery for a variety of reasons. Their breasts are generally too large in proportion to the rest of their bodies. This condition causes extreme dissatisfaction with self-image and leads to self-consciousness about physical appearance. Good candidates universally have large, heavy, pendulous breasts with nipples and areolas that have descended to some degree. In more severe cases, the nipples sometimes point directly downward. This lowering of the nipple position is referred to as ptosis. The desirable or youthful nipple position is at the lower breast crease when the breasts are unsupported. Large areolas are also associated with large breast size. Most patients also have some degree of breast asymmetry, as one breast is usually larger than the other. An additional benefit of breast reduction surgery is that breast asymmetries and large areolas can usually be corrected completely.
Patients who desire breast reduction surgery generally have physical symptoms that negatively impact their ability to perform many routine daily tasks. Physical activities are often limited by very large breast size and patients find it very difficult to exercise or participate in many of these activities. The symptoms are usually long-standing and patients are often referred by primary care doctors or other health care providers who have been treating the symptoms. Patient’s complain of significant back, neck and shoulder pain caused by the weight of the breasts. Symptoms of other medical conditions such as back or neck injuries can be exacerbated by the heaviness of the breasts. This heaviness also causes indentations in the shoulders from bra strap pressure. Skin discoloration can also occur. Many patients wear multiple brassieres which further aggravate and intensify the shoulder grooving. Large breasts can also cause chronic moisture and skin irritation underneath her breasts. This can lead to rashes or bacterial and fungal infections. An infection in this area as referred to as intertrigo. Many patients attempt to address this condition with powders, creams, or even antiperspirants which are cumbersome and usually ineffective.
Because breast reduction surgery is undertaken to address these described physical and emotional symptoms, it can safely be performed at any age after breast development. Minor patients routinely undergo the procedure as long as they meet certain screening criteria. Most plastic surgeons recommend waiting until breast development has stopped. Pregnancy and breast-feeding may have significant and unpredictable effects on the size and shape of your breasts. Nevertheless, many women decide to undergo breast reduction before having children and choose to address any subsequent unsatisfactory changes later. If you plan to have children or breast-feed in the years after breast reduction surgery, this should be discussed with your plastic surgeon.
Breast reduction surgery may be covered by a patient’s health insurance when it is performed to relieve medical symptoms. Most insurance providers have delineated very specific criteria for coverage which must be met prior to the procedure. Many insurers determine whether to categorize breast reduction surgery as a reconstructive procedure based on the amount of tissue that will be removed. This amount is usually determined from calculations based a patient’s height and weight. Pre-certification is required for reimbursement or insurance coverage. Insurance policies vary greatly and patients should carefully review their policy to determine coverage. Documentation of any treatment of symptoms by primary care and other health care providers is very important. Documented attempts to lose weight are also very helpful if a patient is above their ideal body weight. Dr. Miles will review these criteria during the consultation and his staff will help you with the preauthorization process.
As with any surgical procedure, risks are lower when patients are in good health. Smoking greatly increases the risk of complications with this procedure and smoking should be stopped prior to surgery to lower these risks. Smoking cessation cannot be overemphasized. Good candidates for breast reduction surgery must also have realistic expectations.