4 Common Myths About Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery is a procedure by which extra fatty tissue and skin are removed from the breasts. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia, takes a few hours, and is fairly straightforward. Yet, as common as breast reduction surgery has become, there are still a few common myths floating around about it.

1. Myth: Breast Reduction Surgery Is Primarily a Cosmetic Procedure

Breast enhancement procedures, which make the breasts larger, are generally seen as cosmetic procedures. As such, many people assume breast reductions are also cosmetic. Surely, there are some women who simply desire smaller breasts and undergo breast reduction for cosmetic purposes, but this is not the most common reason women opt for breast reduction.

Large breasts can be a burden in a health-related sense. They can lead to chronic back and neck pain, restricted activity, nerve pain, and chronic skin irritation. In most cases, reducing the size of the breasts alleviates these issues and makes the patient more comfortable, long-term.

2. Myth: Breast Reduction Comes With a Long Recovery Time

Perhaps you are someone who is considering breast reduction surgery, but you’ve steered away from the procedure because you’ve heard the recovery time is not worth it. Breast reduction is a surgical procedure, and as such, it will take you some time to recover — but the recovery period is very manageable. Most women can go back to school or work after just a week.

When you consider that you’ll miss fewer days of work and school in the future because you’ll have less back pain, taking a week off does not sound so bad. Any discomfort you experience should be manageable with the oral pain relievers your doctor prescribes.

3. Myth: You Can’t Breastfeed After Breast Reduction

If you want to have children in the future, you may be avoiding breast reduction because you’ve heard it prevents you from breastfeeding. Fortunately, this is not usually the case. There are two kinds of breast reduction surgery. In the most common type, the surgeon leaves the nipples in place and makes incisions around them. According to a study published by the Public Library of Science, 100% of women who had breast reduction with full preservation of the areola complex were able to breastfeed.

The other type of breast reduction is known as a free nipple graft. The nipple is removed, the breast is reshaped, and the nipple is put back into place. This procedure is more likely to affect your ability to breastfeed. If you plan to have children, talk to your surgeon and make sure they plan to leave your nipples in place during the reduction.

Some women do experience reduced milk volume after breast reduction surgery. If this occurs, you can still breastfeed for the health benefits and bonding experience while simply supplementing your milk with some formula.

4. Myth: Breasts Stay the Same Size After Breast Reduction Surgery

You might assume that once you have your breast size reduced, your breasts will remain that size for the rest of your life. This is not necessarily the case. Your breasts may still change size if you gain weight, become pregnant, experience hormonal changes, or take certain medications that affect your hormone levels.

Many women are able to avoid breast regrowth by managing their weight with healthy diet and exercise. If your breasts do increase in size to an unwanted degree, your surgeon may recommend another reduction procedure.

Breast reduction is a common, safe, and effective procedure, and it is a smart choice for many women. If you are dealing with back pain, nerve compression, or other issues related to large breasts, contact Dr. Christine Nygaard at the Renaissance Center for Facial and Body Contouring to schedule a consultation and to learn more about this procedure.

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