From his offices in Naperville, Dr. Bull helps patients seeking breast reduction achieve their aesthetic goals. In the following paragraphs he describes what breast reduction patients can expect during and after their surgery.
Women with very large, pendulous breasts may experience a variety of medical problems caused by the excessive weight including back and neck pain, skin irritation, posture changes that may lead to skeletal abnormalities and even breathing problems. Due to the weight of the breasts, bra straps can leave indentations in their shoulders and cause bruising.
In addition to the conditions mentioned above, large breasts can also make a woman feel extremely self-conscious.
Breast Reduction Procedure
Breast reduction, technically known as reduction mammaplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure to remove breast tissue and skin from the breasts to make them smaller, lighter, and firmer. It can also reduce the size of the areola, which is the darker skin surrounding the nipple. The goal of the procedure is to have smaller, better-shaped breasts in proportion with the rest of the body.
The exact procedure and details of breast reduction depend on your individual circumstances, so please ask Dr. Bull if there is anything about the procedure you don’t understand.
The Best Candidates for Breast Reduction
Breast reduction is usually performed for physical relief rather than simply cosmetic improvement. Most women who have the surgery are troubled by very large, sagging breasts that restrict their activities and cause them physical discomfort.
In most cases, breast reduction isn’t performed until a woman’s breasts are fully developed; it can, however, be done earlier if large breasts are causing serious physical discomfort. The best candidates are those who are mature enough to fully understand the procedure, and have realistic expectations about the results. All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk, though breast reduction is normally a safe but lengthy procedure.
As with any surgery, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding, infection, or reaction to the anesthesia.
Some patients develop small wounds along the lower middle incision after surgery; these can be treated with antibiotic creams.
The procedure does leave noticeable, permanent scars, although they are covered by your bra or bathing suit. Dr. Bull makes every effort to make the scars as small and inconspicuous as possible. Smoking affects wound healing and can make scars wider or thicker. Most women have some breast asymmetry and this can be more noticeable or prominent after the procedure. Future breast-feeding may be affected by the procedure and is unpredictable postoperatively.
Some patients may experience a permanent loss or reduced feeling in their nipples or breasts but usually this is temporary. Rarely, the nipple and areola may lose their blood supply and the tissue will die. The nipple and areola can usually be reconstructed, but may require tissue from elsewhere on the body.
Planning your surgery
In your initial consultation, it’s important to discuss your expectations frankly with Dr. Bull, and listen to his opinion. Every patient and every physician has a different view of what is a desirable size and shape for breasts. The only way to know what you wish is to communicate well with Dr. Bull. He will examine and measure many different aspects of your breasts, and will photograph them for reference during surgery and afterwards. (The photographs are also used in the processing of your insurance coverage.) He will discuss the variables that may affect the procedure-such as your age, the size and shape of your breasts, and the condition of your skin. You should also discuss where the nipple and areola will be positioned.
During the procedure the nipple and areola will be moved higher to a more normal position for the smaller breast size; approximately even with the crease beneath your breasts. Dr. Bull will describe the procedure in detail, explaining its risks and limitations. Dr. Bull will also explain the anesthesia he uses, the facility where the surgery will be performed, and the costs. (Some insurance companies will pay for breast reduction if it’s medically necessary; however, they may require that a certain amount of breast tissue be removed. Check your policy, and Dr. Bull will write a “predetermination letter” if required.)
Preparing for your surgery
Depending on your age and risk factors, Dr. Bull may ask that you to have a mammogram (breast x-ray) before surgery. You’ll also get specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications.
Sometimes he suggests that patients diet before the operation. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery and possibly, help you out for a few days.
Where your surgery will be performed
Dr. Bull performs most breast reductions in a hospital but it can be done in an outpatient surgery center if it is a smaller procedure. If you are admitted to the hospital, your stay will be only overnight. The surgery itself usually takes two to four hours, but may take longer in some cases.
Type of Anesthesia
Breast reduction is nearly always performed under general anesthesia. You’ll be asleep through the entire operation.
The most common procedure involves an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola, extends downward, and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast.
Dr. John Bull
Dr. Bull is dedicated to the pursuit of surgical perfection and complete patient satisfaction. He offers a variety of procedures to meet the aesthetic needs of his patients. He is one of the most experienced breast lift and breast augmentation surgeons. In addition, he offers breast reconstruction procedures for female patients who wish to regain their feminine, aesthetically pleasing chest appearance.