Summary: While many women wish that Mother Nature would have been a bit more generous in the breast department and find themselves longing for breast implants, some women would prefer to have smaller breasts. Breast reduction is a plasticsurgery procedure that does exactly what the name implies—it reduces breast size. During breast reduction, also known as a reduction mammoplasty, excess tissue, skin and fat are removed from the breasts for a more comfortable, proportionate appearance. It also improves the cosmetic appearance of the breasts by lifting them back up on the chest.

Women often opt for breast reduction because their large breasts may cause physical discomfort or embarrassment or may attract unwanted attention. In extreme cases, oversized breasts can exacerbate neck, back or shoulder issues and cause considerable pain. Whatever your reason for contemplating breast reduction surgery, there are several important facts to know before your procedure.

1. You May Need to Lose Weight First

If your breasts aren’t the only area where you’re carrying excess weight, your plastic surgeon may recommend that you lose weight before undergoing breast reduction. Shedding pounds may actually reduce your breast size, therefore negating the need for surgery. A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you to determine the best way to proceed, and your plastic surgeon may be able to suggest healthy weight loss plans.

2. Insurance May Not Cover Your Procedure

Although health insurance companies may cover the cost of breast reduction surgery when there is a verifiable medical concern such as back pain, you shouldn’t assume that’s the case. In fact, you may need to gather letters of support from your doctors and provide documentation to your insurance company. In the event that your insurance carrier does not cover your breast reduction, many plastic surgeons offer financing.

3. Breastfeeding after Breast Reduction May Not Be an Option

Breast reduction involves removing a significant amount of breast tissue in order to shape the breasts to a more comfortable, moderate size. Although your plastic surgeon can use certain techniques during breast reduction to avoid disturbing the milk ducts, and manywomen are able to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery, there is no guarantee. If you are considering breast reduction surgery and are concerned about your future ability to nurse, it’s important to discuss this with your plastic surgeon.

4. Breasts Need Time to Drop and Settle

During breast reduction, your plastic surgeon removes breast tissue and tightening the remaining skin and tissue for an overall improved shape. Immediately after your procedure, it’s common for the breasts to appear a bit high on the chest or even a bit square. Over the following weeks and months, your breasts will settle into place as the tissue relaxes into its new natural shape.

5. You’ll Have to Take a Break from Some Activities

If you’re accustomed to sleeping on your stomach, you’ll have to get used to sleeping on your back for about a month post-op. You may need to experiment with pillows to find a position that’s most comfortable for you.

Your plastic surgeon will offer you recovery guidelines which may include limiting excessive arm use and certain pushing activities.Although light exercise is fine, steer clear of strenuous workouts that engage the upper body until released by your plastic surgeon.