Back pain, poor posture, wardrobe difficulties and lowered confidence — these are all possible effects of large breasts that might lead you to seek a breast reduction. When you begin your search for the right place to receive your surgery, you may not know where to start. You will want to learn more about what kind of surgery you need, what the procedure will be like and how long it will take you to heal. These questions are best addressed to the surgeon or surgeons you meet with about your procedure. You can schedule consultations with a surgeon you trust or with a few surgeons in your area to better understand what to expect from your breast reduction. In order to make sure that you are in good hands and that you are prepared for your breast reduction surgery, you can ask some of these questions during your consultation appointment.
About Your Surgeon
Your first meeting with your surgeon is not a binding contract. If you do not think that they are the right fit for you for whatever reason, be it personal or professional, you are allowed to schedule consultations with other surgeons in your area until you find someone you feel you can trust completely. Your surgeon should be able to answer your questions clearly and in a way that you completely understand, and should not make you feel judged about your decision to undergo cosmetic surgery. You should also always ensure that your surgeon is appropriately accredited by your country’s national surgical board. Additionally, you can ask about your surgeon’s experience, not only performing plastic surgeries in general but performing breast reductions in particular. Some good questions for your surgeon include:
- Are you a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, or board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- What specialty did you study during your medical training?
- How long have you been practicing cosmetic surgery?
- How many breast reduction surgeries have you performed?
- What kind of cosmetic surgery do you perform the most?
Is Breast Reduction Surgery covered by health care insurance?
Every province has different rules. There is no question that breast reduction surgery is usually performed for mainly cosmetic reasons. That said, there are definitely patients who can have a significant improvement in symptoms such as back pain and neck pain. Plastic surgeons need to anticipate removing at least 300 gm per breast to achieve some coverage by Alberta Health Care. This is almost ¾ of a pound per side. Many American insurance companies insist on over 800gm per side. Many patients are under the common impression that because they are referred by their family physician, that the suggested surgery would automatically be covered by health care. Only an in-office consultation with a plastic surgeon can give you answers to this question.
About Your Breast Reduction Procedure
Breast reductions are highly customizable procedures. Not only are there several different techniques, but each surgery will require slightly different incisions and tissue manipulation based on your unique body shape and goals. When you meet with your surgeon, be sure to ask them about which technique they prefer or usually perform, and also about which technique they recommend for you. During this discussion, you may hear common names for the two typical breast reduction approaches: vertical or lollipop breast reduction, or inverted T or anchor breast reduction. Your surgeon may also mention liposuction, which can be an option for some women with excellent breast shape and whose breast volume is largely made up of fat cells. Liposuction-only breast reduction can avoid either the lollipop or even the more extensive anchor scars. Liposuction is often used for shaping around your breasts with a breast reduction surgery. Some other questions you may want to ask about the procedure itself include:
- Do you have recommendations for things I can do now to make sure my surgery goes smoothly?
- What kind of anesthesia do you use during breast reduction surgeries?
- Will I have visible scarring? If so, where will it be?
- Do you have a photo gallery of your patients’ results using the technique you recommend for me?
- Can you show me what my results might look like?
About Your Recovery from Breast Reduction Surgery
You will want to know what recovery is like and how long it will take to get back to daily activities and to work. Different surgeons also tend to have their own recommendations for things like pain medications, scar prevention and compression garments, so you should make sure that your surgeon provides you with enough information to make an informed choice. You will likely want to know:
- How many days should I plan to take off from work or other responsibilities?
- What kinds of activities should I avoid?
- Should I arrange for any help around the house?
- What kinds of pain medications should I use at different stages of recovery?
- Are there signs of complications I should watch for?
- Who should I call if I have questions during my recovery?
At Banff Plastic Surgery, we are dedicated to our patients’ comfort and satisfaction. Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay is an internationally-recognized expert in cosmetic breast surgery and years of experience performing breast reductions. To learn more about receiving your breast reduction at our Banff, Alberta location, contact us today at 403-762-2055 to schedule a consultation.