Breast reduction surgery is a procedure where tissue and skin from the breasts are removed to reduce the size and shape of the breast. Women often choose this procedure to help alleviate discomfort and pain that may accompany large breasts.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons there were about 41,309 breast reduction surgeries performed in the United States in 2014.
Understanding Breast Reduction
Women may choose breast reduction surgery for a number of reasons. Breast reduction may be done to:
- Alleviate pain and discomfort that can come with large, heavy breasts—women with large, heavy breasts often experience back, shoulder, and neck pain and may have problems with their spine and posture
- Improve appearance and increase self-confidence—women with larger breasts may feel uncomfortable about the way clothes and swimsuits fit them and may want breasts more proportional to their bodies
- To even out breast size if one breast is significantly larger than the other
Breast reduction surgery usually takes between 3 and 5 hours, and is commonly completed under general anesthesia. During the procedure, the doctor will make one or a few small incisions either in a circle or keyhole shape around the areola, or in a wedge shape below the areola. The doctor will then remove tissue as well as, lift, and reshape the breasts. Liposuction may also be used in the surgery.
As is the case with most elective cosmetic procedures, insurance companies typically do not cover breast reduction surgery. The average cost of breast reduction surgery is between $6,000 and $10,000.
Risks of Breast Reduction
There are risks associated with breast reduction procedures. It is important that your surgeon informs you of all material risks and outcomes before you agree to the surgery. Risks associated with breast reduction surgery include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Bad reactions to anesthesia
- Blood clots
- Nerve damage and loss of sensation in breasts
- Necrosis or loss of blood flow to breasts
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Hardening of breasts
To reduce these and other preventable risks associated with negligent treatment during the procedure, patients should carefully consider and choose a qualified and skilled surgeon. Patients should also go in to surgery with realistic expectations about the outcome of the procedure. While many women experience dissatisfaction after cosmetic breast procedures,doctors cannot be held legally liable for dissatisfaction.
Medical Malpractice Claims and Breast Reduction Surgery
Many minor and small, cosmetic complications and injuries, like excessive scarring, can occur during breast reduction surgery. Unfortunately, patients will find it difficult to get legal representation in such cases. Most attorneys, our firm included, will not be able to take on cosmetic surgery cases that do not involve significant injury to the patient. However, a claim should be pursued where there are substantial physical, emotional and financial injuries.