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EXCELLENCE IN PLASTIC SURGERY
Newport Beach, Orange County

949-644-4808

Home > Procedures > Breast Reduction Female

Excellence in Orange County Female Breast Reduction

One of the plastic surgery procedures with the best patient satisfaction is breast reduction surgery. People who don’t have large breasts don’t understand how inconvenient and painful they can be. Oversized, heavy breasts can affect a woman’s health, her ability to exercise, and her choices for comfortable, stylish clothes that fit her body. 

Dr. Joseph T. Cruise has been performing some of the top breast reduction procedures in Newport Beach, CA, for over a decade. He believes that all patients deserve the right to make informed decisions, therefore he and his staff have provided this page to answer some of patients’ most common questions and address concerns associated with female breast reduction.

The common conception is that large breasts are a blessing. Dr. Cruise has experience working with women who want smaller breasts, and he knows that oversized breasts can often be a painful burden. He also understands that each patient’s concerns, and her body, is different, which is why he meets with every breast reduction patient in his Orange County office for a pre-surgery consultation. At this meeting, you can discuss the results you want after your breast reduction surgery, using numerous before and after pictures as examples.

Women often discuss with Dr. Cruise how their large breasts affect their health, including back and neck pain, difficulty breathing, or rapid heart rate caused by the extra weight carried in their chest. If you believe that a breast reduction surgery may benefit these or other health issues, Dr. Cruise encourages you to speak with your insurance company about having financial coverage for the procedure pre-approved. 

Some women who are interested in breast reduction surgery are encouraged to lose weight before the procedure, in order to increase the patient’s overall health, decrease potential risks and complications for the procedure, and increase the likelihood that insurance will cover the surgery. Many insurance companies will not cover cosmetic breast reduction, but may cover the procedure as part of an overall weight loss program. Dr. Cruise encourages you to ask financial questions of his staff members at your consultation, so that you can be fully informed and create the best plan for your breast reduction surgery.

Please see our female breast reduction topics below:

Breast Reduction 3D animation

Breast Reduction Overview

Female breast reduction can be performed by a number of different procedures. Newport Beach plastic surgeon, Dr. Cruise, uses the “Short Scar Breast Reduction” procedure. Although the Short Scar is more technically difficult than other procedures, it also leaves the patient with less scarring and creates greater breast volume and cleavage. Dr. Cruise believes that a breast reduction is a cosmetic procedure that doesn’t just make breasts smaller, but should create more shapeliness and an overall artistic, sexy result.

Dr. Cruise’s Short Scar Breast Reduction Procedure leaves the shortest, most minimal scar possible; however, patients should be prepared to accept that there will be scarring on their breasts after the surgery. The scar will circle the nipple, with a thin line down to the fold under the breast. Rarely, women with significant reductions may have a thin scar line under the fold of the breast as well. The scar begins as red, but fades within the first year. Many breast reduction patients find that lighter, perkier, less cumbersome breasts are a fair trade for these scars, which are easily covered up by bras and swimsuit tops. See Dr. Cruise’s gallery of before and after breast reduction pictures for examples of the scarring some of his patients have experienced.

Dr. Cruise’s Female Breast Reduction Philosophy

Female breast reduction specialist Dr. Jospeh T. Cruise

Large breasts can be a significant handicap for some women. Their weight makes it very difficult to carry them around and prevents many women from doing things they want. Large breasts cause neck and back pain, rashes, and a myriad of medical problems. In addition, they can cause significant psychological effects. A body part that is supposed to be sexy and feminine instead causes the women with them to see them as no more than a burden. I feel very strongly that something should be done so that women who have health problems because of large breasts do not suffer.

In my practice, breast reductions are as much cosmetic as they are reconstructive. There is no question that excess breast weight is the primary cause of physical problems, but if a woman’s breast reduction is done in a cosmetically pleasing way she benefits both physically and psychologically. This is why I perform breast reductions using similar procedures to breast lifts except with reverse effects.

Although more technically demanding,  my technique of removing significant amount of tissue achieves sexy, feminine breasts with more projection and cleavage than the standard breast reduction.

Benefits of Breast Reduction

Many of Dr. Cruise’s patients find that the benefits of breast reduction are physical, mental, and cosmetic. Women report that after surgery they feel proud of their breasts, rather than burdened by them, and that they are more comfortable and satisfied with their appearance. Some of the benefits patients report after breast reduction include:

  • Relief of back and neck pain.
  • Relief from skin irritation, rashes, and moisture underneath breasts
  • Reduced weight that makes movement and exercise easier
  • Improved breathing and posture
  • Relief from shoulder and skin irritation from pinching, pulling, uncomfortable bras
  • Better fitting clothes
  • A perkier, more youthful nipple position and appearance
  • Lifted, fuller breasts with better volume and cleavage

Possible Complications of Breast Reduction

Although as one of the top breast reduction plastic surgeons in Orange County, Dr. Cruise minimizes potential complications with all procedures, some women experience asymmetrical breasts after the surgery. All women experience some amount of natural breast asymmetry, and no surgery can make breasts perfectly identical.

One potential complication is inadequate breast reduction, or over-reduction that makes breasts too small. Dr. Cruise meets with each patient before surgery to consult with her and find out the results she wants. His experience in both cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery allows him to make a woman’s breasts as small as she wants without compromising blood supply and the safety of her breast tissue. He will explain to you the techniques that will help you achieve the breast size and shape that’s right for your body size.

All women experience some degree of scarring after a breast reduction surgery. The scar fades over time, but will never completely disappear. Dr. Cruise can discuss with you some products and approaches to help minimize the appearance of the scar, as well as how to treat the scar during the healing process to prevent infection, which causes worse scarring.

Some women report that after their breast reduction they experienced a temporary loss of sensation in the nipple, but it returned over time. Other women experience a permanent decrease of nipple sensation. Women who are thinking about having children after a breast reduction surgery may want to consider that breast feeding may be more difficult, or impossible, after the procedure.

Contour irregularities occur in some cases, and women may choose to undergo an additional procedure to achieve their desired results. Other complications to consider include risks similar to any medical operation, including problems with the healing process, or fluid or blood collection.

Are You a Good Candidate?

When Dr. Cruise meets with patients in his Orange County office to discuss their breast reduction and other cosmetic surgery, they often already know whether they are a good candidate for the procedure. Women who are plagued by the problems caused by large breasts – including back and neck pain, trouble breathing, and ill-filling clothing – often want to know whether a breast reduction or a breast lift will ease their trouble.

During the consultation and physical exam Dr. Cruise discusses the patient’s desired results and reviews the cosmetic surgery approach that will give her the look she wants. The breast reduction procedure involves removing breast tissue in addition to reshaping and lifting the breast, which not only results in smaller, more comfortable breasts, but also in breasts that are perkier and more youthful. So while the results of breast lift and breast reduction are often very similar, a breast reduction is often more than simply cosmetic, and can result in significant improvement of medical conditions as well. Dr. Cruise recommends discussing your options with your insurance company for pre-approval prior to the surgery.

Some of the problems patients who need a breast reduction experience:

  • Back or neck pain caused by weight on the chest
  • Skin irritation and rashes caused by moisture in the fold below the breasts
  • Difficulty breathing or rapid heart-rate associated with excessive breast weight
  • Difficulty moving and exercising because of breast weight and placement
  • Grooves and marks on shoulders, back, and chest skin from uncomfortable bras
  • Difficulty finding clothes that fit comfortably and attractively
  • Disproportionate breasts that cause a dissatisfying body shape
  • Oversized, droopy breasts that cause a dissatisfying body shape

Dr. Cruise feels that patients who experience these problems and are looking to alleviate the trouble caused by large breasts are ideal candidates to meet with him and discuss their options for female breast reduction.

Prior to Surgery

BEFORE SURGERY

  • Avoid sunbathing for 2 weeks prior to surgery.
  • Quit smoking at least 2 weeks prior to surgery as nicotine can impair and delay healing.
  • Stop all aspirin containing products, medications that contains blood thinners (motrin, advil etc.) vitamin E and herbal supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery. Patients preparing for breast reduction surgery can take 1 multivitamin a day.
  • Let Dr. Cruise know of all medications you take daily.
  • Make sure all requested lab results, mammogram procedures, and doctor’s surgical clearance paperwork items are delivered to Dr. Cruise’s office.

ITEMS TO PURCHASE BEFORE SURGERY

  • Medications. You will be given your prescriptions during a pre-operative appointment.
  • Garments. Cruise Plastic Surgery will provide you with a surgical bra immediately after your breast reduction surgery. You also need to have two other support bras available in a cup size you are anticipating going to, or slightly larger. Make sure the bra fits snug around your chest.
  • Gauze. Make sure to have a box or two of 4×4 gauze pads. You can purchase a supply of gauze at most drug stores.

Optional Items for Healing

1. Arnica – available at Dr. Cruise’s office – this product may decrease bruising, or help it disappear sooner.

THE DAY OF SURGERY

  1. Do not eat anything for 8 hours or drink anything for 6 hours before surgery.
  2. You may shower and shampoo your hair the night before or the morning of your surgery.
  3. You may brush and rinse your teeth, but do not eat or drink anything. Do not wear makeup or moisturizers on your face or eyes.
  4. Do not bring any jewelry or valuables with you on the day of surgery.
  5. Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes, preferably button up or zipped up top. Wear flat, comfortable shoes. Remove contact lenses, dentures and nipple rings before surgery.
  6. Someone must drive you home and stay with you the first night.
  7. Take 2 pills of Zofran and 2 pills of Celebrex at 1-2 hours before surgery.

Breast Reduction Surgery Anesthesia

Dr. Cruise works only with Orange County board certified anesthesiologists to make sure all patients have the best cosmetic surgery anesthesia possible. The anesthesiologist will discuss with you what type of anesthesia is best for you. He or she will take into consideration your medical history, the specific plastic surgery procedure, and your personal wishes.

Normally, general anesthesia is required when performing breast reduction to make sure the patient is completely comfortable throughout the procedure.

After the Breast Reduction Surgery

The procedure itself will take approximately 3-4 hours.

AFTER SURGERY

  1. Get plenty of rest and limit yourself to light activities the first 10 days after your breast reduction surgery. Sleep and rest with your head slightly elevated for the first 3 days.
  2. You may take a cool shower the day after surgery. Make sure you have someone to help you put your bra back on afterward. During the shower, let warm water run gently over the incision sites and surgical drain exits. Gently dab dry with a clean towel. Place gauze over the drain exit before putting your bra on.
  3. 2-3 weeks after surgery you can remove the steri-strips. Apply the ScarLess® product, allow it to dry, and then re-apply clean silicone sheets twice a day for the next two months.
  4. Your sutures will dissolve on their own.
  5. Do not drive for the first week after your breast reduction surgery, or anytime you take pain medications. Do not perform housework that uses your upper body, and do not perform any exercise routines for the first 3 weeks. After that, do not return to your upper body workout routine for at least 8 weeks.
  6. For 2 weeks after the procedure, avoid lifting anything heavier than 5 pounds.
  7. Wear a surgical bra 24 hours per day for 8 weeks, unless Dr. Cruise instructs you differently.
  8. Avoid directly exposing the incisions to sunlight for at least 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) to the incision area as part of your skin care routine.
  9. Do not smoke for at least 1 week after breast reduction surgery.
  10. Do not use pain relief products that contain aspirin for at least 1 week. You may take Tylenol or other pain medication as prescribed.
  11. You may apply ice or other cold compresses to the breasts for the first 48 hours to decrease swelling. Do not apply them directly on your skin – place a towel between the cold item and the skin to prevent irritation.
  12. Be sure to use all you medications as directed.
  13. Approximately 4 – 8 weeks after surgery some women experience a small part of the incision opening up. It often looks swollen and red, like a pimple. This is called a “Stitch Abscess” and is caused when one of the stitches does not properly dissolve. Most of the time they can be treated with a thorough washing of soap and water, and applying Neosporin or Polysporin on it until it clears up. Very rarely, the abscess becomes severe and should be seen by Dr. Cruise. Call the Cruise Plastic Surgery Newport Beach office if the redness is larger than a dime.

WHAT TO EXPECT AS YOU RECOVER

  1. Immediately after surgery, some patients feel groggy or nauseous. These feeling normally subside by the next day.
  2. Many patients experience some pain for the first 3-4 days and soreness for the first 2 weeks
  3. Most of the time, the breasts are very swollen and tight for the first week. Do not be concerned about their initial appearance, because they will drop with time. At your follow up appointment Dr. Cruise will show you how to massage them to make sure your positioning is appropriate. The body heals asymmetrically, so one breast may remain swollen, hurt more, and appear higher or lower than the other. All these results are normal.  
  4. Swelling and bruising after breast reduction usually clear up within 2 weeks.
  5. Pink scars will eventually fade to an unnoticeable color. It may take up to a year for the scar to fade to its final color.
  6. Some firmness may develop. Once the tenderness subsides, you may begin to massage the breasts to help soften them. After 3 months, you should massage your breasts daily during your shower for 30 seconds for the rest of your life.
  7. Your nipples might become hyper-sensitive or lose sensation for the first 3 months. This usually goes returns to normal with time.

WHEN TO CALL US

Post surgical complications are rare and are often easily solved by Dr. Cruise if you notify us. Call us if you experience any of the following:

  • A temperature of 101 F or higher
  • Localized redness or warmth
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Swelling legs or calf pain
  • If you feel that anything might be wrong

Please call our Orange County office during regular business hours @ 949-644-4808 

In addition, call us if you have continuous discharge from the incision line, if one of the breasts appears significantly larger and is more tender, if your pain increases instead of decreasing after 5 days, or if your breasts become red.

POST-OP VISITS AND CARE SUMMARY

Blood Clot

  1. It is important to walk at least every 2 hours while you’re awake to prevent blood clotting – but do not over do it. Right after surgery you will be instructed to walk around every 60 minutes.
  2. Pay specific attention to leg swelling. If you notice swelling on only one leg or calf pain contact the office.

Drain Function

  1. Make sure that your breast surgery drains are functioning.
  2. Empty drains every 8 hours or when they become more than half full. Make sure to write down the amount of drainage every time.
  3. Do not be concerned if the fluid from the body comes around drain.
  4. You may need to milk the tube if it appears to be clogged.
  5. Drains come out after about 2-3 days, depending on the amount of drainage.
  6. Note – the drain is always uncomfortable, but it is absolutely necessary to prevent fluid accumulation.

Constipation

  1. If you are constipated the day after your breast reduction surgery, stop taking Vicodin or Darvocet.
  2. Encourage walking, drinking a lot of fluids, and consider using a laxative (such Ex-lax or Correctol).

Fever

  1. Make sure to cough and breathe deep for the first 3 days after surgery to help with any fever symptoms.

Activity

  1. You can take a cool shower the day after. Dab dry. Make sure you have someone helping you.
  2. Walk every hour while awake for the first day, and then every 2 hours on days afterward.
  3. Sleep at 45 degree angle for the first 3 nights.
  4. Begin breast massage after your first post-surgery visit.
  5. Regarding exercise: If it hurts don’t do it. Wait for your body to tell you what you can do.
  6. You can exercise areas other than your chest 2 weeks after your breast reduction surgery. You can work out your chest at 8 weeks, but begin easily and work into challenging routines gradually.

Wound Care

  1. Make sure your bra is on as directed.
  2. Keep surgical area clean and dry at all times.
  3. At 2-3 weeks after surgery you can remove your steri-strips. You will apply surgical tape for about 3 months, changing it every week.

Recovery from Breast Reduction Surgery

Some people with sedentary jobs return to work 1 week after their breast reduction surgery. If your job, however, requires aggressive arm movements it may take as long as 4 weeks before you can return to work. Most people choose to recover for 2 weeks before returning to work.

Top Results in Breast Reduction Surgery

The results of breast reduction surgery vary from one patient to another, and Dr. Cruise has worked with a variety of patients over the years and achieved the best results possible for them all. Cosmetic surgery procedures can change more than just your appearance – they can change your life. As a top plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, Dr. Cruise provides his patients all this information, as well as a full gallery of before and after female breast reduction pictures, so patients can know reasonably what to expect. A consultation in his Orange County office can answer any remaining questions you have about whether or not a breast reduction surgery is right for you.

Cost of Female Breast Reduction

Female patients who come to Cruise Plastic Surgery interested in breast reduction often ask the same question: “How much does the breast reduction cost?” While financial concerns are certainly important when considering plastic surgery, the investment in yourself will pay you back more than you could expect over time. Reduced health problems, more comfortable and pleasing body proportions, and overall greater satisfaction with appearance are some of the benefits that patients report after a breast reduction. Dr. Joseph T. Cruise of Orange County believes that when results produce the effect of making a person’s life generally better, they are worth any cost.

Quality vs. Value

A plastic surgeon without the most extensive training and experience performing a delicate, highly technical surgery such as breast reduction will not be able to provide his patients with the best results. Often, the difference between costs of breast reduction from various cosmetic surgeons can be seen in the difference between their results. To view some of the best, most high-quality breast reduction results, browse Dr. Cruise’s gallery of before and after breast reduction photos.

Dr. Cruise’s Approach

Dr. Cruise takes the unique approach of customizing each breast reduction surgery, according to the patient’s body shape, proportions, health concerns, and desired results. His technique involves choosing the best type of incision for each patient and how much breast tissue needs to be removed to place the breasts at their ideal position. Some patients need nipples re-sized or re-positioned, and some patients request a breast lift at the same time as a reduction. All these differences can affect the cost of the breast reduction.

Women with health concerns such as back, shoulder, and neck pain, headaches, or breathing troubles that are the result of oversized breasts can often receive coverage for the cost of their breast reduction through their PPO insurance plan. The Cruise Plastic Surgery staff encourages patients to contact their insurance company to learn about their out of network coverage benefits.

On average, the cost for breast reduction can range between $9,500 and $11,000.

This price range includes standard fees for surgical equipment and facilities, fees for the surgeon and anesthesiologist, and costs associated with post-surgery follow-up care. At your pre-surgery consultation with Dr. Cruise in our Orange County office, you will have a chance to discuss the specifics of your procedure and receive a more personalized estimate for the cost of your breast reduction surgery.

Find out more about breast reduction financing options available through Cruise Plastic Surgery.


Joseph T. Cruise M.D. has earned the reputation as one of the top Newport Beach plastic surgeons specializing in cosmetic surgery. Cruise Plastic Surgery provides procedures such as breast augmentation, facelift, gynecomastia, tummy tuck and other cosmetic surgeries. Patients often begin with a search for ‘Orange County Facelift’ or ‘Breast Augmentation Newport Beach’, then come to our office for a consultation, and ultimately benefit from one of Orange County’s best plastic surgeon specialists. Dr. Cruise’s patients come from Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, California, as well as around the world to our top plastic surgery center for breast implants as well as rhinoplasty (nose surgery), liposuction, or neck lift surgery. Our goal is to offer the best quality plastic surgery in Orange County with affordable cost options.

Email or call us to explore how affordable plastic surgery can be! Read our reviews on Yelp | Google+ | Vitals | Citysearch | Dr. Cruise on Google+

Joseph T. Cruise, M.D.
Board Certified Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
2081 San Joaquin Hills Road
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Tel. 949-644-4808
info@cruiseplasticsurgery.com


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