Clarifying Assumptions.

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Here are 10 common questions about Breast Reduction surgery answered simply.

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1. What is a Breast Reduction?

A Breast Reduction is a surgical procedure during which breast tissue and skin is removed to alter and reduce the volume of an individual’s breasts. The remaining tissue and skin is repositioned such that improved, shape, contour and symmetry is achieved.

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2. Why do women consider a Breast Reduction?

The size of an individual’s breasts is determined by genetics, hormones, child birth, and other factors. The most common reason for women (or men) to consider Breast Reduction surgery is because the size of their breasts makes them uncomfortable, causes them physical discomfort, and/or restricts their movement. Aesthetic goals &/ limitations in what clothing they feel comfortable wearing may also form part of the reasons they seek a reduction.

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3. How will a Breast Lift change my appearance?

A Breast Reduction can potentially alter your appearance substantially. Depending on an individual’s needs or desires, the volume removed during a Breast Reduction is decided on a case by case basis.

After a full recovery time period, individuals may find that new activities are now comfortable for them and thus be able to engage in a more physically active lifestyle. This activeness may have a further positive effect on confidence, health, and appearance.

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4. Does Breast Reduction surgery leave a scar?

All surgical procedures done on the breast do leave a scar. You may be surprised to learn that the scar may be smaller than you might think as surgery techniques have advanced. Experienced surgeons will discuss incision points with you and scar after-care targeted at reducing visible scarring. Most individuals will find that scars from surgery are well-placed, minimally visible, and easily covered by clothing including Bikini swimwear.

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5. Can a Breast Reduction change the size of my Areolas?

Yes. During a Breast Reduction procedure, excess skin is removed and the remaining skin and breast tissue is reshaped and repositioned including the areola. As many women with voluminous breasts also have very large areolas, it is a common request of many individuals that their areola size be reduced within the Breast Reduction Surgery. Discuss this specifically with your surgeon during consultation.

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6. Will Medical Aid cover a Breast Reduction in RSA?

The answer to this question is entirely dependent on what type of Medical Cover you have and your individual circumstances. In most instances, Medical Aid in RSA will not cover a Breast Reduction. Exceptions may be made in some cases although even in these it is rare for all expenses to be fully paid by Medical Aid. To be considered, a letter of motivation from your doctor that clearly states functional impairment alongside clinical photographs will likely be required by your medical aid. It is also important that patients be prepared to aggressively petition their Medical Aids to authorize the procedure; the chances are slim without members ‘nagging’ their Insurers.

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7. Will my breast tissue re-grow after a Breast Reduction?

Most individuals will have stability with breast size in the future. Due to the fact that not all breast tissue and fat is removed during a Breast Reduction – there is indeed the possibility of breast tissue returning if one has extreme weight gain or hormonal changes in the future.

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8. What is recovery like following a Breast Reduction?

Breast Reduction surgery takes place in theatre under general anaesthesia. It does require scheduled downtime. Most patients will be kept overnight for observation. Once home, it is very important to follow your surgeon’s instructions. Pain should mostly subside within 24 hours and your doctor will work closely with you to manage any discomfort.

Normal movements can be resumed within a week but some physical movements such as stretching your arms overhead or lifting heavy objects will be restricted for 7 to 21 days. There will be swelling and bruising at the site which should diminish each day. Special supportive garments may be required and should be worn as prescribed.

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9. How do I get the best results from my Breast Reduction?

· Be at a stable weight at time of surgery
· Maintain a healthy lifestyle
· Have realistic expectations
· Pick a qualified and experienced surgeon you feel comfortable with.
· Discuss procedure details with your surgeon
· Ask any and all questions
· Ideally, not be between pregnancies i.e. be finished with child-bearing
· Follow post-op recommendations

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10. When will I see the results of my Breast Reduction?

Give your body time to recover completely before rushing out to purchase new brassieres. While major swelling should be noticeably down in the weeks after surgery, it can take several months for internal swelling to subside completely. It is recommended that you wait between 3 to 6 months to assess the results of your Breast Reduction and begin purchasing clothing towards your new breast size.

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