Breast Reduction in Virginia Beach
Traditional breast reduction is offered in Virginia Beach, but liposuction-only breast reduction is an effective alternative. In fact, Dr. Ben Hugo uses this less invasive procedure in 90 percent of cases at Ben Hugo Plastic Surgery.
Women who have tried this form of breast reduction are pleased with it. Dr. Hugo believes that all women considering breast reduction surgery should be aware that there is another option.
A traditional breast reduction involves an invasive surgery with incisions and scars totaling 12 to 16 inches on each breast, a significant complication rate and prolonged recovery. Liposuction-only breast reduction dramatically reduces the extent of surgery and the recovery time, with a complication rate under 1 percent. Patients have been able to breast feed, and so far, no patients have lost sensation to the nipple. That's very common with the traditional technique, in which there is permanent numbness of the nipple and many patients are unable to breast feed.
Liposuction, since its inception, has been used to remove fat from unwanted places through tiny incisions. Breasts are no exception. Breasts are often 60 percent fat, and with liposuction it is possible to reduce breast size by up to three cup sizes. This procedure has been very successful for reducing symptoms of large breasts, including back, neck and shoulder pain.
Dr. Hugo believes that plastic surgeons have mistakenly focused on achieving ideal shape and nipple position in breast reduction. A minority of patients seem to care about nipple position. Their concern is getting rid of the weight and discomfort. Although the technique is designed primarily to reduce volume, people who undergo liposuction-only breast reduction often experience a significant breast lift and nipple elevation of up to two inches. With less fat, the breasts become lighter, and their natural elastic tissues shrink and contract, which causes them to lift slightly.
There is no evidence to show that this method of breast reduction could impair imaging via a mammogram. While there is no data to support it, mammograms may be easier to read on women who have had liposuction-only breast reduction, as the breasts appear more dense but you don't get the internal scars that can be confused with breast cancer.
This method is also cost-effective-especially for those who have to pay out-of-pocket. Today, only about 50 percent of breast reduction patients are covered by insurance.
Is Breast Reduction Right for Me?
Not everyone is a candidate for liposuction-only breast reduction. Patients who want to reduce their breast more than two to three cup sizes are not good candidates. The procedure does not work for women who have very dense breasts and no fat, although this condition is rare. Patients seeking a breast lift and ideal nipple position might not be the best of candidates. It is possible to undergo a breast lift (mastopexy) surgery at a later date after liposuction breast reduction. This involves less invasive surgery, shorter scars and an easier recovery than traditional breast reduction. Dr. Hugo has one patient who chose this option.
If women are determined to avoid the scars that result from breast reduction, the use of liposuction to reduce their breasts is the best technique to achieve a successful outcome. Young girls who do not want scars on their breasts, and women of child-bearing age who fear that surgery will compromise their ability to breast feed should consider the less invasive procedure. Darker-skinned women, such as African American women, are suitable candidates for the procedure because they have a greater propensity to experience visible unsightly scars and keloids with standard breast reduction. Secondary indications include patients who have undergone a breast reduction in the past. The viability of the nipple-areola complex may be compromised with another standard reduction.
The Procedure and Recovery
We perform these breast reduction procedures in our fully equipped, state-of-the-art outpatient operating suite, certified to the highest standards by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), located within Dr. Hugo's office in Virginia Beach. Light sedation or anesthesia is administered by board-certified anesthetists to ensure comfort and achieve optimal results. The process will typically proceed as follows:
The breasts are infiltrated with a solution of normal saline, lidocaine and epinephrine. Only two small incisions about a quarter inch long are placed in the folds beneath each breast. Fat is removed using a small tube (cannula) and a suction device.
Once your procedure is completed, discomfort is easily controlled with medications. Most patients are able to return to work and light, normal activity after about two days. It is safe to exercise after two weeks.
You will be required to wear a support bra around the clock, preferably for three months to help you heal and minimize swelling. The garment is significant in holding up the breasts as they heal in the correct position that the bra will hold them in. This will reduce the tendency for the breasts to droop, and will help you achieve some nipple lift and elevation.