A breast reduction typically includes a lift. However, a lift does not necessarily require a reduction. Both operations have similar incision patterns and resultant scars, but they have different indications. One of the first questions I ask a patient who desires an improved appearance of her breasts is if she would like to be the same size, smaller, or larger. The patient who wants to be the same size and is happy with her breasts when wearing a bra but unhappy with the amount of sagging without a bra is a candidate for a breast lift alone. The patient who desires to be smaller or has one breast noticeably larger than the other, is a candidate for a breast reduction-lift combination. Sometimes patients feel their breasts look smaller after removal of the excess skin with the lift even though no breast tissue was removed; the reason for this is that some of what fills your bra cup is excess skin. The patient with sagging who desires to have larger breasts is a candidate for a breast lift with implants.
On average, breast reduction costs between $6,500 and $12,000. This does not include additional expenses that may be involved such as any medical tests that must be done prior to surgery (e.g mammogram) surgical garments and pain medications. Many women who consider breast reduction also have other cosmetic procedures done at the same time such liposuction, breast lift and abdominoplasty to enhance the overall results. If additional procedures are performed at the same time, this could also increase your overall cost. However, there usually is a discounted rate surgeons offer for having multiple procedures performed at the same time.
There are two types of breast implants approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA): silicone-filled and saline-filled. They come in various sizes and shapes, and with two types of shells: textured shells and smooth shells. A type of silicone-filled implant with a thicker filling, called a form-stable highly cohesive implant, or "gummy bear" breast implant, is currently under investigation and may one day provide another option for women undergoing breast augmentation with implants.
How long you are off work depends on your occupation. If you do clerical work (i.e. stockbroker, teacher, or programmer), you can return to work when you feel up to it. This usually takes about two to three days. Do not go to work for three weeks if you do manual labor (i.e. entertainer, truck driver or personal trainer). Regardless of your employment, do not lift anything weighing more than five pounds for three weeks.