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What is breast reduction?

Women who are large-breasted may experience back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, rashes and skin irritation, grooving of bra straps into the shoulders, numbness in the fingertips, and posture problems. Difficulty with performing everyday tasks such as childcare, physical exercise and recreational activities may also present a problem. A negative body image can take its toll emotionally as well.

Our Baltimore breast reduction surgery helps lighten the breasts and improve on physical symptoms, with removal of excessive breast tissue and lifting of the nipple. The goal is to improve form and function. Incisions associated with breast reduction range from under the breast, to peri-areolar, to “lollipop,” to “anchor” shaped incisions, depending on presentation and patient tolerance for scarring. Breast reduction surgery may be combined with abdominoplasty or liposuction to rejuvenate and improve the overall contour of the torso.

Who is a good candidate for breast reduction?

Women who pursue breast reduction present from their teens to their sixties, and are preferably in good physical and mental health and are non-smokers. Breast development should be complete at the time of consultation for teenagers. These women aim to resolve functional issues which may be documented by their primary care provider. During the initial consultation you will discuss with Dr. Shermak breast reduction options most applicable to you, considering your goals for ultimate breast size after surgery. Surgery is customized to your desires and needs.

Breast Reduction Maryland

Why choose Dr. Shermak for your Baltimore breast reduction?

Dr. Shermak has spent her career honing her body sculpting skills and perfecting her impeccable surgical technique. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of breast and body contouring across the globe, contributing to scientific journals and textbooks, and providing support to other physicians seeking world class guidance. She has been featured in popular magazines like More and Baltimore Style, specifically focusing on her approach to breast reduction patients. Dr. Shermak is also warm, compassionate, considerate, creates an atmosphere of trust and transparency that makes her clients feel instantly at home which contributes to arguably the best results in breast reduction Maryland has to offer. Women who are uncomfortable with the look of their breasts are comfortable sharing their story with Dr. Shermak.

Candidacy at a glance:

  • Breasts are fully developed and have stopped growing
  • Client has no plans to get pregnant or to breastfeed
  • Client experiences a variety of symptoms including chaffing, fatigue and back pain
  • Client movement may be mildly or severely restricted
  • Breasts may suffer from asymmetry
  • Nipples may be low-hanging or below the breast crease
  • Clients should be healthy, both physically and psychologically, with no major medical issues
  • Clients should have realistic expectations for improvement rather than perfection

How is breast reduction performed?

Your breast reduction will be performed in a surgery center or hospital under anesthesia, as an outpatient, meaning you will go home from the Recovery Room.

Once anesthesia is administered, surgery is performed as Dr. Shermak will describe in consultation. Incisions include an incision around the nipple areolar complex (often with reduction of the nipple areolar diameter) with an extension down the middle of the breast, and possibly including an incision along the crease under the breast. Through these incisions, the nipple areolar width will be reduced, excess breast tissue along the outer, inner and/or upper breast will be removed, skin will be tightened, the breasts will be narrowed and lifted, and symmetry will be obtained. Dr. Shermak will reshape your breasts to be firmer, rounder and lighter, with higher position of your nipples.

Your breast reduction procedure may take anywhere between 2-3 hours. Drain tubes are only placed for really large reductions. Your breast incisions will be closed and bandaged to maintain the desired results as you heal. Bandages will remain in place until the first followup appointment, typically 4-7 days after surgery. Then you can shower and follow instructions provided for your care.

What is the recovery like for breast reduction?

Surgery is performed as an outpatient in our ambulatory surgery center, or may be performed in the hospital with or without an overnight stay. One may experience temporary discomfort, swelling, or numbness. Dr. Shermak will prescribe the necessary painkillers to ensure your post-operative comfort.

Most women resume regular activities and return to low impact activity after 2 weeks. Heavy exercise and lifting are discouraged for a month. Drains placed during surgery come out within 1-7 days depending on the surgical procedure performed.

Dr. Shermak will outfit you with a surgical bra, which helps alleviate discomfort and injury to the healing incisions for the first 2 months after surgery.

What is the cost of breast reduction in Baltimore?

If insurance will not cover the cost of breast reduction surgery, your specific procedural costs will depend on the type of breast reduction performed, time anticipated for surgery, and whether it will be combined with other surgical procedures. Your estimated cost may range from $7000-$7500.

Will insurance cover my breast reduction?

If your breasts are heavy enough to be causing back pain, bra indentations in the shoulder, neck problems or other muscular pain, insurance may cover the procedure. All insurance plans have a required amount of tissue removal, based on height and weight, and these requirements may differ between insurance plans. Some insurance plans require out of pocket costs from their subscribers. Our experienced office staff will help you determine if the breast reduction will be deemed medically necessary. If it is, your insurance will likely cover the procedure.

What if the breasts are asymmetrical?

Breast asymmetry is a common concern for women, and in some cases the asymmetry can be more pronounced and noticeable. Breast asymmetry can be resolved during breast reduction surgery, and the breasts can be reshaped to look more identical to one another.

Breast reduction using liposuction

For some candidates, breast reduction can be done using liposuction. Breast reduction with liposuction is done by removing the excess fat cells through tiny incisions around the breasts. Tiny incisions are precisely made and the fat is suctioned out using a small vacuum known as a cannula. Liposuction can be used for small reductions in patients who desire barely visible scars or for patients who have complicated medical histories that may challenge healing.

How old are women who undergo breast reduction?

A breast reduction is permanent because the skin, fat and tissue removed during a breast reduction cannot come back. Do keep in mind that gaining weight can cause new fat to be deposited in the breasts, which could significantly increase their size. Some women who undergo surgery at a young age, and then go on to having children and/or going through menopause may require re-reduction, but there will be no additional new scars.

Is breast reduction permanent?

Patients range from teenagers to mature women in their 60’s. Women need to be symptomatic at the younger and older ends of the spectrum, allowing for cosmetic application for women in the mid range who might not be really large but desire a small reduction and lift. Younger women need to understand the surgery, the scars and the required steps to recovery in order to be optimal candidates. They also need to be complete in their breast growth or so large that surgery will stop continued enlargement. Older women need to be healthy with limited risk factors for healing issues or surgical problems.

What kind of scars can I expect with Breast Reduction surgery?

Scars come in 3 varieties. With liposuction, only 3-4 small incisions will be made on either side, barely visible. With only a limited, small reduction, a lollipop incision may result, with an incision around the nipple and down the breast midline. Standard reductions typically have a keyhole incision, including the lollipop with incision along the crease under the breast.

Dr. Shermak is particularly focused on achieving the best possible scar outcome and she will discuss with her patients steps they need to take to optimize scar outcome, depending on where the patient is on her timeline since surgery.

Will I lose sensation in my nipples?

Typically nipple sensation in a large breast with low positioned nipples is low. Breast reduction more often results in a more sensate nipple, though about 10% of the time, sensation may be low after surgery.

Do women tend to be satisfied after breast reduction?

Breast reduction surgery boasts one of the highest satisfaction rates as the procedure reduces preoperative symptoms, like back, neck and shoulder pain, posture problems, bra strap grooving, skin hygiene issues and chest discomfort. Sometimes healing challenges are encountered, but evenso the resolution of symptoms lead to a high satisfaction rate.

Preparing for Surgery

Prior to surgery, health status should be optimized as much as possible, without embarking on a brand new lifestyle. Healthy diet, exercise and vitamins are great to aid in proper healing. Dr. Shermak requires smokers stop smoking for at least 3 months. Dr. Shermak may also ask you to have a mammogram prior to your surgery, definitely if you are over 40 years of age and have not had a mammogram in over a year.

For the week prior to your surgery, stop taking aspirin and specific anti-inflammatory drugs or supplements. These drugs and supplements thin the blood and can cause oozing during your procedure, so it’s important to stop taking them before your surgery.

The total picture

The way you look and feel directly affects your self-confidence. In addition to treating Baltimore breast reduction patients, Dr. Shermak takes care of many Baltimore abdominoplasty, body lift, fat grafting, and liposuction patients. Please visit these pages to learn more about the other cosmetic procedures offered. Combining treatments often saves the patient both time and money, reducing downtime that could better be spent with one’s family and friends, or engaged in meaningful hobbies.

How can I get started with breast reduction in Maryland?

We invite you to call Dr. Shermak’s Baltimore plastic surgery office at 410-324-6592 to schedule your personal breast reduction consultation today. It is recommended that you bring any relevant documentation with you to this appointment, documenting any physical impairments that have occurred secondary to enlarged breasts. During this initial session, the doctor will take your measurements, review your medical history along with any cosmetic work you may have received, and answer all your questions and concerns in depth. Dr. Shermak believes that a well-informed, educated client has the best chance at a successful procedure, therefore she spends an uncommon amount of time in consultation to ensure every area of treatment is discussed and understood before the big day.

The doctor will in some cases provide access to advanced 3D imaging to help you better visualize your results, and you may also visit our online library of before and after photography to see what is possible with breast reduction.

1304 Bellona Avenue, Lutherville-Timonium, MD 21093

Dr. Michele Shermak offers some of the top cosmetic procedures Baltimore, MD has to offer
including Baltimore breast augmentation & liposuction

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View Update Virtual Consultation

We are officially open, thanks to Governor Hogan!

We welcome new patients and are looking forward to performing elective surgical procedures, starting the week of May 11.

This is a new day, with new safety protocols. Our goal is to keep everyone safe and respect the continued risk COVID-19 presents. For this reason, we will be instituting the following protocols:

  • We will have Sandy stationed at our entryway with sterilizer and a COVID-19 survey for our new patients to fill out. Sandy will also check your temperature and collect your paperwork at the door – our medical intake form can be filled out prior to your coming to the office, or you can fill it out after you arrive.
  • Please bring a mask for any in-office visits. If you are coming for surgery, please bring a paper mask if you have one. For any other visits, cloth masks or paper masks are fine.
  • We need any patient waiting to be seen to wait in your car until we can safely accommodate you in an exam room. We need to respect social distancing and are spacing our patients out to assure safety.
  • We can only allow the patient to come in to the office for examination. Friends or family will need to wait outside the office.
  • For those assisting our postoperative patients on the day of surgery: we ask that you kindly wait in your car and we will call you in to discuss postoperative instructions.
  • I am continuing to schedule Virtual Consultations which is exciting and new! Check out my Resources section or header at drshermak.com to get started!

I look forward to seeing you soon!

 

As of July 1st, the staff members at The Plastic Surgery Center of Maryland will no longer routinely be wearing masks following the state guidelines per Governor Hogan.

All of our staff members are vaccinated.

If any patient would prefer that the medical staff member caring for them wear a mask, please let us know and we will gladly do so.

We treat patients with compormised immune systems and we need to be respectful of their needs.

We are asking patients who are not fully vaccinated to please wear masks while in our office so that we may continue to safely accomodate our patients with weakened immune systems.

Thank you!

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