breast reduction patient

When Is The Best Time To Schedule Breast Reduction?

When it comes to breast reduction, it’s natural to want things to go according to plan. You want everything to be right — the right procedure, the right surgeon, a smooth recovery and results that meet, or surpass, your expectations. Part of that puzzle is finding the right time for your surgery. You want to leave plenty of time for your body to heal, while also making sure you’re ready in time for any big events and don’t interrupt any more of your regular life than you need to.

Ultimately, the best time to schedule breast reduction surgery is whenever it feels right for you. Each patient has a unique set of circumstances and the most important thing is to plan your surgery around a time that aligns with your schedule and your goals. That said, for reasons discussed below, we have found that many of our patients at New Image Plastic Surgery prefer to have breast reduction surgery at the end of the year. After a consultation, Dr. Gartside can create a customized treatment plan based around the timeframe that is best for you.

How Long Are You Willing to Be in Discomfort?

Living with excessively large breasts can have both physical and emotional consequences. Candidates for breast reduction frequently suffer from uncomfortable symptoms, including chronic pain in their neck, shoulders and back, deep indentations from their bra straps, numbness or tingling in their fingers or hands, skin irritation under their breasts and migraine headaches. Many also struggle with feelings of embarrassment, social anxiety, shame, objectification, low self-esteem or self-consciousness due to the unwanted attention their body receives.

Breast reduction surgery improves physical and mental health simultaneously, alleviating medical issues while also restoring body-confidence and helping you feel more comfortable in your skin. The sooner your surgery takes place, the sooner you can enjoy a better quality of life.

How Flexible Is Your Work Schedule?

Like any surgical procedure, breast reduction requires some downtime. Planning in advance can help you fit it into your life at a time when it is minimally disruptive or stressful. Dr. Gartside’s patients often like to schedule surgery around a holiday when they know they will not be expected to work so they can take less time off to recover. Scheduling over a holiday can also mean that friends and family members also have time off and may be more available to assist you after surgery. Winter is a popular time because there are several major holidays and it is a slow time of year for many businesses.

What Are Your Plans for Children, Breastfeeding and Weight Loss?

If you want the cosmetic benefits of your breast reduction to last for as long as possible, you must think ahead. Weight fluctuations, pregnancy and breastfeeding naturally change the size and shape of your breasts, potentially reversing the improvements of a breast reduction that has already taken place. In some cases, breast reduction surgery can affect a patient’s ability to breastfeed. The risk for breastfeeding complications is low but should be taken into account as you consider the ideal timing for your breast reduction.

If you plan to lose a substantial amount of weight or have children in the future, you may want to reach these life milestones before scheduling your procedure. Alternatively, if you do not want to wait, you can still be a good candidate for breast reduction but should be aware that you may need revision surgery in later years.

How Much Time Will You Need for Recovery?

Breast reduction recovery is a gradual process. Many patients experience immediate relief from neck, shoulder and back pain after surgery and most feel well enough to return to work within a week. However, it takes longer than that for the final results of the procedure to emerge. Postoperative swelling subsides over the course of several weeks, while the appearance of scars can continue to improve for six months or more. Additionally, your breasts may heal at a different rate, leading to asymmetry in the initial stages of the recovery process.

These are also reasons Dr. Gartside’s patients often choose to schedule their surgery in winter. A winter procedure offers months of uninterrupted healing time, so you’ll be ready to show off your new shape when summer swimsuit season arrives. Dr. Gartside will explain what to expect after breast reduction, as well as any breast reduction risks and complications that may occur, during your consultation.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Season?

Having your breast reduction in winter has additional benefits. Cooler temperatures allow you to wear bulkier clothing that camouflages swelling, bruising, surgical bras and other signs of surgery. Winter is typically a more relaxed season, when less time is spent traveling, playing sports, enjoying the outdoors and attending social engagements. This gives you more time to stay at home and give your body the rest it needs to heal, while avoiding the summer sun and heat that can make recovery more uncomfortable.

Will Your Insurance Company Cover Breast Reduction?

Your insurer may cover some or all of your breast reduction procedure if it is undertaken to relieve pain, skin irritation or another medical problem. Insurance companies usually do not cover breast reduction surgery if it is done solely to change the appearance of the breasts. You will likely need to document your symptoms as well as unsuccessful attempts to treat them with nonsurgical methods in order to build a compelling case that your breast reduction procedure is medically necessary. We recommend beginning this process early, particularly if you’re aiming to have surgery during the busy winter season, as it can take 30-40 days to obtain authorization from your insurance company.

Schedule Your Breast Reduction Consultation with Dr. Roberta Gartside

Breast reduction surgery is popular all year long, and can dramatically improve your life no matter when you have it, but winter is the preferred time of year for many patients of New Image Plastic Surgery. If you’re considering breast reduction surgery this winter in Reston, Fairfax, McLean or the nearby areas of Virginia and Washington, D.C., we invite you to call 703-742-8004 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gartside.