If you feel your breasts are too large, or if your breasts are causing you pain or embarrassment, or if your breasts are holding you back from physical activity, a breast reduction might be right for you.
What is breast reduction surgery?
Breast reduction surgery, also called reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure in which a surgeon removes excess breast fat, tissue and skin to reduce the size of the breast, and slightly lifts the breast. This can create a breast size more in proportion with your body, and can alleviate discomfort associated with large breasts. Breast reduction surgery is ideal for patients who experience backaches, shoulder pain or other discomforts related to large or weighty breasts.
If your breast reduction surgery is done for cosmetic reasons, it likely will not be covered by insurance. However, if breast reduction is deemed necessary for a medical reason, such as to eliminate back or shoulder pain, insurance might cover the procedure. Please discuss this with our office before scheduling your surgery.
Women who need to lose large amounts of weight and women who smoke are not good candidates for breast reduction surgery. Smoking restricts blood flow to breast tissue which can lead to post-operative complications.
What does breast reduction surgery involve?
Breast reduction surgery could be an inpatient or outpatient procedure depending on the extent of the surgery. During a breast reduction, you will be given general anesthesia to minimize discomfort. Our surgeons will use liposuction or other surgical methods to remove excess fat and tissue. Our surgeons will then remove unneeded skin and reposition the nipple on the now-smaller breast. Stitches or surgical tape will hold together incisions and help support the breast while it heals.
Our surgeons might want you to have a mammogram (breast X-ray) before your surgery.
What to expect after a breast reduction
After a breast reduction, you can expect grogginess related to anesthesia and chest soreness for a time. You will also experience swelling which will go down eventually. Breast reduction scars will also fade.
You will wear bandages for a few days after surgery, and then a soft, supportive bra once bandages are removed.
You can return to work after a week or two, but more vigorous activity needs to be avoided for longer.
The results of a breast reduction will be long-lasting. Breast volume will not return on its own, but breast size might increase with weight gain.
Breast reduction side effects and risks
Breast reduction surgery carries the same risks as most surgeries, most related to the threat of infection, bleeding or unfavorable scarring. Our surgeons make every effort to eliminate these risks.
Breast skin might be dry after surgery, but moisturizer can eliminate discomfort.
Swelling might result in some numbness. This will lessen over time, but some numbness might be permanent.