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Reduction mammaplasty, commonly known as breast reduction, comprises the extraction of excess fat, skin, and tissue from the breasts. This surgery can aid in mitigating discomfort or achieving a breast size that harmonizes with the body for those with oversized breasts. Furthermore, breast reduction can boost your self-confidence and enhance your capability to partake in diverse physical activities. If you're contemplating breast reduction surgery, it's essential to consult a certified plastic surgeon. You must be aware of the procedure's details, potential hazards, and consequences and maintain realistic expectations.

What is Breast reduction surgery?

Reduction mammaplasty or breast reduction is a surgical procedure that eliminates excess breast tissue, fat, and skin to achieve a more balanced breast size with the body's proportions, and relieve any discomfort that comes with having overly large breasts (macromastia). Disproportionately large breasts can cause both physical and mental distress, as patients may experience physical discomfort due to the weight of their breasts, making daily tasks and physical activities challenging. Apart from the physical symptoms of macromastia, some patients may also encounter emotional distress or serious mental health issues because of their excessively large breasts. Despite breast reduction surgery being typically addressed for medical reasons, patients who are displeased with the size of their breasts, despite not having macromastia symptoms, can still opt for breast reduction as a cosmetic procedure. Patients may opt for breast reduction surgery for a variety of aesthetic reasons, including social stigmas and fashion concerns.

Reason for Breast Reduction

Breast reduction is typically intended for women with larger breasts who desire to address issues such as chronic pain in the neck, shoulders, and back requiring pain medication, severe skin rash or inflammation underneath the breasts, nerve pain, limited mobility, asymmetrical self-image due to oversized breasts and difficulty fitting into bras and clothing. This procedure can be performed at any age, including during adolescence. However, if breast development is incomplete, another reduction surgery may be necessary later in life. Sometimes, it may be necessary to postpone the surgery if weight loss or childbirth is planned in the future. Weight loss can result in changes in breast size, and breastfeeding may be difficult after breast reduction surgery. Certain surgical techniques may help maintain the ability to breastfeed after the procedure. This procedure may not be suitable for people who smoke, have underlying health conditions like diabetes or heart disease, are obese or wish to avoid scarring on their breasts.

Choosing a Breast Reduction Surgeon 

Selecting a plastic or cosmetic surgeon is a crucial decision to make in case you are thinking about reducing your breast size. Despite being a reconstructive procedure, patients usually desire aesthetic benefits along with physical relief. It is essential to trust and have faith in the surgeon's expertise to accurately reduce the breast size and create a more pleasing shape that complements the body's overall appearance.

What should I expect during a Breast reduction surgery consultation?

During your consultation for breast reduction, it is crucial that you are completely honest about your health, preferences, and way of life in order to ensure the treatment's effectiveness and safety. The consultation will cover various topics, such as your reasons for wanting the procedure, your expectations and goals, your medical history including diseases, medication allergies, and current treatments including medication, vitamins, supplements, alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs. Moreover, previous surgeries, family history of breast cancer, mammogram and biopsy results will also be discussed. Your plastic surgeon will examine your overall health, any existing medical conditions, and risk factors. Additionally, they will thoroughly measure your breast size and shape, skin quality, and nipple and areola positioning, take medical photographs, and create a treatment plan according to your preferences. The surgeon will also discuss the expected outcomes of the breast reduction procedure, as well as any associated risks or potential complications, and the use of anesthesia during the procedure.

What are some of the questions I should ask my plastic surgeon concerning breast reduction surgery?

During your consultation for breast reduction, you can refer to this checklist: Is your surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery? Are they a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons? Was their training specifically in plastic surgery? How long have they been studying it? Where and how will the surgery be performed? Do they have the necessary credentials to perform the procedure in a hospital, and if so, which ones? Is the surgical facility in their office accredited, licensed, or Medicare-certified by a nationally or state-recognized accrediting agency? Is breast reduction surgery the right choice for you? What steps will you need to take for the best results after the surgery? What is the best surgical method for you? What will your recovery time be, and what assistance will you need? What are the risks and complications of the procedure, and how will any issues be addressed? How will breast reduction impact your ability to breastfeed? What will your breasts look like in the future, including after pregnancy and breastfeeding? What can you do if you are not satisfied with the results? Lastly, do they have any before and after photos of breast reduction that you can view, and what results are reasonable to expect?

How to Prepare for Breast Reduction?

 Before undergoing a breast reduction procedure, it is necessary to have a thorough breast examination to determine if you are a suitable candidate. This may involve conducting a mammogram or other laboratory tests to confirm your overall health. During the examination, you and your doctor will decide if a general or local anesthetic is more appropriate based on your individual needs. You may be asked to discontinue using certain over-the-counter medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen leading up to the procedure. It is important to arrange for someone to drive you home and care for you for a few days following surgery. If you require prescription medications to manage pain after the procedure, they should be called in ahead of time. In the hours leading up to surgery, you will likely be instructed to refrain from eating or drinking anything. Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions on these matters.

Breast Reduction Procedure


Depending on your particular case, you may have breast reduction surgery performed as an outpatient or you may need to spend a night at the hospital. The surgery will be carried out under general anesthesia, meaning that you will be asleep for its duration. The procedure typically lasts between two and five hours, although this timeframe can vary based on your breast size and shape, the amount of tissue to be removed, and your desired end result. Your surgeon will employ one of three surgical techniques, such as liposuction, which involves making a small incision and using a tube and vacuum to remove excess fat, or the vertical or inverted-T method, which involves creating incisions around the areola and downward to the breast crease, and may be necessary for larger reductions or those with significant sagging.

What Happens After Breast Reduction?


After the breast surgery, the surgeon will cover your breasts with bandages similar to gauze. To remove excess fluids due to swelling after surgery, drainage tubes may be inserted in the breasts. The doctor will let you know when it is safe to remove the bandages, which could take up to a week. You may not be able to wear a bra during this time, and you will require

Breast Reduction Recovery


It is possible that you will be discharged on the same day as your operation; however, you will require an extended period of rest and recovery. The duration of recovery varies for each patient, with some needing several weeks. Your surgeon will provide directions on how to remove the dressings and stitches during your follow-up appointments. Post-operation, you may feel tired and experience discomfort in your breasts, for which the doctor will prescribe pain medication. To allow for healing, avoid physical activities and exercises for at least a month, as well as heavy lifting that may impede the breast reduction healing process. After surgery, some individuals may experience emotional responses such as depression, which is common, but it is necessary to notify your surgeon of any worries.

Breast Reduction Results 

A successful breast reduction surgery can alleviate discomfort in the neck, upper back, and shoulders, as well as improve physical activity and boost self-confidence. The immediate effects of breast reduction are noticeable, but it should be noted that swelling and surgical scars will decrease over time. While breast size and shape may change due to weight fluctuations and aging, the overall outcome of the surgery is typically permanent.

Breast Reduction Risks and Complications


The breast reduction procedure commonly causes scarring, which may not fully disappear but usually fades over time. Carrying heavy objects too soon after the operation can worsen scarring. Along with scarring, other risks associated with breast reduction include infection, loss of sensation, adverse effects of anesthesia, bleeding, blood clots, bruising, swelling, damage to blood vessels, nerves, or other body parts, and the possibility of needing a second surgery. In some cases, skin grafts may be necessary for complications such as insufficient nipple healing. It's important to seek medical attention if you notice signs of infection or abnormal discharge from the incision area or if sutures come out before they are supposed to. The location of the procedure will depend on the specific medical facility chosen.

Breast reduction surgery can be performed at a certified surgical facility such as an office-based center, an ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital. Your plastic surgeon and the team accompanying them will take every necessary step to ensure your comfort and safety during the procedure. After you return home, seek medical treatment right away if you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, or irregular heartbeats. These symptoms may require hospitalization and further treatment. While positive results are expected, there is no guarantee in medical and surgical procedures. In some cases, a single procedure may not be enough and additional surgeries may be needed to achieve the desired outcome. It is crucial to follow your doctor's post-operative instructions carefully to ensure the success of the surgery. It is essential to avoid putting undue pressure or motion on the surgical incisions during the healing process. Ensure that you ask your plastic surgeon any questions or concerns you may have. It is typical to feel anxious, either due to anticipation of the outcome or previous stress levels. Discuss these concerns with your plastic surgeon as soon as possible.

Outlook after Breast Reduction 


The inflammation resulting from a breast reduction surgery will diminish gradually, and the scars might take almost one and a half years to disappear and appear as faint marks. As you recover, you will likely feel more pleased with the new look. The surgery's objective is to alleviate the discomfort and limitations you were suffering from before by enhancing the shape and size of your breasts. Additionally, your newfound symmetry could improve your overall self-esteem. Although ageing, hormonal factors, fluctuations in weight, and the effects of gravity can make your breasts change over time, the results of the breast reduction procedure should be long-lasting.

What is the Cost of Breast Reduction?


The latest data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveals that the quoted cost is just one aspect of the overall expenses involved in breast reduction surgery. Factors such as anesthesia, operating room expenses, and additional charges are not included in this average cost. To determine the comprehensive cost of the procedure, it is recommended to get in touch with the cosmetic surgeon's office. The fees for breast reduction surgery may vary based on the surgeon's proficiency, the specific surgical technique employed, and the location of the healthcare practice. Patients can explore financing options by consulting with their surgeon.

Breast reduction expenses may include the following:

The expenses involved in breast reduction surgery include not only the fee for the board-certified plastic surgeon but also anesthesia, medical examinations, post-operative clothing, medication prescriptions, and the overall costs of the hospital or surgical institution. It is important to consider the surgeon's experience and your personal comfort level with them, as these factors are just as significant as the final cost.

Is health insurance going to pay for breast reduction surgery?


Many health insurance policies provide coverage for breast reduction surgery. To perform the operation, your plastic surgeon may require permission from the insurance company, which may involve sending a letter along with images. Once the authorization has been obtained, you can schedule your surgery. You will be responsible for paying any copays or deductibles required by your insurance plan. In the event that your health insurance does not cover breast reduction surgery, you can opt to pay for it yourself.



Breast reduction surgery is a medical process that involves eliminating excessive breast fat, skin, and glandular tissue. The primary objective of this surgery is to provide breasts with an appropriate size that matches the rest of the body. This procedure can also help in reducing the discomfort associated with having overly large breasts. If you have concerns about your appearance and want to boost your self-confidence through cosmetic surgeries, there are alternative solutions available. Seeking assistance from a therapist or counselor can be helpful in overcoming such concerns and improving your overall appearance.




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