Breast Reduction

Breast reduction is designed to reduce the size of a woman’s breasts. It may also improve the overall appearance or shape of your breasts and help balance breast asymmetries. It helps in the treatment of physical complaints such as neck, shoulder and back pain that is experienced by many women with large breasts.

Skin, along with breast tissue and fat are removed to create smaller, shapelier breasts. An added benefit where ptosis (droop) exists is a simultaneous uplift of the nipple areolar complex to a more normal position. The areolar (darker skin which surrounds the nipple) may also be reduced in size and made more symmetric.

Who is a Candidate

  • Patients who want smaller breasts.
  • Patients with extensive breast asymmetry.
  • Healthy patients without breast cancer.
  • Patients who possess realistic expectations.
  • Patients who will tolerate breast scars.
  • Patients who complain of chronic neck, shoulder and back pain from excessive breast size.
  • Patients with large breasts who experience chronic skin irritation along their bra straps and under the breast folds.

Intended Results

  • Smaller breast size.
  • Improved breast contour.
  • Clothes that fit better.

Procedure Description

  • Breast reduction is performed in an accredited outpatient surgical facility or in the hospital under general anesthesia or conscious sedation with local anesthesia.
  • Depending on several factors, breast reductions are performed using surgical techniques that preserve breast tissue and maintain a healthy blood supply to the breasts.
  • Various breast skin closures are available which will determine the placement and size of your postoperative scars.
  • A drain may be inserted at the time of surgery.
  • Breast tissue is usually submitted for biopsy (pathologist examines).

Recuperation and Healing

  • Postoperative discomfort is controlled with oral medications.
  • Surgical drains may be used after the surgery. Your Cosmetic Surgeon will determine when these are to be removed.
  • A special postoperative support bra will be worn after surgery for several weeks.
  • Postoperative care the first night may be at home with a responsible adult, an overnight care facility, or overnight at the hospital.
  • The patient will be seen the next day for evaluation.
  • Sutures will remain in place and are removed at an appropriate time as determined by your Cosmetic Surgeon (usually 2-3 weeks).
  • Light activity may usually resume in less than 10 days. Sports activities may be resumed in six weeks or longer (depending on your surgeon’s advice).

Other Options

  • Breast volume reduction by breast fat liposuction – liposculpture.
  • Breast contouring and uplift (mastopexy) using breast skin resection with or without liposculpture.


The specific risks and suitability of this procedure for a given individual can only be determined at the time of consultation with your Cosmetic Surgeon. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are rare.