A friend of mine had surgery before Dr. Hakan. I went to the...Read more
By Bahar Ozbal • Medical review by Osman Kelahmetoglu, MD on June 29, 2022
What is Breast Reduction ?
Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, breast reduction or lift, is a plastic surgical procedure that is performed to reduce the size of the breasts by removing the excess skin, breast fat, and glandular tissue.
Breast reduction is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures which has the highest rates of satisfaction. There are many women who have discomfort (both physically and psychologically) associated with excessively large breasts.
Also men can also prefer reducing the size of their breasts and in that case, the operation is called gynecomastia surgery.
Who Might Want to Get Breast Reduction?
Women who have complications beside large breasts might want to get Breast Reduction. The specific complications are listed below;
Back and neck pain,
Chronic rash or skin irritation under the breast fold
Difficulty in finding clothes or bras
Physical activity limitations and not being able to take part in some activities
Who are the Right Candidates for Breast Reduction?
Individuals who are physically healthy, non-smoker and have realistic expectations are the right candidates for Breast Reduction surgery.
The individuals who has
dissatisfaction with large and heavy breasts,
discomfort and pain caused by the large and heavy breasts
difficulty in finding a brassiere or clothes that fits,
Shoulder grooves or marks from bra straps
Skin irritation beneath the breast crease are the right candidates for Breast Reduction surgery.
How is Breast Reduction Done?
Breast reduction surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia and takes around three to four hours. The breast reduction surgery includes removal of the excess fat, glandular tissue and skin.
There are 2 ways to remove excess fat; liposuction is an option beside excision technique. Liposuction may be planned alone if the fatty tissue and excess skin is not a factor. But in most cases both surgery and liposuction will be planned.
As any other cosmetic surgery, breast reduction surgery is also unique and will be planned/performed due to the individual's condition, breast composition, and amount of reduction desired.
After the technique is decided the entire procedure will contain the steps below;
Step 1 – Anesthesia
Intravenous sedation or general anesthesia will be used.
Step 2 – The incision
Incisions made for breast reduction surgery are usually performed around the nipple and areola and down each breast.
Step 3 – Removing tissue
The surgeon may prefer to use liposuction to remove excess fat or may prefer to remove excess breast tissue, fat and skin just by surgery.
Step 4 – Repositioning
After the underlying breast tissue is reduced, the surgeon will reshape the breast and reset the nipple and areola.
Step 5 – Closing the incisions
The incisions will be closed by skin adhesives and/or surgical tape close to the skin.
How Should You Prepare for Breast Reduction?
While preparing for Breast Reduction surgery the individuals have to follow the surgeon’s directions. Day before the surgery the individuals must restrict eating, drinking and taking medications.
There are some medications and types of food that may cause bleeding, it is important to inform the surgeon about the medications you take and the diet plan you are on. Avoid taking blood thinners at least a week before the surgery.
While preparing for Breast Reduction the plastic surgeon will likely to learn the individual's medical history and overall health, a mammogram will be taken to monitor if the breasts are healthy or not.
It is important to have realistic expectations while you and your surgeon are discussing the size and shape of the breast. Don't hesitate to ask about the risks and benefits of the surgery, including how the scars will look and whether there will be loss of feeling.
Before and after surgery the individuals must avoid smoking. At least six weeks before and after surgery don't smoke, if possible quit smoking.
After breast reduction surgery the individuals may go home on the same day. Arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital.
What Happens Before Breast Reduction Procedure?
Before Breast Reduction procedure the individuals will go in for a preoperative consultation. The preoperative consultation will include;
Detailed medical history,
Allergies you may have,
Personal or family history of any breast problems
If exists smoking history and any prior surgeries,
If exists history of breast lumps or biopsies,
If the individual is planning to get pregnant after Breast Reduction procedure, detailed information will be given on the process of pregnancy and lactation
What Happens During Breast Reduction Procedure?
Breast reduction is a major surgery that needs to be performed under general anesthesia. After a detailed medical examination of the patient, the surgeon decides the type of the procedure because every patient's situation is different from each other. The type of procedure is shaped by the patient's demands also other than the surgeon's medical opinion.
There are two surgical techniques for the procedure: vertical breast reduction and inverted-T breast reduction.
In the first technique, which is also called lollipop breast reduction, two incisions are made: one around the areola and the second one from the bottom of the areola.
In the second technique, which is also called anchor breast reduction, an incision made around the areola connects with another vertical incision within the crease and this is very popular when making significant size reduction.
In both techniques, the surgeon removes the excess fat, skin, and tissue and if it's necessary, removes and puts the nipple and areola in a higher position.
If the fatty tissue is more than breast tissue, the surgeon can also perform liposuction during the procedure.
What Happens After Breast Reduction Procedure?
After the Breast Reduction procedure, to wake up from anesthesia the individuals will be taken to a recovery room. Through this period it is common to feel breast pain and nausea. You will be given some medication to ease these symptoms.
Probably a few hours after the Breast Reduction procedure you will be able to be discharged from hospital. According to the scope of the surgery, your surgeon may ask you to stay overnight.
How Much Does Breast Reduction Cost?
Breast reduction surgery cost may vary depending on the place where the surgery is performed and the surgeon who performs the procedure. Even though it is a plastic surgery procedure, most medical insurance companies consider breast reduction as a medically necessary procedure.
If your doctor provides the necessary documents about your procedure, it is covered mostly by health insurance. The average cost of breast reduction surgery is $ 2000.
How Long is Breast Reduction Recovery Period?
The recovery after breast reduction surgery takes around two to six weeks... The healing process needs a little bir rest so at the first week or maybe 2 weeks you have to take time off from work and any other responsibilities.
The First Day after breast reduction surgery most probably you will be discharged from hospital and turn back home where you will continue the healing process.
There will be bandages covering the incisions (so you won't be able to see the incisions on the first day) and a post-operative bra which is given right after the surgery. Including the first day, the early post-op period, all you have to do is to take good care of yourself; eat well, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity.
During the first week it is normal to deal with some post surgical pain. Pain killers will be helpful.
In the first week you may do some gentle activities, such as walking. This will give a positive effect on the healing process.
As smoking can get in the way of the healing process you must never start smoking during the recovery.
After 2 weeks you may start to return to normal. But keep in mind that you are still in the early stages of healing. Near the end of the month if your surgeon agrees you may start low-impact exercise.
After the First Month you will start to realize the benefits of your breast reduction. The neck and shoulder pain that you have been through will start to decrease. You will start to feel free to move.
The incisions that bothers will start to heal. And maybe the most important part is that you will find better fitting clothes.
What are the Pros and Cons of Breast Reduction?
Pros of a breast reduction
Breast reduction helps to reduce neck, shoulder, and back pain related with big breast,
Breast reduction have a positive impact on confidence and self-esteem,
Breast reduction brings freedom to activities and exercise
Cons of Breast Reduction
Healing after Breast reduction surgery typically takes two to four weeks. At least a week of downtime is required.
Depending on the surgeon’s technique, breast reduction surgery may inhibit the production of milk due to tissue removal.
Breast reduction surgery leaves behind scars. Incision lines usually fade but this may not be the case in all patients.
Asymmetry problems may be seen after the surgery.
Is Breast Reduction Painful?
During the procedure thanks to anesthesia you will not feel pain, but after the surgery get ready to expect pain for two to three days. Your surgeon will advise some pain killers to help the process.
What is the Ideal Season for Breast Reduction?
The best season for breast reduction is late autumn, winter and early spring time. Summer period is not recommended for breast reduction surgery.
Hot weather, sun exposure may cause negative effects on recovery. On the other hand, colder months will help to conceal swelling and other temporary side effects as the individuals wear bulkier clothes during the winter period.
How Long Does a Breast Reduction Last?
Results of a Breast Reduction are long lasting. As the tissue that is removed will not regrow the results will be permanent. What affects the results is the aging process. The breast size will not regrow but they might be sagg by time.
What are the Atages of Swelling After Breast Reduction?
Swelling may persist for a couple of weeks after surgery. The early days after the surgery swelling will peak up. After about a week, the majority of the swelling will start to decrease. It takes 3-4 months for all of the swelling to go away.
What are the Complications and Side Effects of Breast Reduction Surgery?
Bruising, swelling, and scarring are the most common side effects of breast reduction while the patients carry the typical risks of a surgery such as reaction to anesthesia, infection, or hematoma.
Other risks and side effects are:
Loss of sensitivity in nipples
Loss of breastfeeding ability
Asymmetrical breasts (a revision surgery may be considered)
Written on 01/01/2018
Last Update: 30/05/2023
Breast Reduction Before & After Photos
Before & After
Before & After
Before & After
Before & After
Before & After