Breast Reduction - Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to ease neck or shoulder pain associated with overly large breasts.
What should I expect?
Generally, the fat and glandular tissue is removed through incisions made on your breasts. The incisions may be different depending on the size of the breast but the two main types of incisions are the "anchor" incision or the "lollipop" incisions. The anchor incision will leave you with a scar around the areola, another extending from the edge of the areola down to the crease under the breast and then finally extending along the crease under the breast. The lollipop incision is around the areola and then extends from the edge of the areola down to the crease under the breast. Regardless of technique, the scar around the areola fades very nicely. The vertical scar will remain the most obvious scar in both techniques and the scar under the breast crease may be unattractive but is hidden behind the breast anyway. The type of incision you are a candidate for will be clarified by your plastic surgeon. Once the incisions are made, the excess breast tissue and skin will be removed, the areolas will be shrunken and made more symmetrical and the end result will be a reduced, lifted breast with a nipple in a more youthful position. Your results will be evident immediately following the procedure. Post-surgical swelling and incision lines will be apparent at first, however as the recovery progresses, they will improve. As you continue to recover, your results should become more clear. You may require drains to help remove any fluid collections within the breast after surgery but these will be removed within 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. While the results of your breast reduction are long-lasting, they will change over years due to age and gravity. If you have very large breasts as a teenager and you elect to have a breast reduction before you are finished with puberty, you may need another reduction at the end of puberty.
How should I prepare?
Refrain from taking aspirin, ibuprofen or certain herbal supplements, as these can increase the chance of bleeding. Be sure to disclose everything you are currently taking, regardless of how menial. Stop smoking and all other nicotine products several weeks prior to your procedure. Your surgeon will discuss the recovery with you as well.
What are the risks?
Breast reduction surgery has risks including, but not limited to, scarring, bleeding, infection, loss of nipple sensation, inability to breast feed, nipple necrosis and wound healing issues. The breasts may not be as symmetrical after swelling has resolved and revision surgery may be necessary. If after the drains are removed, fluid may reaccumulate and if extensive, may need to be drained in the office.
How do I ensure my safety?
Be sure you have this procedure performed by an appropriately trained plastic surgeon in an accredited facility. Also, ask to see photos of previous results.
What will recovery be like?
After your procedure is completed, a postoperative bra and drains will be placed. You will either go home that day or stay in the hospital overnight. The length of time you must wear the postoperative bra and keep the drains will be up to your physician. The timing in regards to showering will also be up to your physician. Some physicians encourage showers, but not baths, sooner rather than later.
How much does it cost?
In the United States, the average cost of a breast reduction is $8,631, according to BuildMyBod's 2020 Plastic Surgery Pricing Report.This includes costs of anesthesia, operating room facilities, and other related fees.
See more detailed pricing for this procedure
Questions & Answers
Prepare for your consultation. View these common questions you should ask your surgeon.
Removal of Excess Breast Tissue, Breast Lift Without Implants, Breast Augmentation