10 things you need to know before breast reduction surgery

10 things you need to know before breast reduction surgery

19th Jul 2018

Breast reduction surgery is one of the most commonly performed operations in the US. It is an effective treatment for overly developed breasts. While bigger breasts look aesthetically appealing, overly large breasts look weird and abnormal. Patients with very large breasts often experience emotional trauma and lower self-confidence, besides experiencing physical pain. Below are ten important thing patients need to know before undergoing breast reduction.

1. Your health insurance provider may cover breast reduction

Normally, health insurance does not cover plastic surgery procedures undertaken for cosmetic purposes. However, with some effort, you can have your health insurance cover your breast reduction surgery. How come? Well, overly large breasts (macromastia) is not only aesthetically unwelcoming, but it also causes physical pain.

For example, very large breasts can put a strain on your body, causing pain in your back, shoulder, and neck. Since health insurance covers health conditions that cause physical pain and discomfort, most insurance providers cover breast reduction. You should confirm with your health insurance company whether they are covering breast reduction before the intervention.

2. Know your candidacy

The second important thing you need to know is your candidacy for breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction is a major surgery, which means there are certain eligibility criteria you would be required to meet in order to be considered for the surgery. A good candidate for breast reduction is someone who has overly developed breasts that look aesthetically unwelcoming and cause emotional and physical pain for the patient. In order to qualify for the procedure, you need to be in good health condition, apart from having stable breasts and realistic goals and expectations.

3. Know the risks and side effects

The next important thing you should know before breast reduction is the risks associated with the procedure. There are many risks and side effects that can occur after the surgery. The common risks and side effects of breast reduction include excessive bleeding, change in or loss of breast sensation, unsightly scarring, poor wound healing, seroma, hematoma, blood clotting, and infections. Make sure to discuss the risks with the plastic surgeon in advance of the surgery. If you have poor health, the risks may be greater for you. Make sure to discuss your health condition with the surgeon as well.

4. Know the size you want

If you have overly large breasts that are causing emotional pain for you, you must have an idea about the breast size you consider ideal. During the consultation, you should clearly communicate to the surgeon the breast size you desire to achieve. You may ask the surgeon to show you before and after pictures of his patients who have undergone breast reduction. This will give you a pretty good idea about the breast size you would like to achieve.

5. Be aware of the scars after surgery

Scarring is unavoidable in breast reduction. The surgery involves incisions and surgical trauma. During the procedure, the plastic surgeon will remove the excess skin, tissue, and fat from the breasts. The incisions made for this purpose would result in scars. The scars develop as a result of your body’s natural response to the incisions. Most scars are normal; however, depending on your genetic tendencies and other factors, you may develop abnormal and unsightly scars. Be sure to follow the surgeon instructions to avoid abnormal scarring after breast reduction surgery.

6. Your nipple sensation may change

During breast reduction surgery, your nerves may be injured. When the nerves are injured or damaged, the patient may experience a change in or a loss of breast sensation. The change or loss of breast sensation can be temporary or permanent. Most temporary breast sensation changes occur due to the post-operative swelling and nerve injury. Fortunately, majority of patients regain their natural breast sensation gradually over time.

7. You may lose your breastfeeding capability

As stated above, breast reduction is a major surgery. It involves tampering with and injuring the breast skin, pectoral muscles, fat, and glandular tissue. During the surgery, the milk ducts may be injured or damaged, which may result in a temporary or permanent loss of the ability to breastfeed. This is the reason why patients are advised to undergo breast reduction only after having children. Luckily, the advent of new surgical technologies and improvement of the techniques have reduced the risk of loss of breastfeeding capability. Now, most patients retain their breastfeeding capability even after breast reduction.

8. Your breasts might appear strange for some time

After the surgery, your breasts might look weird to you for some days or weeks. This is absolutely normal. Like other areas of the body, abrupt change in the size and shape of the breasts may make you feel repentance for your decision. It takes time for the breasts to heal, the swelling to disappear, and the new breasts to fully emerge after the intervention. After a few weeks of months, you will feel satisfied with the achieved outcomes.

9. Wearing the compression garments

After the surgery, you will be required to wear compression garments for a few weeks or months. Be sure to wear the garments for the recommended time period because they play a crucial role in containing and decreasing the swelling, keeping your new breasts intact until they heal, and defining the aesthetic features of the breasts.

10. Your self-esteem

As a result of the improvement in your breast size, you will experience a rise in your self-esteem. The improvement in your self-esteem will help you succeed in other areas of your life, such as your profession, personal life, and social life.


Breast reduction surgery is an effective procedure to decrease the size of overly large breasts. Every year, tens of thousands of people undergo breast reduction surgery in the US. There are certain important things about breast reduction most patients are not aware of. The important things you need to know before breast reduction have been explained above.

Share this article: