Introduction Breast reduction is performed both to improve the appearance of the patient’s body but also to increase functionality. Due to the excessive size and volume of the breasts, many daily tasks that would be easy and without a struggle for other women are real burdens for women with big breasts. In some cases when the breasts are extreme and prevent women from living a healthy, normal life, health insurance can support the cost of the procedure as it is considered a health issue more than an aesthetic issue. Whatever the goal of the procedure might be and whatever the issue that the patient wants to correct, one thing is clear: after the procedure, the patient will have a more harmonious appearance of the body. If the breasts are overly large and they cause constant back, neck and shoulder pain as well as an abnormal body posture, we are technically not talking about aesthetic surgery, but a procedure performed for a curative purpose, even if the techniques used when performing it are from plastic surgery. For women suffering due to the overly large size of their breasts, it is important to know that no physical exercises or other methods will have an effect of reducing the volume of the breasts. The breasts can be reduced only with the help of plastic surgery. In this article, we will discuss how to achieve a harmonious appearance of the body with breast reduction. When is breast reduction necessary? Reduction mammoplasty is the medical term we use for breast reduction. It is a procedure performed under general anesthesia on patients who are struggling with day-to-day life and regular activities due to the excessive volume of their breasts. The procedure is known to improve the life quality of patients as numerous conditions associated with overly large breasts are corrected. For example, patients undergoing breast reduction who have suffered from neck, back and shoulder pain in the past will notice that this will disappear after the procedure. Patients will also notice that finding suitable clothing and lingerie will be much easy after breast reduction and that the whole appearance of their body will be more harmonious. Instructions before undergoing breast reduction surgery For patients interested in undergoing breast reduction, there are some things they need to be aware of before undergoing the procedure. Like many other plastic surgery procedures, there is a preparation period of about two to four weeks before the surgery date, and during this time the patient needs to follow some recommendations to avoid complications. For patients undergoing breast procedures, it is important to have a mammography or a breast echography a month before the procedure to make sure the tissues of the breasts are in perfect order. The procedure is not recommended if unusual formations are noticed in the breasts. Another important instruction is to avoid catching a cold or any type of infection before the surgery. The procedure should be performed on women in good health, so even something as trivial as a cold or a dental infection can determine the rescheduling of the procedure. The weeks before the procedure, patients are also advised to avoid anti-inflammatory medication, specifically medication containing aspirin as it could cause excessive bleeding due to its anticoagulant properties. Moreover, birth control pills should be stopped a month before the surgery, and the procedure should be scheduled outside the menstrual cycle. Smoking is another strict no-no before surgery. Considering the magnitude of the procedure, smoking can cause real complications during the recovery period and even unnecessarily prolong the healing due to the lack of proper oxygenation of the tissues. It is important for the patient to cease smoking at least three weeks before and after the procedure to allow for a normal recovery period and avoid complications. Sun exposure is also to be avoided in the weeks before surgery as the skin on the breasts need to be in good condition before the procedure. How is breast reduction surgery performed? When trying to make the body more harmonious by reducing the size of the breasts, most plastic surgeons would prefer to perform the procedure with the patient under general anesthesia. This preference is motivated by the need to keep the patient comfortable for extended periods of time as the procedure could last even up to a few hours, depending on the amount of tissue to be removed. The procedure will begin with the plastic surgeon making an incision according to the markings drawn before the procedure and according to the discussion with the patient that took place during the pre-operative consultation. The incisions can be different from patient to patient as they depend on the quantity of mammary gland tissue to be removed. As a general rule, the more tissue to be removed, the larger will the incisions be. After the mammary gland tissue in excess is removed, the nipple and areola complex will be repositioned on the breasts and the areola can be reduced in size if it is too large compared to the new anatomy of the breast. When the plastic surgeon achieves the desired results in terms of size and shape of the breasts, the incisions are sutured, and a compressive dressing is placed on the surgical wounds. Post-operative instructions after breast reduction surgery Getting the breasts of your dreams won’t happen immediately after being released from the medical facility. It is true that after breast reduction surgery, your breasts will be smaller and more proportionate to the rest of your body, but they will also be swollen and bruised with red incisions that don’t look very aesthetic. This is a normal stage of the healing process and to see the final results, you might have to wait up to three or six months when all the side effects subside. The recovery period is often about ten to fourteen days. During this period, the patient is advised to wear the compression bra, to not sleep on the tummy as to avoid unnecessary pressure on the breasts, and not to lift heavy objects from the floor. Following the instructions of the plastic surgeon is important after surgery to avoid potential complications. Because the incisions can be significant, there is a risk of developing an infection. To reduce this risk, the plastic surgeon will prescribe antibiotics for five days post-op. Pain medication will also be prescribed to help you alleviate the pain and discomfort that could occur over the first few days post-op. It is important to resume daily activities and work gradually and not to make physical efforts before your plastic surgeon gives you the green light as otherwise the results achieved during surgery might be compromised, despite the good work provided by the plastic surgeon. The patient’s behavior during the post-operative stage is important when trying to get a harmonious appearance of the body with breast reduction surgery. Wearing the sports bra or special post-op bra will offer support and the right amount of compression to your breasts that is mandatory to reduce swelling and promote a fast and smooth recovery period. Conclusion Nowadays more and more women confronted with overly large breasts choose to undergo breast reduction surgery to improve the quality of their life and to make their body more harmonious. Breast reduction is often performed with a functional goal in mind, aside from an aesthetic one that is similar to all plastic surgery procedures. After the procedure, the patient will have breasts that are smaller and more in line with the rest of her anatomy which will lead to a more harmonious appearance of her silhouette. In other words, we are trying to get good proportions and a body that looks desirable and sexy as a whole instead of huge breasts that are often in contradiction with the rest of the patient’s anatomy. Breast reduction surgery is recommended for patients suffering from pain in the back, neck, and shoulders and also other struggles that occur as a result of the excessive weight and volume of the breasts. Make sure to choose a talented, experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon to play out your breast reduction surgery to get a harmonious appearance of the body and avoid potential complications.