An introductory guide to breast reduction

An introductory guide to breast reduction

29th Sep 2019



Many women who want to get breast reduction have many questions in their mind about the procedure. Even though many of them know the goal of the procedure, they are not aware of the minute details of the surgery. As the name suggests, breast reduction is a plastic surgery procedure that is used to decrease the size and weight of excessively large breasts. 

While many women love bigger breasts, patients can experience many problems like pain in different parts of the body and lower self-esteem when the breasts become overly large. If you want to know whether you are a good candidate for the surgery, you should consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. The doctor will examine your breasts and assess your overall health to tell you whether the operation can be beneficial to you. 


What is breast reduction?

Breast reduction is a plastic surgery procedure that has been in use for many years now. This procedure was developed to help women with huge breasts. Many factors cause the female breasts to enlarge and look aesthetically unwelcoming. These include massive weight gain, genetics, and the use of specific medicines. 

When the breasts become excessively large, they look not only aesthetically unpleasant but also create physical pain for the patient. For example, the extra weight of the breasts applies pressure on the ligaments and muscles, causing pain in the neck, shoulder, and back. Overly large breasts also affect the mobility and posture of the patient. 

Breast reduction has an excellent record of fixing the problems triggered by large beasts. It involves removal of the excess fat and glandular tissue from the breasts, which helps ease the discomforts linked with the large breasts. Every year, tens of thousands of women get breast reduction in the US. A majority of patients report being happy with the outcomes. 


Am I a good candidate for the procedure?

The first thing that women do is they inquire about their candidacy for the surgery. Keep in mind that not every woman is a good candidate for breast reduction. If you want to know your candidacy for the operation, you should consult with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. During the consultation, the plastic surgeon will take a look at your breasts and determine whether they are large. He will also examine the breasts to unveil the cause of the large breasts.

The plastic surgeon will also check your health history. If you have serious health problems, the surgeon will tell you to avoid the procedure because the risks will be higher for you. Also, the surgeon will ask you as to what problems you are facing due to the overdevelopment of the breasts and what improvements you desire to achieve with breast reduction. He will also measure your breasts. Based on the findings, the doctor will then tell you if you are a good candidate for the procedure. 


How is the surgery performed?

Breast reduction is an outpatient procedure that is performed under general anesthesia. The procedure is highly invasive and entails risks, which is why it is essential for the patient to have the surgery performed only by a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in the procedure. During the operation, a board-certified anesthesiologist will administer you the anesthesia, after which you will be asleep.

The plastic surgeon will then begin the operation by making incisions on the breasts. The length and type of incision depend on how large your breasts are and to what extent you need to reduce them so that you can get rid of the discomforts. After making the incisions, the surgeon will carefully remove the excess glandular tissue through the incisions. 

In the next step, the doctor will remove the extra fat from your breasts. As a result of the removal of the excess fat and glands, the breasts will decrease in size. However, the breasts will get excess skin due to the removal of the tissues. If the skin is not removed, it can cause the breasts to sag. As such, the plastic surgeon will also remove the excess skin from the breasts. In the last step, the surgeon will suture and close the incisions. 


How will recovery life be after the surgery?

Breast reduction is a major plastic surgery procedure that involves surgical trauma. As such, the patient is required to have a full recovery before resuming her routine activities. Many women think they can restart their work and other physical activities right after the procedure. But the reality is that you have to avoid work and other physical movements and activities for two weeks post-surgery. 

The first two weeks are critical after the surgery. During this time, the patient must rest and focus on her recovery. After the procedure, your breasts will be swollen and the incisions will take time to heal. A significant milestone of the recovery is achieved during the first two weeks. Make sure to follow the surgeon’s instructions. You may experience some pain in the breasts for the first few days following the operation. This is a normal phenomenon and nothing to be concerned about.

You may resume your normal routine and work two weeks after the procedure. However, you must avoid physically demanding activities for six weeks following the surgery. Also, make sure to wear the compression surgical bras for the time recommended by the surgeon. After six weeks, you can gradually resume your physical activities.


Results of the surgery

Even though the pain and discomforts in different areas of the body resulting from the huge breasts will ease right after the procedure, complete results will take time to emerge. Since your breasts will be swollen for many weeks after the surgery, you may not be able to see the difference. When the swelling subsides and the incisions heal, your breasts will look smaller, smooth, and shapelier. Furthermore, the pain in the neck, back, and shoulders will decrease to a greater extent or be eliminated.


Risks associated with the procedure

Given the fact that breast reduction is a highly invasive and traumatic procedure, there are risks associated with the procedure. The risks are higher if you are suffering from serious health problems. To avert the risks, you must share your complete medical information with the surgeon in advance of the procedure.

The common risks associated with breast reduction include infection, poor and slow wound healing, bleeding or blood clotting, breast asymmetry, anesthesia reaction, abnormal scarring, and seroma and hematoma. If you have a weak immune system, you will be at higher risk of infection. Furthermore, if you have diabetes, your risk of experiencing excessive bleeding and poor and slow wound healing will be higher. 

The patient must make sure to discuss the risks with the surgeon during the pre-operative consultation. A good plastic surgeon will discuss the risks with you and help you do a risk/benefit analysis. You should get the surgery only when the benefits are higher than the risks. 


Scarring after the surgery

The incisions made on the breasts during breast reduction will develop into scars. Scarring after the operation is a normal thing. Since the surgery involves incisions, the scars, though undesirable, are unavoidable. When incisions are made on the breasts, your body’s natural healing system generates more collagen, which creates the scars to seal the incisions and protect you from problems like infections.

In most cases, the scars develop normally. It can take many months and even years for the scars to mature. As time passes, the scars will fade and become less visible. In rare cases, abnormal scarring may happen. Abnormal scars are aesthetically unwelcoming, raised, and more apparent. 


Who can perform the procedure?

Breast reduction is a major procedure, which is why it is crucial for the patient to choose the plastic surgeon carefully. There are many inexperienced and fake practitioners out there who are performing plastic surgery. When selecting your plastic surgeon, make sure he is board-certified and has extensive experience in breast reduction. During the pre-operative consultation, you should ask the surgeon relevant questions about his credentials, training, and experience.



Breast reduction is a plastic surgery procedure that effectively reduces the size of overly large breasts, making them smaller and alleviating the localized body pain associated with the operation. The procedure involves the removal of the surplus body fat and glandular tissue from the breasts, which are the leading cause of the development of huge breasts. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and is highly invasive and traumatic. After the surgery, the patient must go through a complete recovery process that can extend to many weeks. The procedure also involves some risks that have been discussed above. The results will become visible six weeks after the procedure. 


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