Consequences of breast reduction

Consequences of breast reduction

27th Sep 2018

Breast reduction surgery is nowadays commonly performed in the United States on women of all ages with the purpose to reduce the size of the breasts to allow the patient to move more freely and to alleviate pain caused by the weight of the breasts.

There is, unfortunately, no treatment or physical exercise to treat breast hypertrophy, and only reduction surgery allows correcting this condition efficiently and permanently. The intervention delivers satisfactory results in a vast majority of patients due to modern developments in plastic surgery and with a rigorous post-operative follow-up.

The benefits are aesthetic—beautiful curves and round, full breasts proportionate to the rest of the body—as well as emotional since the patient regains comfort, relief from pain, and more choices when it comes to choosing clothing and lingerie. But as is the case with any surgical intervention, there are consequences after a breast reduction surgery.

The breast reduction intervention

The procedure required the patient to be under general anesthesia when performed. The duration of the hospitalization can be up to two days, depending on the complexity of the case. A preoperative assessment is in order to allow the plastic surgeon to examine the patient and the health condition and to determine whether there are contraindications for the procedure. A consultation with the anesthetist is also mandatory 48 hours prior to surgery.

During the intervention, the glandular excess is surgically removed. Excess skin and fat tissue are also excised. The mammary gland is concentrated in order to get a nicely shaped breast of a natural and harmonious form. In most cases, there is work to be done on the nipple areola complex as well. The areola is often reduced and elevated to its natural position on the breasts.

After the surgery, the patient will have drain tubes for one or two days to allow the blood and liquid to be eliminated from the body. A compressive dressing is also put on the patient. The next day following the surgery, the dressing will be removed and replaced with a special post-operative bra or a sports bra that is suitable for the morphology of the patient and the new size of the breasts. This bra should be worn for several weeks to give support to the breasts and for comfort.

The pain after surgery is low to moderate and subsides with the use of simple analgesics that will be prescribed by your plastic surgeon. The patient should avoid intense physical exercises, especially ones involving muscles on the upper part of the body for a month following the procedure.

Results of breast reduction surgery

While the first results are noticeable immediately after the procedure as the volume of the breasts is visibly smaller, the final results can be assessed once the swelling and bruising have subsided. This can take up to two months, depending from patient to patient.

Consequences after breast reduction surgery

1. Scars

The length of the incision differs according to the amount of correction to be made. The scar is located on the lower pole of the breast and may be vertical or in the shape of an inverted “T.” This procedure leaves behind significant scarring, and the patient should be aware of this prior to surgery. Of course, the scars are positioned to be as less visible as possible; however, they will remain with you permanently. The scarring process is complete within a year after the procedure, and by this time they should look like fine lines that are similar in color to the surrounding tissue. Avoiding sun exposure on the breasts after breast reduction is essential to avoid developing dyschromia or a discoloration of the scars.

2. Changes in the sensitivity of the areola

These can occur after breast reduction surgery but are usually temporary and disappear on their own within the first six months. In some cases, the changes in sensitivity can become permanent.

3. Difficulties with breastfeeding

For young patients seeking breast reduction procedure, it is important to know that after this type of intervention, breastfeeding might be difficult and even impossible. Because the procedure is often performed on women of a young age, they need to be fully aware of the risks before scheduling the surgery. During the intervention and due to the excision of a part of the mammary gland, the milk ducts can be sectioned, and this can make lactation impossible. This is more common when the patient becomes pregnant within a year or two after the procedure, so keep this is mind when scheduling the intervention.

4. Hematoma and seroma

These are what we consider normal side effects after plastic surgery. Blood and fluid can accumulate close to the surgical site. When they are small in size, no treatment is necessary as they will disappear over time. When their size is larger, the plastic surgeon might decide to perform a surgical excision to eliminate them. However, they are not severe complications, but the patient needs to be aware as they might occur after breast reduction surgery.

There are more potential complications that can occur after a breast reduction surgery such as unsatisfactory results, asymmetry of the breasts, and infection, among other things. When working with an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon, many of these risks can be prevented, so choose the person to play out your procedure wisely.


Performed both for functional and aesthetic purposes, breast reduction surgery is commonly carried out on patients of different ages. The excessive weight of the breasts can cause constant pain, and after the surgery, the patient gets permanent relief from this pain. This is one of the reasons why this procedure is so sought after. However, as is the case with any intervention, there are consequences that follow undergoing a breast reduction. Among them are difficulties or impossibility in breastfeeding, temporary or permanent changes in areola sensitivity, hematoma, seroma, and the scarring that occurs naturally after any surgical intervention.

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