Side effects after breast reduction

Side effects after breast reduction

01st Feb 2019



Most women might like the idea of having the breasts augmented with the help of plastic surgery, but there are certainly women who are significantly affected by the excessive size of the breasts. Having overly large breasts can trigger emotional and physical complexes that are difficult to address, especially if the patient is young.

Mammary hypertrophy represents the excessive growth in volume and weight of the breasts which leads to the stretching of the ligaments and skin envelope supporting the breasts. Sagginess is almost always associated with having large breasts, and there are other aesthetic and health issues associated with this condition as well.

For women with overly large breasts, it is a well-known fact that the excessive dimensions of the breasts can affect the health of the patient. Aside from the saggy and unsightly appearance of the breasts, the early onset of ptosis is another concern. So when the patient is confronted with mammary hypertrophy, chances are the breasts don’t have a nice contour and shape, are sagging low on the chest wall, have an empty looking upper pole and are not very appealing to look at without a bra on.

The good news is that breast reduction can efficiently and permanently correct the issue of overly large breasts. The procedure is frequently performed nowadays with high success rates.

In this article, we will discuss the side effects that can be experienced by the patient after breast reduction.

Why women want to undergo breast reduction

There are numerous factors that can influence the development and the health of the breasts, and that can make you choose to undergo a breast reduction surgery to improve the appearance of the breasts and get relief from daily pain.

The excessive growth of the breasts that we call a mammary hypertrophy in medical terms can occur during puberty or after pregnancy due to the hormonal fluctuations that are common in these periods in a woman’s life. Excessively large breasts can also be a genetic inheritance, so if your mother or grandmother had overly large breasts, there is a chance you might have them too. In each and every case of the patient diagnosed with mammary hypertrophy, the only solution is to undergo breast reduction surgery. Diets won’t do much good either because it is the glandular tissue that is in excess and not the adipose layer.

Women confronted with big breasts want to undergo breast reduction to improve the quality of their lives. Often, having overly large breasts is an impediment to engage in physical activities on a daily basis. Even something as simple as running or jumping is a real struggle for women with overly large breasts. Finding clothes that will fit over the upper part of the body while looking good on the lower part is another challenge that women with big breasts have to meet. Often, they will prefer to hide their breasts as much as possible and avoid situations where their breasts are exposed such as going to the beach or the pool. 

While it might seem incredibly lucky to have huge breasts, most women confronted with this issue see things very differently. It is difficult or impossible to find sexy lingerie that can also offer the necessary support and compression for breasts that have an excessive volume. I had had patients who admitted to wearing sports bras their whole lives and even putting on two bras at once when they were required to do any type of physical exercise.

There are many reasons why women choose to undergo breast reduction. However, keep in mind that you should discuss your reasons in detail with the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation and make sure you choose the procedure for you and not to please someone else. Undergoing breast reduction surgery should be a very personal decision because there are side effects and long-term consequences that can affect the life of the patient on multiple levels.

Side effects after breast reduction

Reduction mammoplasty is the surgical procedure performed to reduce the volume of the breasts. Often, the procedure is also combined with a breast lift as overly large breasts often sag on the chest wall. The procedure entails the elimination of the excess skin, fat and glandular tissue and also the remodeling of the nipple/areola complex. 

Breast reduction should be performed only on women who have reached maturity and have fully developed breasts. Moreover, it is preferable for the patient not to desire to have more children or breastfeed in the future as breastfeeding might be impossible after breast reduction surgery. 

The side effects and complications that can occur after reduction mammoplasty depend greatly on the patient’s ability to heal, the weight of the patient, and the talent and experience of the plastic surgeon. Shortly after the procedure, the patient might notice a dehydration of the skin on the breasts, a numbing of the nipples, and itchiness in the incisions. At the same time, the breasts can be bruised and swollen and the nipples will be confronted with changes in sensitivity that can be temporary or permanent, depending on the surgical plan followed. 

Reduction mammoplasty causes a moderate level of discomfort and pain that can be easily alleviated with antalgic medication. To avoid unnecessary pain, the patient is advised to avoid lying on the breasts or any other type of pressure applied to the breasts. 

Shortly after the procedure, the patient might feel tired and not like herself. This is a natural and common side effect of the general anesthetic often used during breast reduction. 

To reduce the intensity of the side effects, the patient is advised to follow the post-operative recommendations of the plastic surgeon to the letter. In other words, it is important for the patient to wear the special post-op or sports bra for at least a few weeks after the. Also, smoking is to be avoided for three weeks, preferably six weeks. 

Complications that can occur after breast reduction

Breast reduction is associated with certain complications that can potentially occur after the procedure. Among these complications are excessive bleeding, infections, seromas, hematomas, necrosis of the nipple and areola complex, breast asymmetries, and abnormal scarring. Some of these complications can be prevented by choosing an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon and following his instructions. However, patients should be aware of the importance of proper post-operative conduct that would facilitate and speed up the healing process after breast reduction surgery.


Women with overly large breasts might find it difficult to understand the fascination with overly large breasts. The reality is that breasts that are too big compared to the rest of the patient’s anatomy can be a real burden for the woman and can even trigger different complexes and health conditions.

The only efficient method to correct mammary hypertrophy is with the help of breast reduction that is performed under general anesthesia and can last up to four hours. After the procedure, the patient can go home within hours after waking up. The recovery process is no longer than two weeks, and during this time the patient can experience certain side effects that are normal after breast reduction surgery.

Among the side effects that can occur after the procedure are swelling and bruising of the breasts, a numbing sensation of the nipple, changes in the sensitivity of the nipple and areola complex, and a dehydration of the skin envelope of the breasts. Most of the side effects that occur after surgery will disappear without additional treatment within the next few weeks. To reduce the intensity of the side effects, make sure to wear the compression garments and use Arnica Montana supplements if recommended by your plastic surgeon. 


Share this article: