Side effects to expect after a breast reduction

Side effects to expect after a breast reduction

04th Oct 2018

While many women want to improve their breasts for aesthetic reasons, others want to reduce them. There are women who feel their breasts are too big and not harmonious or proportional to the rest of their bodies. There are also women who suffer from chronic neck and back pain because of the heavy weight their breasts put on their chest and spine. Aesthetic benefits of breast reduction are secondary; it is primarily the functional reason that patients are interested in when it comes to undergoing this procedure.

Men can also apply for breast reduction surgery for the same reasons: desire to improve their aesthetic appearance, health benefits, and to feel better in their own body and improve their self-esteem.

Who can undergo a breast reduction surgery?

The first question to ask is what benefits to expect from the breast reduction surgery. Several factors are investigated if you are considering this plastic surgery procedure.

People who understand that the goal of breast reduction is mainly related to health are good candidates for the procedure. For women, large breasts can cause back and neck pain and posture problems that can eventually lead to spine issues. Normal and/or sports activities may also be limited. Overly large breasts can cause breathing difficulties and sleep disorders, leading the patient to a significant loss of energy and vitality.

Finding clothes that suit you well both at the level of the chest and the rest of the body can be frustrating. Large breasts can also cause irritations, rashes, and infections due to the constant rub of the skin on the breasts with the skin on the thorax.

In addition to medical problems, women with large breasts can have problems with self-confidence, and this is often seen in teenage girls. Women with any of these characteristics or symptoms may be good candidates for undergoing breast reduction surgery if they have no underlying health or emotional conditions that prevent them from having the surgery.

The intervention for breast reduction

It is very important to plan a visit to a qualified plastic surgeon before making a decision regarding breast reduction surgery. The medical consequences can be presented and discussed during a first visit, as well as the expectations about the outcomes. The plastic surgeon will take some pictures to document the current condition and be able to compare the postoperative results.

Before surgery, your surgeon will give you a list of instructions on how to prepare for surgery. In these instructions, the surgeon gives guidance on the type of diet you need to follow, medication, and vitamins you should take or avoid. Some surgeons also offer a specific diet for patients before surgery.

The reduction process involves removing tissue from the breasts which are composed of fat, glandular tissue, and skin. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia, so the person who undergoes the operation is completely asleep during surgery.

Possible side effects of breast reduction

After surgery, the sutures should be around the areola in a vertical line below the nipple and sometimes horizontally under the breasts in the inframammary fold. The number and type of incisions depend on the size of the breasts before the surgery and the amount of tissue removed.

Swelling and bruising are always present after a surgical intervention, especially one as complex as breast reduction. This means that the patient will need to avoid taking a shower with hot water, wear a compressive bra, and apply ice packs on the breasts for the week following the procedure.

Other side effects might come in the form of hematoma and seroma, which are fluid and blood accumulation at the surgical site. This side effect can sometimes be avoided when drain tubes are inserted into the surgical wounds to allow the fluids to drain from the body.

Pain and discomfort can also be experienced by the patients during the week following the procedure. Many patients say they had a pain-free recovery period and the only discomfort felt was a tension on the chest like after working out at the gym. This is different from patient to patient and depends on the patient’s tolerance to pain.

Another sure side effect is scarring. There is no surgical intervention without scarring. Following the plastic surgeon’s recommendation not to smoke and to avoid sun exposure on the breasts can increase your chances of having a beautiful, almost invisible scar. Abnormal scarring can develop (keloid and hypertrophic scars) as a result of a patient’s predisposition to this. Visiting your plastic surgeon for a follow-up after the procedure will ensure you get treatment for the abnormal scars in a timely manner.

A slight or more prominent asymmetry is possible after breast reduction surgery, especially if the volume of tissue to be removed is significant. An additional intervention might be performed to correct and improve the shape or size of the breasts. Choosing a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon that performs this type of procedure on a regular basis is important for the success of your intervention and in avoiding unwanted complications such as asymmetry. However, not all side effects can be avoided.


The breast reduction surgery is both complex and delicate at the same time. It requires a trained and experienced eye to be able to achieve satisfactory results and avoid unnecessary complications. However, some side effects after the procedure can be encountered. Hematoma and seroma can occur as a result of blood and fluid accumulation at the incision site. Scarring occurs after any type of plastic surgery, and abnormal scars will receive treatment from your plastic surgeon.

Swelling, bruising, discomfort and a mild or moderate level of pain are a

Share this article: