Breast Reduction: Risks, Recovery


Breast reduction, also named reduction mammaplasty, is a cosmetic surgery used to remove excess fat, tissue and skin from the breasts. Having more beautiful breasts does not always mean having bigger breasts. It’s all about shape and proportion, and sometimes overly large breasts can cause problems like:

  • Back and neck pain
  • Inflammation beneath the breast folds
  • Limitations on physical activities
  • Soreness from bra straps digging into the skin
  • Emotional discomfort resulting from unwanted attention

This procedure can help solve these
physical issues and even psychological problems like emotional discomfort and
decreased self-esteem, as well as help women attain a more comfortable,
proportionate and visibly appealing bustline.


On average, breast reduction costs anywhere
between $5,000 and $7,000. This does
not include additional expenses such as any medical tests that must be done
prior to surgery, surgical garments and pain medications.

Some additional factors that influence the
cost of your surgery will include where you live, the surgeon you choose and
the facility where the procedure is being performed.


You need to fully understand the risks and
benefits of a breast reduction surgery to make a final decision. Possible risks
of these plastic surgery include:

  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Infection
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Trouble breathing
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Poor wound healing
  • Breast contour and irregular shape
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Potential inability to breastfeed
  • Possibility of revisional surgery
  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or


Your surgeon may ask you to do the
following things before the breast reduction:

  • Have a mammogram or other lab tests
  • Avoid eating or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery
  • Avoid smoking for a certain period of time before and after surgery
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, to control bleeding during surgery

Besides, you need to arrange for someone to
drive you home and stay with you for at least 24 hours after the surgery.

Surgical steps and options

You will be given general anesthesia to
keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. Depending on the kind of
surgery you have, the incision may be varied. Different incision options

  • A circular pattern around the areola
  • An inverted T or anchor-shaped incision pattern
  • A vertical or “lollipop” shape with an incision around the areola
    and vertically down to the breast crease

After the incision is made, the surgeon
will remove excess tissue and reposition the nipple. Then, he or she will close
the incision with sutures, skin adhesives and/or surgical tape. The results of
your breast reduction surgery are immediately visible.


After the breast reduction surgery, you
will wear a support or compression bra. Over time, you may have discomfort in
your chest area. Your surgeon will give you an oral painkiller to ease you
through the first few days after surgery. You should also avoid heavy lifting. To
decrease the risk for blood clots, you will need to move around or walk as soon
and often as possible.

Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions about wound care and the resumption of physical activities. Be sure to follow all your surgeon’s instructions to ensure your breast reduction recovery goes smoothly.

Keyword: breast reduction.

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