Breast Reduction Surgery

Overly large breasts can lead to neck and back pain, skin issues, breathing issues, and even long term posture issues. Many studies have shown that women with large and heavy breasts feel self-conscious to a point where their quality of life is negatively impacted.

Breast reduction surgery can instantly and effectively reduce breast size through the removal of excess breast tissue.

Before and After Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction before and after photos from recent Westlake Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery patients.

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What is a breast reduction?

Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of excess skin, fat, and glandular tissue to reduce breast size; eliminating the negative issues associated with overly large breasts. Often, a breast reduction procedure can enhance the aesthetics of the breast by creating an improved shape and making the breast more proportional to the rest of the body.

During a breast reduction procedure, the surgeon can also reduce or reshape the areola (the darker skin around the nipple) to further enhance the overall appearance of the breast.

Results of breast reduction surgery

Most women are extremely happy with the result of the surgery: breasts that are smaller, firmer, and perkier. The procedure greatly relieves the physical discomfort that women typically had to endure for a long period of time.

Results are generally considered permanent, although the breasts may change in shape and size due to subsequent life events such as pregnancy or weight gain/loss.

How is breast reduction performed?

Breast reduction can be performed under general or twilight anesthesia. The procedure begins with the surgeon making incisions around the areola, down the bottom of the breast, and occasionally in the fold under the breast.  The nipple is then repositioned and, if desired, the surface area of the areola can be reduced through excision. The surgeon then removes and reshapes targeted excess breast tissue. The incisions are closed with sutures.

Breast reduction generally includes breast lifting as part of the procedure.  Other procedures such as liposuction or tummy tucks are commonly performed simultaneously to further improve the shape and contour of the trunk.

How long does a typical breast reduction procedure take?

Most breast reduction procedures take between 2 and 4 hours to complete.

Who is a good candidate for breast reduction?

Healthy women who have oversized breasts causing physical discomfort, medical issues, or low self-esteem are ideal candidates for breast reduction surgery.

What to expect after breast reduction?

Many women experience light to moderate breast pain and swelling over the first few days following the procedure. During this period the breasts are wrapped in bandages and supported using a surgical bra. Pain stemming from the procedure usually subsides within a week, while swelling may last 4 to 8 weeks post procedure.

Most women are able to return to work and normal activities within 1 week of the procedure. Vigorous activities such as heavy weight lifting or strenuous aerobic exercise can begin 4 to 6 weeks from the procedure.

Breast reduction does leave a permanent scar in the incision area. However, most scars are placed in positions that are easily covered by a swimsuit top or bra. Scarring fades over time or can be minimized through scar removal treatments.

Additional Breast Reduction Resources