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Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction also called breast reduction mammoplasty is a surgical procedure done to remove breast tissue and skin to relieve the symptoms of associated with large breasts (macromastia) and improve the shape and size of the breasts.

What are some common symptoms of macromastia?

  • Shoulder, neck, and back pain
  • Breast pain (mastalgia)
  • Intertrigo (rashes under the breasts fold)
  • Difficulty fitting clothes
  • Shoulder grooving from bra straps
  • Limitation in physical activity as a result of large breasts
  • Decreased sensation to breasts and nipples


Is breast reduction surgery covered by insurance?

Many health insurance providers cover the cost of breast reduction surgery. Typically, you will visit your plastic surgeon and once he or she decides you are a candidate for surgery, request for authorization from you insurance will be submitted. Once approved, your plastic surgeon will schedule you for surgery.

You will be responsible for paying your deductible. If your plastic surgeon is not in your network of providers, be sure to check to see if your insurance has out of network benefits. Otherwise, you will be responsible for covering the cost of your operation.

What is the difference between a breast reduction and a breast lift (mastopexy)?

A breast lift is purely an aesthetic procedure in which the nipple areolar is repositioned and skin and breast tissue is removed as needed to reshape the breasts. Many of the same techniques are used to perform breast reductions with the focus on removing breast tissue.

What should I expect on the day of the surgery?

Your plastic surgeon will mark your breasts on the day of your surgery. The surgery is typically done in an outpatient setting and takes 2– 4 hours, depending on the size of your breasts and your surgeon’s experience.

After recovering, you should be sent home typically with pain medications and antinausea medications. Some plastic surgeons use drains. I occasionally use drains very extremely large reductions and they are removed in the first two weeks.

Will my breasts be perky after surgery?

This is a very common question and request. Perkiness is a matter of upper pole fullness of the breasts. More than likely, if you do not have fullness of the upper pole of the breasts prior to surgery, you will not after surgery.

Upper pole fullness is also dependent on they type of technique used. In general, techniques that maintain the continuity of the breast tissue superiorly have a more long-standing result and less bottoming out.

With aging, gravity, changes in hormonal levels, the glandular tissue is loss and the breasts will settle downwards.

What will the recovery be like?

The first couple of days you should spend resting at home. It is important that you have a caregiver for the first 24 – 48 hours. A sports bra should be worn for support to help aid in the healing process and keep tension off of your incisions.

Avoidance of strenuous activity for 3-4 weeks may be necessary until your wound are healed. Pain is usually well controlled with narcotic medicine and once it has been discontinued, you can return to work and be able to drive.

There will be a scar, the size is dependent on the technique used. It is of utmost importance to follow your plastic surgeon’s wound care instructions to get the best possible scar. This may include scar massage, silicone gel sheets amongst other adjuncts.

There will be a period of swelling and the breasts shape and size are settled in by 8 weeks.