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  • Writer's pictureDMS - Digital Mammography & Women's Imaging

What Is Breast Reduction Surgery?

The pros and cons of breast reduction surgery.

Breast reduction for women feels like a weight has been lifted off their chest. It relieves them from shoulder, back, and neck pain. Not to mention the freedom to explore more clothing options and exercise regimens.

Just like breast augmentation is a personal decision, so is breast reduction. It is best to know in-depth what the procedure entails, the risks involved, when and if this is the right choice for you.

What Is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery or “reduction mammoplasty” is a cosmetic process for the removal of extra breast fat and glandular tissue from the breasts. Achieving a breast size proportionate to your body can help reduce discomfort (macromastia) that affects the neck and back due to large breasts. Along with the burden of physical ailments, mental health also takes a toll on the patients' well-being due to large breasts.

Breast reduction is not limited to women only, men with conditions like Gynecomastia, which is an abnormal enlargement of male breasts, may also opt for this procedure.

Women who opt for breast reduction are satisfied with the results, it helps with self-image issues and gives them a confidence boost to participate in other physical activities previously hindered by their large breasts.

When considering breast reduction, it is best to opt for a certified plastic surgeon to reduce the risks involved in this procedure.

Should You Opt For Reduction Surgery

Heavy breasts can put a damper on how you live life. From the clothes, you wear to the physical activities you participate in. It is also a cause for emotional discomfort and makes you self-conscious about outings. Not to mention the almost permanent shoulder grooves from your bra straps. You are eligible for breast reduction surgery if you suffer from the above sentiments.

How to Prepare For a Breast Reduction Surgery?

It begins with a consultation with your doctor. He will take your medical history with a focus on breast cancer, benign tumors, or any other medical conditions affecting your breasts. Your medical history will also entail any mental health issues you face alongside physical conditions you've dealt with.

A mammogram and breast exam before surgery is also part of the procedure. Your doctor may also take photos of your breasts, take measurements and ask you the cup size you wish to achieve. As with breast augmentation, if you smoke, quit smoking before and after surgery to ensure no hindrance in the recovery process. Likewise, any anti-inflammatory drugs need to be eliminated from your lifestyle before surgery.

Nonetheless, the success of your breast reduction is dependent on how candid you are with your doctor. You should discuss, why you want breast reduction, your mental insecurities, and your lifestyle alongside the desired outcome.

The Procedure

The breast reduction surgery takes two to five hours or longer depending on the amount of fat that needs removal. There are several techniques and surgical methods involved in breast reduction surgery. These methods depend on the amount of fat removal and the shape and size you wish to achieve. The surgical procedures are listed below:

  • Liposuction

Liposuction entails small cuts that are made into your skin. A thin tube is inserted connected to a vacuum that suctions out fat from the breast. It is the most common procedure and is the best option when going for small reductions.

  • The Lollipop

The Lollipop, also known as the vertical method is perfect for people with sagging breasts and moderate breast reductions. The cuts are made around the nipple and down towards the crease to reshape, remove extra tissue and fat and lift breasts.

  • The Anchor

The anchor is also known as the "Inverted- T." Cuts are made all around the edge of the nipple (areola) towards and underneath the crease of the breast. This surgery technique is best for larger breast reductions and women with uneven or sagging breasts.

In any of the above techniques, drainage tubes are usually used. You may also need to wear a surgical bra during the recovery period.

Post-Surgery Recovery Time

You will need to take a week or two off from work. There will be follow-up appointments for the removal of drainage tubes, stitches, and bandages. You will have to indulge in an elastic bandage or support bra to provide extra support to breasts and minimize the swelling as they heal.

Physical activity will be limited to at least a month after surgery alongside heavy lifting. After the surgery, you will be tired and, your breasts will be painful but, nothing a painkiller won't be able to handle. Furthermore, topical medications are given to reduce infection.

You should also pay attention to your mental health as post-surgery you are likely to feel a little depressed. It is normal but makes sure to voice your concerns with your doctor.

Breast Reduction Surgery Risks

Scars are a normal side effect of this surgery. They don't ever go away permanently but do fade away with time.

Another side effect of the surgery is a loss of feeling in your breasts or nipples, for most, it is brief. Likewise, swelling and bruising are also a given. Care should be taken, if you experience excessive bleeding, alongside monitoring for blood clots. (Your doctor will do this in follow-ups).

There is a fifty-fifty chance that this surgery will make breastfeeding a little cumbersome. But this is very circumstantial and varies within women.

Complications are often rare in this surgery when performed by a certified surgeon along with post-surgery care.


To be honest, you'll feel like you've just let go of a huge weight you've been carrying around that has been heavy on your chest. A successful breast reduction surgery will help relieve, pain in your shoulders, neck, and upper back. It will give you a confidence boost and encourage a more positive self-image.

Furthermore, you'll see visible results immediately once the swelling goes down (which may take months). The best part is that the final results are permanent. These can change with time as you age or with a drastic increase or loss of weight.



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