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Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure that aims to reduce the size and weight of large breasts to alleviate discomfort or achieve a breast size in proportion with your body. This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of the treatment, its applicability, and the process involved, providing essential insights for those considering the procedure.

Who Can Benefit from Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is considered for individuals who experience physical or psychological discomfort due to the size of their breasts. The ideal candidates are those who:

  • Experience back, neck, and shoulder pain caused by the weight of their breasts.
  • Suffer from skin irritation beneath the breast crease.
  • Have indentations from bra straps due to heavy breasts.
  • Feel self-conscious or experience psychological distress regarding breast size.
  • Are limited in physical activity due to the size and weight of their breasts.
  • Have breasts that are disproportionate to their body size.

It’s important for candidates to have realistic expectations and to pursue the surgery for personal reasons, not under pressure from others.

The Treatment Process


The journey begins with a consultation with a plastic surgeon. During this session, the surgeon will discuss your medical history, expectations, and the desired breast size. They will also explain the risks, the surgical process, and the recovery phase. It’s crucial to be open and honest during this consultation to achieve the best possible outcome.


Prior to surgery, you may be asked to undergo medical evaluations, adjust current medications, and stop smoking. Instructions on eating, drinking, and medication adjustments on the day of surgery will also be provided.

The Surgery

Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and usually takes between two to five hours. The procedure involves:

  • Making incisions: The pattern of the incisions can vary but often includes around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease.
  • Removing tissue and repositioning: Excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin are removed to reduce the size of the breasts. The nipple and areola are then repositioned.
  • Reshaping the breasts: The remaining tissue is reshaped to form smaller breasts, and sutures are placed deep within the breast tissue to support the new breast position.

Aftercare and Recovery

Recovery varies among individuals, but most can return to work and normal activities within a few weeks, with certain restrictions on physical exertion. It’s crucial to follow the surgeon’s instructions on care for the incisions, managing pain, and when to resume activities.

Risks and Considerations

Like any major surgery, breast reduction carries risks, such as bleeding, infection, and reactions to anaesthesia. Specific to breast reduction, there are risks of scarring, changes in nipple or breast sensation, and, rarely, problems with breastfeeding.


Breast reduction surgery can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals experiencing discomfort and self-consciousness due to large breasts. It’s a procedure that not only alleviates physical discomfort but also enhances psychological well-being by aligning one’s body image with their perception of themselves. If considering this surgery, it’s essential to consult with a qualified plastic surgeon to discuss your expectations, understand the risks, and ensure the best possible outcome for your health and happiness.


Ideal candidates for breast reduction are those experiencing physical discomfort (such as back, neck, and shoulder pain), skin irritation beneath the breasts, or psychological distress related to the size of their breasts. Candidates should be in good overall health, non-smokers, or willing to quit, and have realistic expectations about the surgery’s outcomes.

Scarring is an inevitable part of the healing process following breast reduction surgery. The extent and appearance of scars depend on the surgical technique used and your body’s healing ability. Typically, scars are located around the areola, vertically down to the breast crease, and sometimes along the breast crease. Over time, scars usually fade and become less noticeable, although they may not disappear completely.

Recovery times can vary, but most individuals can return to work and engage in light activities within 2 to 3 weeks post-surgery. Full recovery and the ability to partake in strenuous activities might take several weeks to a few months. Your surgeon will provide specific guidelines based on your situation.

Breast reduction surgery can potentially impact breastfeeding capabilities. While many women can still breastfeed after surgery, the extent of the reduction and the specific surgical technique used can affect milk production and delivery. It’s important to discuss any plans for future breastfeeding with your surgeon during the consultation phase.

The results of breast reduction surgery are considered long-lasting. However, factors such as weight fluctuations, aging, and hormonal changes can affect breast size and shape over time. Maintaining a stable weight and a healthy lifestyle can help preserve the surgery’s outcomes.

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