Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure used to remove excess fat, tissue and skin from the breasts. If you have large breasts, you might choose to have breast reduction surgery to ease discomfort or to achieve a breast size proportionate to your body.
Breast reduction surgery might also help improve your self-image and self-confidence and your ability to participate in physical activities.
If you're considering breast reduction surgery, consult a board-certified plastic surgeon. It's important to understand what breast reduction surgery entails — including possible risks and complications — as well as set realistic expectations.
Breast reduction surgery risks
Breast reduction surgery has the same risks as any other type of major surgery — bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to the anesthesia. Other possible risks include:
- Bruising, which is usually temporary
- Removal of or loss of sensation in the nipples and skin surrounding the nipples (areolae)
- Difficulty or inability to breast-feed
- Differences in the size, shape and symmetry of the surgically altered left and right breasts, which might lead to further surgery to improve your appearance
How to prepare for Breast Reduction Surgery
Your plastic surgeon will likely:
- Evaluate your medical history and overall health
- Discuss your expectations for breast size and appearance after the surgery
- Provide a detailed description of the procedure and its risks and benefits, including likely scarring and possible loss of sensation
- Examine and measure your breasts
- Take photographs of your breasts for your medical record
- Explain the type of anesthesia used during surgery
Before breast reduction surgery, you might also be asked to:
- Complete various lab tests
- Get a baseline mammogram
- Stop 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