Breast reduction surgery is used to remove excess tissue, fat, and skin from the breasts. Also called reduction mammoplasty, this procedure helps achieve breast size proportion and ease discomfort associated with large breasts. Breast reduction surgery rates continue to rise, with more than 68,000 performed each year. Breast reduction offers many psychological and physical benefits, and some insurance companies consider the procedure medically necessary.
A candidate for the breast reduction procedure is any woman who:
Women should consider certain factors before breast reduction surgery. These include:
During the initial consultation with the plastic surgeon, the doctor will:
Before breast reduction surgery, you should:
Breast reduction surgery is performed with the patient under general anesthesia. You will be put to sleep so no pain is involved. The technique used to reduce the size of the breasts vary, but the surgeon usually makes an incision around the areola and down the breast. Glandular tissue, fat, and skin is removed from each breast. After all changes are made, incisions are typically closed with absorbable sutures. To support the healing tissues, a compression garment is placed on the patient.
After breast reduction surgery, you can expect the following:
Results vary from woman to woman, but overall, most women are satisfied with the breast reduction surgery. In a recent outcome study, 93% of women reported improvement in breast appearance, and 85% reported improve posture and self-esteem.
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2013). 14.6 Million Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Procedures Performed in 2012. Retrieved from:
Mizgala CL & MacKenzie KM (2000). Breast reduction outcome study. Ann Plast Surg, 44(2), 125-133.