Breast Reduction

Latest update: April 19, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD


Breast reduction or reduction mammoplasty procedure is helpful for women whose large breasts impact their health and general comfort during day-to-day activities. It can help alleviate back, shoulder and neck pain, hunching and chafing of the skin, which can cause infections.

During a breast reduction procedure, surgeons remove excess skin, fat, and tissue from the breast to decrease their size. As large breasts are prone to sagging, this surgery will also lift and reshape the breast for a natural and youthful look.

Another form of breast reduction is liposuction. Only the fatty tissues are removed using small incisions and a long cannula during this process. This surgery does not lift the breasts as it only involves fat removal. Only patients who have good skin laxity and minimal sagging should opt for this method.

Breast reduction surgery takes two to three hours to complete. 

Patients will have to stay overnight for a mandatory observation after the surgery. The operation requires general anesthetic. Incisions generally include those around the areola, down the front of the breast and underneath the breast.

The surgeon will remove excess fat, skin and glandular tissue during the procedure. They also reshape the breasts and reposition the nipple. They finish by closing the incisions using sutures. Surgical dressings will be applied and a drainage tube may be inserted to collect any excess fluid after the surgery. This tube will be removed a couple of days later at a follow-up appointment with the surgeon. 

Patients will experience some tenderness, swelling and pain after the surgery. Doctors can prescribe medication to help alleviate the pain. Patients also need to wear a compression bra for 4 to 6 weeks after the surgery to maintain support and aid quicker recovery. Doctors recommend a week of rest at home and avoiding strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks.

The stitches will usually be removed two weeks after the surgery and full recovery will take at least 3-4 weeks. Breast reduction results are permanent although future weight gain can result in larger breasts in the future. 
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
1 day
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
4-6 weeks

Breast Reduction Frequently Asked Questions

Dr. Charles Hsu, a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, talks about breast reduction surgery. He talks about what makes a good candidate and describes common symptoms in patients that request the procedure. He talks about the results of the procedure and their impact on the patient's quality of life. He covers the techniques he uses to achieve these results.

Breast Reduction Call Dr. Wendell Perry Today! 305-754-0750

Dr. Wendell Perry, a plastic surgeon based in Florida, talks about breast reduction. He cites this as one of the surgeries with the highest patient satisfaction rate. He explains that this is because the effect that larger, heavier breasts have on women often includes extreme pain and discomfort. The reduction procedure fixes those problems.