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Reduction Mammoplasty (Breast Reduction)

The indications for breast reduction surgery are three-fold - physical, aesthetic, and psychological - e.g. restoration of the bust, and woman's self-image. Breasts can get larger postpartum, after weight gain, or menopause. Breast reduction is designed to reduce the size of a woman's breasts.

Macromastia can be manifested either as a unilateral or as a bilateral (single-breasted enlargement or double-breasted enlargement) and can occur in combination with breast ptosis (sagging). Breast ptosis is determined by the degree to which the nipple has descended below the infra-mammary fold. It may also improve the overall appearance (e.g. sagging breasts) or shape of the breast and help balance breast asymmetries. It also helps in treatment of physical complaints such as neck, shoulder and back pain, or rashes and painful bra strap marks experienced by many women with large size breasts.

Skin, breast tissue, and fat are removed to create smaller shaped breasts. In patients with breast droopiness (ptosis) a simultaneous uplift of the nipple areolar complex to a more normal position is performed. The areolae (darker skin which surrounds the nipple) may also be reduced in size and made more symmetric. The goal of the procedure is to result in a smaller breast size with improved breast contour. The surgeon will decide if a Benelli lift, which entails a periareolar incision vs. the traditional breast reduction technique, is performed.

The surgery might take between 3- 5 hours.

Breast reduction can also be performed in men in cases of gynecomastia where male patients have excess breast tissue.

Procedure Description

  • Breast reduction is performed under general anesthesia or conscious sedation with local anesthesia
  • Breast reductions are performed using surgical techniques that preserve breast tissue and maintain a healthy blood supply to the breasts
  • Most common the procedure involves making an incision around the areola. The incision then goes vertically down the breast and follows along the natural curve under the breast
  • The excess breast tissue, fat and skin are removed
  • The areola can be reduced in size as well
  • Liposuction may also be performed to contour the body
  • A drain may be inserted at the time of surgery


  • Postoperative discomfort is controlled with oral medications
  • At times surgical drains may be present after the surgery
  • A support bra is to be worn after surgery for several weeks to reduce the swelling and support the breasts while they heal
  • Sutures will remain in place and are removed 7days after surgery
  • Sports activities may be resumed in six weeks or longer

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