Reasons for Procedure
Overly large breasts, resulting in any of the following symptoms:
- Poor self image
- Back, neck, or shoulder pain
- Posture problems
- Grooving and/or abrasions from bra straps
- Rash under the lower portion of the breasts
- Breast asymmetry—may be due to previous surgery to one breast, such as in the case of mastectomy or lumpectomy
- Large male breasts, known as gynecomastia —can be related to hormonal changes, medications, or other health conditions
- Bleeding and bruising
- Possible loss of sensation to the breast, nipple, and/or areola
- Possible loss of ability to breastfeed
- Asymmetry between breasts
- Limited arm and/or shoulder movement
- Delayed wound healing
- Fluid or blood-filled cysts in the healing breast tissue
- Loss of nipple, areola, skin, or breast tissue due to change in blood supply
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam, including a breast exam
- Blood tests
- Photos for comparison after surgery
- Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications or herbal supplements up to one week before the procedure.
- Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure. Also arrange for help at home after the procedure.
- The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- You may be asked to shower before your procedure. You may be given special antibacterial soap to use.
- General anesthesia —You will be asleep.
- Local anesthesia—The area will be numbed.
Description of the Procedure
|Breast Reduction Procedure|
|Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.|
Immediately After Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
How Much Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Medication to control nausea
- Gradually returning to your normal diet
- Using an incentive spirometer to help you breathe deeply
- Washing their hands
- Wearing gloves or masks
- Keeping your incisions covered
- Washing your hands often and reminding visitors and healthcare providers to do the same
- Reminding your healthcare providers to wear gloves or masks
- Not allowing others to touch your incisions
- You will gradually return to your normal activities.
- Your doctor may advise you to avoid heavy lifting, straining, or difficult exercise for the first week or two after surgery.
- Wear a special surgical bra that applies pressure. This will properly shape your breast(s) after the operation.
- Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
- Nausea and/or vomiting that you cannot control with the medications you were given after surgery, or which last for more than two days after you leave the hospital
- Pain that you cannot control with the medications you have been given
- Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
- Pain or swelling in your calves, legs, or feet
- You have concerns about the size and/or shape of your breasts
- Fluid or blood collecting in either breast
- Any pain or stiffness when moving your arm
American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery http://www.surgery.org
American Society of Plastic Surgeons http://www.plasticsurgery.org
Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons http://www.plasticsurgery.ca
A Guide to Breast Augmentation in Canada http://www.canadaba.ca
Breast reduction. The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery website. Available at: http://www.surgery.org/consumers/procedures/breast/breast-reduction. Accessed September 8, 2014.
Breast reduction. American Society of Plastic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/Reconstructive-Procedures/Breast-Reduction.html. Accessed September 8, 2014.
Breast reduction. Brigham and Women's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.brighamandwomens.org/Departments%5Fand%5FServices/surgery/services/PlasticSurg/cosmetic-procedures/breast/breast-reduction.aspx. Updated July 24, 2014. Accessed September 8, 2014.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 08/2014 -
- Update Date: 09/08/2014 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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