Breast Reduction

Breast reduction is a common surgical procedure. It is done to decrease the size of one or both breasts. While more common in women, this procedure can also be done in men.

  • Call Your Doctor

    After you leave the hospital, contact your doctor if any of the following occur:

    • 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 medicines 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 medicines 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

    In case of an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • Definition

    Breast reduction is a common surgical procedure. It is done to decrease the size of one or both breasts. While more common in women, this procedure can also be done in men.

  • What to Expect

  • 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

    After the surgery, your breasts will be smaller and more symmetrical in appearance. They should reflect the size, shape, and symmetry you desired.

  • Possible Complications

    Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have a breast reduction, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

    • Infection
    • 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
    • Scarring
    • Fluid or blood-filled cysts in the healing breast tissue
    • Loss of nipple, areola, skin, or breast tissue due to change in blood supply

    Some factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

    • Obesity

    • Smoking,
      alcohol abuse
      , or drug use
    • Diabetes

    • Prior
      radiation
      to the breast area
    • Poor nutrition