Very large and heavy breasts can lead to a variety of medical problems, such as back and neck pain, skin irritation, skeletal deformities and breathing problems. As well as medical problems, unusually large breasts can also make women feel extremely self-conscious

The aim of the procedure is to produce smaller, shapelier breasts, which are in proportion with the rest of the body. The size of the areola, the darker skin surrounding the nipple can also be reduced.

Surgical/Procedure Name

Reduction Mammoplasty

Common Name

Breast Reduction

Surgical Procedure

During surgery, breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin are removed to make the breasts smaller, lighter, and firmer. An incision is usually made around the nipple and under the surface of the breast, like an upside down T. The nipple and areola are almost always left attached to their blood vessels and nerves. The skin from above the nipples is then pulled down to shape the new breast and a hole is cut the new nipple and areola. If the breasts are particularly large, the nipple may need to be completely removed and grafted to a higher position – this results in a loss of sensation to the nipple and areola.


4-6 hours


General anesthesia - discussed with your surgeon

Pre Operative Care

Before surgery, please inform your surgeon of any allergies, all medical conditions, and any medication that you are taking (both prescription and non-prescription).

To eliminate the chance of post op. bleeding, you should avoid aspirin and any medication containing aspirin for 2 weeks prior to surgery. You should also not smoke for 1-2 months prior to surgery as smoking can affect your reaction to the anesthetic and slow down the healing process. Patients who suffer from hypertension must inform the surgeon prior to surgery.

Post Operative Care

When you wake up after surgery, you will be wrapped in elastic bandages, gauze dressings and a surgical bra. A small tube may be placed in each breast to drain blood and fluids for the first day or two.

The extent of the post-operative swelling and bruising depends on whether you tend to bruise or swell easily. Every person is different. Application of cold compresses or ice packs will reduce swelling and relieve discomfort. A couple of days after surgery the pressure bandages will be removed. The surgical bra must be worn at all times for several weeks until the swelling and bruising subsides, or until your surgeon advises you otherwise. You should only remove the surgical bra to bathe and to wash the garment.

For the first few months, it is important not to place tension on the incisions by performing strenuous activities like lifting or stretching your arms above your head as this may increase scarring by stretching the tissue.

Your surgeon will try to ensure that your incisions are as subtle as possible, however it is important to remember that the scars are extensive and permanent. They may be red for months, and then slowly become fainter, eventually fading to thin white lines. In most cases, the scars are positioned so that they would not be seen when wearing low-cut tops and dresses.

Recovery usually takes about 2 weeks. Most people are back to work within 3 weeks.

Risks and Complications

Like all surgical procedures, breast reduction surgery has its own set of risks and side effects.


Knowing what complications may arise, as well as what can prevent them, will help patients enjoy a positive experience.

Possible Complications
  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Adverse Reaction to anesthesia
  • Need for second or more procedures
  • Scarring
  • Nipples may lose sensation
  • Damage to the nerve and blood supply of the nipple

In order to prevent any serious difficulties, patients are strongly urged to follow all instructions provided by their surgeon.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner