How is breast reduction surgery performed?


The breasts play an essential role in signifying your physical beauty and fertility. They also help enhance your overall body outline. But when aesthetic flaws affect the female breasts, the patient may experience self-esteem issues because she does not appear aesthetically welcoming. Many women desire to have bigger and prominent breasts. But there are also many women who develop overly large breasts due to genetic factors, weight gain, or the use of certain medications.

When the breasts become very large, they can lead to many problems for the patient. Overly large breasts look abnormal and aesthetically unpleasant. Furthermore, the additional weight of enormous breasts creates physical pain and discomforts for the patient. Breast reduction surgery decreases the size of the breasts by removing the excess skin, fat, and glandular tissue.

How is breast reduction surgery performed?

Many women who want to get breast reduction are unaware of how the procedure is performed. Some even think that it is a straightforward procedure that does not entail any risks. But the reality is that the breast reduction is a major and highly invasive procedure.

During the pre-operative consultation, the patient must discuss the steps of the procedure with the surgeon, besides asking about the associated risks, the recovery period, and the results. When you have all the information about the surgery, you will be in a better position to decide whether to go under the knife.

There is no doubt that breast reduction surgery can effectively enhance the breasts, making them ideally sized, aesthetically welcoming, and removing the discomforts linked with having overly developed breasts. These discomforts include pain in the neck, shoulders, and back.

When the breasts develop continuously and go out of proportion, the patient will start to experience many problems in different facets of her life. For example, you may experience a decrease in your functionality and self-esteem. The good news is that after the procedure, your breasts will become suitably sized and the emotional and physical pain linked with huge breasts will be considerably decreased or eliminated.

Consultation and preparation

Breast reduction is not a one-off or simple procedure. It is a long journey that starts with the pre-operative consultation and preparation. To get satisfactory outcomes, you must consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in breast reduction surgery. During the consultation, the plastic surgeon will examine your breasts and ask you many questions about the pain and discomforts you might be experiencing.

The patient must frankly tell the surgeon how she feels about having huge breasts and how the condition is affecting her quality of life. You must share with the surgeon your expectations from the procedure. The doctor will also perform a detailed evaluation of your overall physical and psychological health, besides measuring your breast dimensions. It is vital for the patient to share her complete health history with the doctor.

If you turn out to be a good candidate for the surgery, the doctor will give you a date for the operation. It is crucial for the patient to be fully prepared for the procedure in advance. You will be required to make specific lifestyle changes for a few weeks before the surgery and get your home ready for your recovery. Keep in mind that after the procedure, the patient must take rest for at least two weeks and avoid moving around or do physical activities. Be sure to follow the surgeon’s instructions.


Breast reduction is performed under general anesthesia because the procedure is highly invasive and traumatic. Under general anesthesia, the patient remains fully asleep and calm. The patient will not be able to make movements nor feel the pain or discomforts. A board-certified anesthesiologist will give you the anesthesia, after which you will go to sleep, and the plastic surgeon will begin the operation.

You will not remember the surgery while under the effects of general anesthesia. Keep in mind, however, that some people are allergic to general anesthesia. If you already know that you are allergic to the medication, you must bring this information to the knowledge of the plastic surgeon. Also, after the surgery, you may feel nausea or sickness, and even vomit or be exhausted. These are temporary side effects of the general anesthesia.

Placing the incisions

Breast reduction surgery is invasive, meaning that it involves incisions. After the anesthesia administration, the plastic surgeon will start the operation by making incisions on the breasts. Keep in mind that breast reduction surgery cannot be performed without incisions. Different incision techniques can be used to implement breast reduction surgery.

The primary technique involves an anchor incision and a vertical incision on the breast. The plastic surgeon will first make the anchor incision around the areola and then steeply down toward the chest and then straight along the crease of the breast. The vertical incision is made on the edge of the areola and then sheer down from there so that the resulting scars can be minimum and hidden. Both of these incisions lead to different scarring on the breasts. It is essential for the patient to discuss the type of incision technique with the surgeon in advance of the operation. Keep in mind that the incisions made during the operation will take the shape of scars weeks and months after breast reduction. While their visibility and prominence may reduce, they are there to stay with you for a lifetime.

Tissue, skin, and fat excision

After making the incisions, the plastic surgeon will access the extra glandular tissue that is the source of the overly large breasts and then carefully excise them. Next, the doctor will see if there is excess fat in the breasts. If excess fat is detected, the surgeon will remove the fat. In some cases, it is only the excess fat that causes the breasts to become huge. If such a situation is found, the doctor will not remove the glandular tissue but instead, use liposuction to remove the excess fat. In the last step, the doctor will remove the excess skin from the breasts.

Based on the flaws in your breasts and your goals, it may also be necessary to reposition the nipples. When the excess fat and tissue is removed from the breasts, the nipples, in most cases, start to point downward. As such, your breasts may look saggy. To make your breasts firmer and youthful, the surgeon will remove the nipples and implant them higher on the breasts where they appear firmer and point forward. After repositioning the nipples, the surgeon will re-drape the remaining skin and suture and close the incisions. 

After the surgery

After the incisions have been sutured and closed, the patient will be sent to a recovery area where she will wake up from the effects of the anesthesia. Your recovery will begin right after the operation. A major portion of the recovery will occur within the first two weeks following the surgery, but complete recovery can take up to six weeks.

For two weeks following the surgery, the patient must take enough rest and avoid physical movements. Keep in mind that resting allows your body to heal and recover from the surgical trauma quickly. After two weeks, you may resume your physical movements and work; however, you must still avoid physically demanding activities for six weeks.

After six weeks, you can start your normal routine activities like exercises, jogging, etc. When it comes to the results, you will notice improvements in your breasts and alleviation of the associated pain right after the procedure. However, complete results will not become visible until your breasts have fully healed and the post-operative swelling has disappeared. This can take several weeks and even months to happen.

When the results finally emerge, you will see that your breasts have decreased in size. Also, the pain associated with having huge breasts will considerably decrease or be eliminated. To keep the results on a sustainable basis, you must avoid weight gain after the procedure.


Overly developed breasts can be a source of physical and emotional pain for many women. When the breasts grow to the extent that it creates physical pain and self-esteem issues for you, you must seek breast reduction surgery. The procedure decreases the size of your breasts by removing the excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin. As a result, the weight of your breasts decreases, which in turn alleviates or eliminates the physical discomforts and makes your breasts look aesthetically welcoming.

After the procedure, your physical movements, confidence, productivity, and functionality will improve. Keep in mind, however, that breast reduction entails many risks and side effects. You must choose your plastic surgeon carefully and then follow the surgeon’s instructions to decrease the risks. The steps of breast reduction surgery have been thoroughly explained in this article.