Overly large breasts can cause both emotional and physical discomfort. Attention directed to your breasts may make you feel self-conscious, and the weight of your breasts may lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain. Large breasts can cause bra strap grooves and skin irritations. They may keep you from taking part in sports or other activities, and they can make it hard to find clothing that fits well.

Breast reduction surgery can be life changing for someone who has suffered from these problems. To create a more proportionate silhouette, excess breast tissue is removed through incisions around the areola (the pigmented area around the nipple) and on the lower breast. The remaining tissue is reshaped, and extra skin is then removed from the lower breast. In most cases the nipple and areola, shifted upward (and sometimes made smaller), remain attached to the original tissue.

Breast reduction surgery—also called reduction mammoplasty—is performed under general anesthesia either on an outpatient basis or with a one-night hospital stay. It typically takes 1½ to 4 hours.

Breast Reduction Recovery and Results

Since breast reduction surgery doesn’t involve the muscles, breast reduction recovery is usually quick. Most patients can return to work after a week or two. Oral medication will be prescribed to deal with the initial discomfort.  A compression bra is worn for the first few weeks to reduce swelling, hold the breasts in their new shape, and keep scars from stretching. You’ll need to sleep on your back at first, and vigorous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for a few weeks.

It will take a couple of months for the swelling to disappear and your breasts to settle into their permanent shape, but the results of reduction mammoplasty are long lasting. Over time, your breasts can still change due to aging, gravity, and weight fluctuations; a healthy lifestyle and a stable weight will help you make the most of your reduction surgery.

Breast Reduction Scars

Like any surgery, breast reduction does leave scars. Most commonly these are around the areola, vertically from below the nipple to the breast fold, and horizontally along the breast fold; this can vary somewhat according to the size of the breasts and how much reduction is wanted. In any case, the breast reduction scars are easy to cover with clothing, and eventually they will become flatter and less red.

Breast Reduction and Lift

Extra-large breasts are prone to sagging. Breast reduction and lift surgery gives you the benefits of a breast lift along with reducing the size of your breasts. After extra breast tissue and fat are removed, the breasts are reshaped and lifted to create a contour that’s both more proportionate and more youthful-looking.

Male Breast Reduction - Gynecomastia

Men, too, can suffer from enlarged breasts—the official term is “gynecomastia.” This may be the result of genetics, hormonal changes, drugs, or illness, and it’s quite common. Whatever the cause, over-developed breasts can lead to embarrassment, a negative self-image, and an avoidance of situations calling for men to go shirtless.

Male breast reduction surgery can reverse these effects and enhance one’s mental well-being by creating a flatter, more masculine chest profile. Or if the problem is primarily excess fat, liposuction can be performed to suction off fat through tiny incisions in the nipple or underarm area. Often liposuction is done in combination with gynecomastia procedures.