Breast Reduction Surgery

A breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a cosmetic operation for the correction of severe breast ptosis and macromastia. Breast ptosis pertain to the drooping of the breasts while macromastia refers to enlarged breasts that weigh more than 3% of the total body weight. Breast reduction aims to establish a breast size that is functional and proportionate to the body. Most breast reduction surgeries also require breast lift surgery as an additional procedure. Both breast reduction and breast lift surgery involve the removal of excess skin, fats and glandular tissues as well as repositioning of the nipple-areola complex relative to the new position of the breast.

Patient Type

A breast reduction surgery is performed on women whose breasts are so large that cause extreme discomfort to the patient. Extra large breasts can produce pain on the head, neck, shoulder and back. They can also lead to difficulty breathing and poor blood circulation. Women with large breasts are usually those who were pregnant, at menopausal age, or have gained a significant amount of weight. Genetics may also play a role as there are some patients who are genetically-predisposed to developing large breasts.


A breast reduction surgery cost can run from $4000 to $15,000 depending on the surgeon’s credentials and the geographic location of the clinic. Since it isa reconstructive procedure, it is covered by most health insurance policies. The insurance company will probably require the surgeon to conduct a proper documentation of the symptoms brought about by the enlarged breasts. It is also important for the patient to clarify which costs the insurance will pay for.


Two main techniques of breast reduction that exist are the Lejour technique and liposuction-only breast reduction.

The Lejour technique, also known as vertical breast reduction, consists of three steps. The first step is the creation of a vertical incision followed by liposuction as the second step. The third and final step involves the undermining of the skin on the lower hemisphere of the breast and closing the incision.

The liposuction-only technique employs liposuction as a reliable method of reduction. It is indicated for cases wherein the breast is mostly fat tissue and excess skin isn’t much of a problem. The use of liposuction alone yields consistent results without side effects like loss of sensation, loose skin, irregular breast shape, tissue death, scarring and infection.


The most commonly associated risks and complications with a breast reduction surgery include pain and scarring. Mild to moderate breast pain is normal and may be relieved by taking oral painkillers. It should go away after a few days. Scarring, on the other hand, is also a normal sideeffect of any breast surgery. The scars may fade as the patient heals but they will not completely disappear. Lifting heavy stuff too soon after the surgery will only worsen the scarring so it is extremely important to avoid doing this. Failure of the nipple area to completely heal may also happenalthough this rarely occurs. Such a complication may require a skin graft. Other complications include fever and the presence of unusual discharge from the surgical site. These must be reported to the surgeon immediately.


A breast reduction surgery requires a recovery period of at least one week. Patients are advised to stay at home and not go to work or attend school during this period. Follow-up appointments with the surgeon after the procedure are also necessary. They must also refrain from doing any strenuous activity during the first month.

Finding the Right Doctor

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right surgeon for a breast reduction surgery. These include training, certifications, experience and testimonials from other patients. It is also important that the patient is comfortable with discussing their problems and the reasons why they want to undergo the procedure.