Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction surgery is used to make the breasts smaller. Patients choosing this surgery are generally looking to go down many cup sizes to something that fits their body better. A larger reduction will require longer incisions. We send the removed breast tissue to pathology to make sure it is normal, especially if you have a family history of breast cancer. We also reduce the size of the Nipple Areolar Complex (NAC), which is the pigmented portion of the breast.

Anesthesia: General
Operative Time: 3-4 hours
Incisions: Anchor or Wise pattern
Drains: None
Recovery Timeline:

  • 1 week – Suture removal; Typical time off work
  • 3 weeks – Resume low-impact exercise
  • 6 weeks – Resume all exercise without restrictions
  • 3 months – Majority of swelling gone and wounds 90% strong
  • 1 year – Final healing

* Please note that each patient and case is unique. Nothing in surgery is a guarantee. Please talk with Dr. Street more in person about your individualized surgical plan. All general anesthesia is performed by a board-certified anesthesiologist.

FAQs

If I get a reduction do I need an implant?
Patients seeking breast reduction are looking to make the breasts smaller and lighter. So it is counterintuitive and not productive to place an implant. Implants make the breast larger and heavier. Some surgeons use an implant in the reduction process to try to improve the post-operative shape. But, there are more natural ways to do this with surgical technique.
Does reducing the breast also lift them?
Yes. When we reduce the breast tissue, we also remove the extra skin and this lifts the breasts. Breast reduction surgery does not lift the breast in exactly the same way a standard breast lift does, however. These two surgeries are designed differently because they have different primary goals. The primary goal of breast reduction surgery is to reduce the size of the breast.
What happens to the tissue that is removed?
Breast tissue that is removed is sent to pathology to be examined for cancer. Because we recommend preoperative mammogram screening based on current guidelines, it is uncommon for the pathologist to find cancer cells in the removed tissue.
Can my breasts still get bigger if I have a reduction?
Yes. Breasts after a reduction can still vary in size based on weight and hormonal changes. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can impact breast size after a reduction as well.
Doesn’t insurance pay for reductions?
Some insurance companies will pay for breast reductions if you meet their criteria for medical necessity. If your insurance company doesn’t cover these surgeries, or they deem it unnecessary, then they won’t pay for surgery. You can choose to pay out-of-pocket for a breast reduction in that case.
Do I need drains or antibiotics after a reduction?
No. Using drains and antibiotics after a reduction is an older tradition and has been proven in clinical studies to not be necessary.