Breast reductions are often performed not only solely for cosmetic purposes but also for functional and medical reasons. Women with oversized breasts can be restricted in performing their daily activities as well as experiencing chronic neck and back pain. A breast reduction alleviates discomfort, pain and vastly improves the quality of these patients' lives plus their self-esteem.



The technique and resultant scarring will be determined by the extent of the reduction. Incisions typically are made vertically down the lower half of the breast (I incision) and around the areola. In extreme cases an additional horizontal incision (T incision) parallel to the breast fold may be indicated. The desired proportions are achieved by removing the excess skin and breast tissue. The surgeon u reshapes a new breast. The areola is repositioned to the most optimal desired location.


Once the decision has been made to undergo a breast reduction procedure, the patient is required to complete both a clinical examination and an ultrasound scan. Results of these examinations should show no abnormality. In certain cases, an MRI scan or mammogram may be required in addition to the diagnostic work-up. Two weeks prior to the procedure, the patient must stop smoking in order to reduce the risk of wound-healing impairment.

Breast reduction surgery is mostly performed under general anaesthesia. The procedure takes approximately three hours. Due to a larger area of scarring, follow-up care is more intensive. Sutures generally are removed between ten and fourteen days. Dressings need to be changed frequently and patients must wear a sports bra for four to six weeks immediately after surgery.


Due to the larger incisions and area involved, subsequent skin scarring can occur. Further potential complications are secondary bleeding, infection, bruising, persistent pain and tension or skin and tissue necrosis. In most cases, breast reduction surgery affects not only the sensitivity of the breast and nipple but also the patient’s ability to breastfeed.