Breast Reduction

About Breast Reduction

A Breast Reduction, which is also known as a reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure to make the breasts smaller by removing excess fat, tissue, and skin from them.


Breast reduction procedure reshapes the breasts, and lifts them to a more upright and youthful position. During this procedure, uneven breasts can be made more even. Reduction techniques vary depending on breast size and shape, the amount of tissue to remove, and other factors such as scarring or the need for future breast-feeding.

time requirements

Minimum stay

1 - 2 weeks

Hospital stay

Not required/1 night

Operation duration

2 to 3 hours

Anesthesia type


Back to work

1-2 weeks

Post visit

1 trip

Before Breast Reduction

Before the reduction mammaplasty procedure, patient will have an initial consultation session with the surgeon. During the consultation, the surgeon will measure the size and shape of the breasts and evaluate surgical options, determine patient’s desired nipple placement, and preplan the procedure.


The surgeon will also let the patient know how much breast tissue will need to be removed and which technique is the best to achieve the goal.  


Other general recommendations before the procedure are:


  • Let doctor know if you have any allergies, taking any medications or had a surgery recently.
  • Let doctor know if you have any family history of breast cancer
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements at least 10 days before the surgery as they may increase the bleeding possibility
  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
  • Mammography might be needed to ensure the health of the breasts
  • Stop smoking and drinking alcohol two weeks before the surgery

How is Breast Reduction performed?

Depending on the patient's situation, breast reduction surgery is done either with general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation.The surgeon makes incisions along the pre-marked lines. Common procedures include an anchor incision, a vertical incision, a free nipple graft, and liposuction.  


After incisions, the surgeon removes the portion of underlying fat and excess skin and repositions the nipple and areolae to their new position. Next, the skin beneath the areolae is brought together and closed with dissolvable internal sutures to reshape the new smaller breasts.


The breasts are wrapped with bandages and a surgical drain may be placed in each breast to allow fluids to escape. Drains will be removed in a couple of days. External sutures are removed after one to two weeks. Scarring along the lower centers and creases of the breasts is normal, but scars will fade considerably over time.

Anesthesia type

Breast Reduction

Four steps of breast reduction procedure.

Recovery procedure

Possible discomfort

Swelling and discoloration after the procedure are normal and will subside over time. If surgical drains are present, they, along with any bandages will likely be removed after a day or two.

Post procedure care

  • Follow doctor instructions to care surgical site
  • Wear the compression garment
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach
  • Avoid excessive exertion or heavy lifting for a month or more
  • Stop physical activity for at least one month after surgery
  • Avoid driving for at least one month after surgery
  • Don't put on underwire bras for a few months after surgery
  • Take pain killer medication as recommended by your doctor
  • Do not smoke for at least 2 weeks after the surgery

Need help finding the right doctor?

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What you need to know

Not recommended for

  • Heavy smokers
  • Patients who have diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Patients with obesity and who need weight loss
  • Women who are pregnant or have plan to have a child soon (breast feeding might be difficult after breast reduction surgery)

Potential risk

  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Infection
  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation
  • Bleeding (hematoma)
  • Blood clots
  • Poor wound healing
  • Breast contour and shape irregularities
  • Skin discoloration
  • Damage to deeper structures—such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles and lungs
  • Breast asymmetry
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Excessive firmness of the breast
  • Potential inability to breastfeed
  • Potential loss of skin/tissue of breast
  • Potential, partial or total loss of nipple and areola
  • Fat necrosis
  • Possibility of revisional surgery

Cost parameters

  • Type of anesthesia
  • Technique of the surgery
  • Patient's anatomy
  • Patient’s health condition i.e diabetic
  • Other treatments performed in parallel i.e performing liposuction
  • Qualification/expertise of the surgeon


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