Breast Reduction


Breast Reduction, although actually a reconstructive surgical procedure, is used to correct marked breast enlargement, out of proportion to body size, and causing significant back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as a tendency to rashes and yeast infections in the folds under the breasts. Breast reduction surgery, also referred as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure that can remove the excess fats, skin and tissue from inordinately large, heavy breasts. In many cases, this is performed not just to make the body appear proportionate but also to treat physical symptoms such as skin irritation along the crease, bad posture, chronic pain in the neck, back and shoulder, and restricted activities because of the excessive weight of the bust.

The cause varies but is generally associated with genetic pre-disposition, hormone fluctuation (e.g. puberty, pregnancy, or menopause), or marked weight variation.

Breast Reduction is a surgical method of size reduction of the breasts, relieving the weight burden, and usually producing an improvement in breast shape.

While this surgery can be performed at any age, most doctors recommend their patients to wait until they are at least 18 years old, a stage in which their breasts are fully developed. Most experts also advise women to postpone breast reduction if they are considering having children in the future since their ability to breastfeed may be compromised.

Because breast reduction is relatively extensive, surgeons often perform this under general which can put a patient to sleep during the entire operation. However, the surgery is typically conducted in an outpatient basis which means that a woman can return home on the same day of the procedure.

Nowadays, doctors such as those in our clinics in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange Counties use different incision patterns and techniques in order to achieve the most desired outcome. But for women with excessively large breasts, the most ideal is the standard approach which involves an anchor-shaped incision—one around the perimeter of the areola, another cut that travels vertically from the nipple down to the breast crease, and a third one that horizontally covers the crease.

In some cases, the horizontal incision is removed particularly when only a small amount of tissue and skin is removed from the bust.

Once the incisions are made, the extra tissue, fats, and skin are excised in order to reduce the size of each breast.

In many cases, the nipple and areola remain to their original position. However, doctors who are treating women with inordinately large, heavy breasts will have to remove and reattach this area to a higher position in order to achieve a more natural result. And if needed, the sized of an enlarged areola is also reduced.

One major downside of detaching the areola and nipple from their original nerves and blood vessels may result to reduced or permanent loss of sensation. In some cases, this procedure may also lead to a woman’s inability to breastfeed.

After a breast reduction surgery, the incisions are closed with tiny sutures and the chest is then covered with an elastic bandage or gauze dressing.

Mastopexy or Breast Lift is a similar but distinct technique, designed to cosmetically restore a youthful breast shape and tissue firmness, but not remove any breast tissue.


Insurance has traditionally covered the cost of Reduction Mammaplasty (also known as Mammoplasty) surgery (but not cosmetic Mastopexy), however, many HMO's and similar discount insurance schemes have found it convenient to deny this service by falsely labeling it "cosmetic surgery". Be aware that if you are trapped in one of these limited service insurance plans you have the legal and contractual right to appeal denials of necessary Reconstructive Plastic Surgery services. Every state has an Insurance Commission which oversees operations of such insurance schemes, and they are usually responsive to consumer healthcare complaints.

Please click here to see information on Male Breast Reduction Procedure (Gynecomastia) .

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