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Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is a safe and effective way for women to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts and achieve a breast size more in proportion with their body size.
View an interactive patient education module on Breast Reduction
The best candidates for this surgery include
- Women whose breast have fully developed
- Healthy women who do not have a life-threatening illness or a medical condition that would impede healing
- Non-smokers (smoking can delay healing and will increase the risk of complications)
When to consider breast reduction
- Your breasts are too large for your body frame and create neck, back, or shoulder pain
- You have heavy breasts with nipples and areolas that point downward
- You experience numbness in parts of your breasts and upper chest from excessive breast weight
- You have poor posture
- You have difficulty breathing
- You notice grooves in your shoulders from your bra straps
- You are unhappy or are self-conscious about the appearance of your breasts
- You have finished having children and breast-feeding. If you plan to breast feed in the future, you should discuss this with your plastic surgeon
Your surgeon will review the full risks and benefits of breast reduction surgery with you. Some of the pros and cons that other patients have taken into consideration when weighing whether to go forward with surgery include:
- Your breasts will be in better proportion with your body and will feel firmer
- Surgery will alleviate neck, back, and shoulder pain and make it easier to breathe and exercise
- Your clothes will fit better and you will feel more confident about your appearance
- You may have decreased sensation in some areas, including the nipples and areolas
- Some women complain that their breasts and nipples look slightly uneven
- Breast-feeding may be a problem
Breast reduction surgery may not be recommended for patients with any of the following
- Irregular mammograms
- Undiagnosed lumps or other types of breast masses
- Severe obesity
- Wound healing or clotting disorders (or a family history of either)
- Heart or circulatory disorders
Is this procedure covered by health insurance?
A breast reduction is both a functional and an appearance-related procedure; not all plans will cover it. Your health insurance will decide whether they will cover the procedure based on their criteria for determining medical necessity. Their determination will take into account your height, weight, body surface area, and body mass index.