Breast Reduction Surgery : Its Overview, Indications, Process & Complications.


Breast reduction surgery is a procedure of removing excess breast fat, tissue and skin. It aims at achieving a breast size that is in proportion to the patient’s body, thereby alleviating the discomfort caused due to overly large breasts.


This surgery is indicated in following conditions:

  • Failure Of Other Measures To Reduce Breast: Female who suffer from large breast size, adopt a variety of methods such as exercise, yoga, medicines, green tea etc. to fix it. But when these methods don’t work, then surgery is the only option left to reduce breast size.
  • Physical Problems Due To Excessive Size Of Breast: It has often been seen that women with heavy breasts have other physical problems such as neck pain, backache, skin problems etc. In such a situation, it is considered appropriate to go through a breast reduction surgery.
  • Can Not Take Part In Any Physical Activity: It may be embarrassing for women with heavy breasts to take part in any physical activity, this problem can be resolved with breast reduction surgery.
  • Suffering From A Herniated Disc: Women who suffer from herniated disk or other spinal cord problems are advised to take breast reduction surgery.
  • Men Suffering From Gynecomastia: Gynecomastia is a condition in which male develop increased chest size. Hence, in such conditions, males can also opt for Breast Reduction Surgery.


Pre procedure

Prior to starting this surgery, the doctors examine the health of the woman thoroughly, for which they do some task, which are as follows:

  • Examination Of Medical History: Before doing breast reduction surgery of a woman, the doctor examines her medical history so that it can be ascertained that there is no other serious problem related to that woman’s health.

  • Examining Breast: Before doing breast reduction surgery, the doctor examines the woman’s breast properly, in which its size is measured, to confirm the size of breast so that it could be ascertained that how much tissue is to be removed.

  • Mammogram And Image Recording: The woman’s mammogram is done before this surgery. Mammogram is an x-ray picture of breast.

The doctor might also take pictures of the woman’s breast to keep for medical records and future references for before and after comparison.


Breast reduction surgery takes about two to five hours. The surgeon decides which technique has to be used depending on patient’s existing breast anatomy, type and amount of tissue to be removed.

Before surgery a general anaesthesia is given to the patient.

Based on the technique being used the surgeon makes an incision in one of the following manners:

  • A circular pattern incision around the areola

  • An incision around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease, like a racquet or an inverted T or anchor-shaped incision.

After making the incision, the nipple is repositioned, and if necessary, the areola is reduced by removing the skin at the circumference.

Now the remodelling of the underlying breast tissue is done. If the breasts are huge and saggy, then the nipple and areola are removed and transplanted to a higher position on the breast.

The incisions are reunited to remodel the new smaller breasts. Stitches are made deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts.

The incisions are closed with stitches and are covered with gauze immediately after the surgery.

The breasts are then wrapped using an elastic bandage or a special surgical bra is used to support them.

In some patients, for first few days after surgery a small tube is left in each breast to drain blood and fluid.

Breast Reduction Complications

The most common complications of breast reduction surgery are:

  • Scars: Visible scars always develop post breast reduction surgery. The severity of scarring depends on the person and the type of incision taken during surgery.

    Initially, the scars are red and swollen, but they fade as the time passes. All incision scars are limited to the areas of the breast that are concealed by a bra

  • Asymmetrical breast: The symmetry of nipples can be lost if they are placed unevenly during the surgery. The two breasts may not be in the same size and shape.

  • Loss of sensation: sensation in breasts and nipples might lost. This may last for months, but in some women, it may last longer or may it could permanent too.

  • Difficulty In Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding becomes difficult after breast reduction surgery. Depending on the type of reduction done, it might become impossible because the healing process can be delayed if the breasts blood supply is damaged during the surgery.

Other complications of this surgery can be:

  • Excessive bleeding during surgery.

  • Infection.

  • Reaction to anaesthesia.

  • Blood clot formation causing heart and lungs complications.


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