This Article Has Been Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Jennifer Emmett, M.D.

Home Breast reduction Do I Need A Breast Reduction?

December 13, 2021

A breast reduction, or reduction of mammoplasty, is reported to be one of the highest-rated procedures for patient satisfaction. 

While the majority of breast enhancement procedures aim to increase breast size, women who opt to receive breast reduction surgery have a different problem — their breasts are too large and directly interfere with their daily life.

Women who consider breast reduction surgery usually experience physical pain and soreness caused by their breasts, or feel self-conscious in public.

If you’ve found yourself wondering “Do I need a breast reduction?” The answer is probably yes.

Continue reading to learn the steps to schedule your first consultation and learn more about the procedure to see if you’re a right fit. 

The Initial Consultation Before Surgery

Before surgery can take place, you will meet with Dr. Emmett for your one-on-one breast reduction consultation.

During this hour-long meeting, Dr. Emmett will discuss with you your motivations for breast reduction and evaluate your current health and health history to ensure you’re a good candidate for surgery.

You may not be a good candidate for surgery if you:

  • Are currently pregnant, breastfeeding, or stopped breastfeeding recently
  • Have cancer or an abnormal mammogram 
  • Are severely obese
  • Have a current illness or infection

Dr. Emmett will also examine your breasts, including measuring and taking photographs for your medical records. She will discuss the likely outcomes of the procedure as well as talk through any potential risks and complications. 

If your breast reduction goals are achievable and you are a healthy candidate for surgery, Dr. Emmett will schedule your surgery date.

What Happens During a Breast Reduction Surgery

At Emmett Plastic Surgery, breast reductions are performed as out-patient procedures using general anesthesia to put patients in a pain-free, unconscious state.

The breast reduction procedure takes around 3-4 hours to perform, including a 2-3 hour recovery period after surgery.

During the procedure, Dr. Emmett will make three main incisions — around the areola, from the areola down to the breast crease, and finally an incision along the bottom of the breast crease.

Once incisions have been made, excess skin, glandular tissue, and fat are removed from the lower section of the breast. The areola and breast tissue are then repositioned to a higher position, lifting the breast higher. The areolas are typically reduced in size to match the patient’s smaller breast size. 

A breast lift is a similar procedure that uses the same incisions, except the breast is lifted without removing excess glandular tissue.

Finally, Dr. Emmett will close the incisions with stitches and protect the incisions with medical surgical tape to promote healing.

Why You Might Need a Breast Reduction

Large breasts can cause physical, and even emotional, pain in women. Many women choose breast reduction to free them from the chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain caused by carrying extra weight around their torso. 

Other women elect breast reduction because they feel self-conscious about their body’s proportions, having difficulty finding clothing that fits properly. Breast reductions are also popular among female athletes who feel held back from the pain and discomfort of exercising with large breasts.

Breast reduction can also help eliminate shoulder indents caused by ill-fitting or tight bras and can alleviate headaches and improve posture.

Large breasts can cause premature sagging in young women and more exaggerated sagging in older women caused by the excess weight pulling on their skin, stretching their breasts over time. In these instances, a breast reduction or a breast lift can help reposition the breasts to sit higher on the chest.

Recovering After a Breast Reduction Procedure

After surgery, you will be sent to a recovery room to rest for a couple of hours and then will be discharged to go home. Dr. Emmett will prescribe you pain medication to help with the pain and discomfort that will follow during your initial recovery period.

Dr. Emmett will advise you on the best practices to ensure a healthy recovery and recommend you wear a post-op surgical bra. These bras resemble sports bras and place an even pressure on the breasts to reduce swelling and bruising immediately following surgery.

It will take around 4-6 weeks to fully heal. During this time you will be advised to:

  • Avoid vigorous exercise (light walking is fine)
  • Sleep in an elevated, upright position (do not sleep on your sides or front)
  • Not shower for 48 hours after surgery (to avoid getting your stitches wet)
  • Not lift anything above your head (so your incisions don’t stretch or open)

After a month or so, you should be fully healed and can continue your normal daily activities.

Potential Risks and Complications

A breast reduction procedure, like any surgical procedure, comes with potential risks and complications that you should be aware of. 

Dr. Emmett will discuss these risks with you during your initial consultation and have you sign consent forms so you fully understand the procedure before proceeding.

Complications with breast reduction are rare, and your initial consultation lets Dr. Emmett evaluate if you are a healthy candidate to minimize the chances of complications.

Some possible breast reduction complications include:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Bleeding
  • Loss of nipple sensation
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Difficulty breastfeeding (it’s important to let Dr. Emmett know if you plan on having more children during your consultation)

The breast reduction procedure will leave behind red scars that will fade over time, however, scars are a natural result of the incisions caused during the procedure.

Schedule Your Initial Breast Reduction Consultation at Emmett Plastic Surgery

Dr. Jennifer Emmett, M.D., is a Double-Board certified plastic surgeon serving the greater Denver and Centennial areas. Her practice, Emmett Plastic Surgery, is a leading provider of surgical and non-surgical services for men and women.

Dr. Emmett is a Castle Connolly Top Doctor and is recognized by the American Institute of Plastic Surgeons as one of the top 10 Best Plastic Surgeons for Client Satisfaction.

She and her staff specialize in facial surgery, dermal fillers and injectables, body sculpting, and breast enhancement procedures, including breast reductions, breast lift, breast augmentations, and gynecomastia surgery.

Contact us if you’ve been considering breast reduction surgery. 

We can schedule your first consultation with Dr. Emmett to see if you’re a good candidate for breast reduction surgery.