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Breast Reduction Frequently Asked Questions


                                   Breast Reduction FAQ's

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  • What is breast reduction?

Breast reduction is also known as "reduction mammaplasty". This procedure is done to reduced large breasts to make sure they are more proportioned and symmetrical to the rest of the body.




  • Is breast reduction permanent?

Breast reduction is considered permanent. However, if the patient should gain weight or become pregnant then a revision breast reduction might have to be done.  If the patient is taking birth control pills or synthetic hormones, the breast tissue will swell and be tender to the touch.




  • Who is considered a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?

The best candidates for breast reduction are the following:

  • Women who have developed very large breasts

  • Experiencing physical discomfort due to the breast size





  • What are the risks of breast reduction?

Breast reduction comes with the same risks as all other surgical procedures.


Complications include:

Breast Reduction risks and complications



  • What are the advantages of breast reduction?

Breast reduction is the answer to many women who have suffered or endured years of oversized breasts. 

Breast Reduction can help in the following areas:

  • Back and neck pain

  • Shoulder pain or possibly strain

  • Grooves in the shoulder area from bras

  • Poor posture due to the weight of the breast tissue

  • Skin irritations

  • Infection

  • Shortness of breath

  • Participation in sports is limited

  • Difficulty find proper size clothing to fit

  • Difficulty finding oversized bras

  • Social or sexual embarrassment


"Ease the Pain"



  • What techniques are available for breast reduction?

There are several different types of pedicle methods available:

These techniques vary depending on the patient's needs and how much tissue needs to be taken off.




  • What does breast reduction surgery involve?

Breast reduction is almost always performed under general anesthesia, because of the time involved with this procedure. Most surgeons will make an incision that is in the shape of a anchor or inverted "T". The excess fat, skin and tissue and repositions the nipple/areola complex on the breast mound so the breast appears more perky. This surgery depending on the case can take anywhere from one to three hours per breast.




  • Where are the incisions made with breast reduction?

The incisions are made in the "inframammary fold" or the natural fold under the breast, straight up vertically ending up around the nipple/areola complex. This procedure is not considered minor.  There will be scars from the surgery, as with any surgical procedure; however, your plastic surgeon will help you choose the best incision placement for your case.




  • Can I use Arnica Montana for swelling and bruising?

Arnica is a perennial herb that has been used in other countries (such as Europe) to help with bruising and swelling. 

  • Arnica has proven that it can decrease the healing time. 

  • There are many different types of Arnica Montana that you can take. 

  • Arnica should  never be taken in it's raw form as it can cause intestinal bleeding, abdominal cramps and sickness.

  • Make sure you ask your plastic surgeon first before taking this




  • Can I use bromelain for swelling and bruising?

Bromelain comes from the pineapple plant, in which it contains anti-inflammatory properties with an enzyme that aids in the process of digestion of protein.  Originally used after sports injuries  or in arthritis to help relieve edema and also used after surgical procedures to help reduce swelling.

Patients taking any kind of blood thinner or anticoagulant such as aspirin, warfin (Coumadin) heparin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like Advil, Motrin, Naproxyn, Aleve - should only take bromelain under a physician's care.  Make sure you ask your plastic surgeon first before using this after surgery.


Medication to Avoid before surgery




  • What is recovery like after breast reduction?

After the surgery, your breasts will be covered with gauze and an elastic bandage. You more than likely will have drains to help reduce the build up of fluid. These drains are normally removed at the first post operative appointment depending on the amount of drainage. You will have either a surgical bra or a compression garment for several weeks following the procedure.  Expect to experience some pain and swelling as the breast heal.  

Some surgeons use the pain pump for the first few days following surgery. This helps reduce the need for narcotic pain medication for some. Antibiotics will be prescribed as well to help fight off any infection. It is important that you take all the medication as prescribed.

Recovery takes anywhere from two to six weeks with breast reduction. Getting back to your exercise routine will take several weeks, as it is also very important not to start this too soon.  Wound separation can occur or possibly a hematoma if your blood pressure gets too high. If your surgeon has recommended no exercise for six weeks or more - you need to listen to their post operative advice.

It might take you a few weeks to resume work and other activities. Each patient is unique with their own needs and pain threshold during recovery. Listen to your body and only do what is comfortable and advised by your plastic surgeon.




  • How much does breast reduction surgery cost?

Breast reduction costs vary. The fees can range anywhere from $5,000 - $10,000. Depending on the patient's healthcare coverage, insurance sometimes can be used. Make sure you check with your plastic surgeon if he takes your insurance plan or if he can help you bill this out yourself.

Most of the time breast reduction is done for medical purposes - so most insurance companies will cover the cost of this procedure.









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