Breasts that are heavy or overly large can be a source of discomfort or self-consciousness for many women. Because the appearance of your breasts may be closely tied to your self-confidence, it may be beneficial to visit MG Plastic Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ for breast reduction surgery. Learn everything you need to know about this procedure, including recovery time and ideal candidates, before you schedule a consultation.

How Does a Breast Reduction Work?

Breast reduction surgery is a cosmetic procedure that will alter the size and shape of the breasts by removing excess fat, breast tissue, and skin. The goal of the reduction procedure is to tighten and lift the breasts, which can reduce weight on the chest and improve symptoms such as neck pain. This procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, depending on your health. The steps of this surgery include:

Excise Tissue, Skin, and Fat

First, your surgeon will make incisions around your areola to remove skin, fat, and unwanted breast tissue. It’s common to use liposuction to remove fat from the breasts. The amount of excess tissue, skin, and fat excised from the breast will depend on your aesthetic goals.

Reset Nipple

After excess breast tissue, skin, and fat are removed, your surgeon will then reshape the breasts so that they are symmetrical. This step of your procedure will also involve resetting the nipple so it faces forward on the breast. Often, after a reduction procedure, the overall size of the areola is smaller.

Close Incisions

The final step of your procedure is closing incisions, which is usually done with sutures or surgical tape. When your incisions are closed, you may have a drain placed to help get rid of any excess blood or fluids during the initial healing phase after your surgery. Drains are typically placed under each arm.

What Is Involved In Your Recovery?

In general, your recovery after a reduction surgery will usually take six weeks. This is enough time for incisions to heal and the swelling to go down after your procedure. Some specific instructions involved in your recovery include:


It’s important to correctly take care of any incisions and drains you have after your surgery. For example, you will receive directions on how to care for any bandages you have, which means avoiding water on the breast area for at least 24 to 48 hours so that sutures or surgical tape can set. You may also be instructed to use prescription creams or other medications, such as antibiotics, to help during your initial recovery phase.

Surgical Bras

You will usually need to wear a surgical bra for several weeks to support the breasts as they heal. A surgical bra will have a front closure that will make it easy to take care of your incision area. Surgical bras should be worn for most of the day every day until you are finished with your recovery. You may also be instructed to wear compression bras for a few weeks after your initial recovery to aid in the healing process.

Activity Limitations

The biggest rules to follow after a reduction surgery are limitations on your physical activity. For example, you will not be able to lift anything over five to 10 pounds, particularly if you have to raise your arms over your head. Because of these significant limitations for your activities, most people will arrange for child care, help at home, and time off work for at least two to four weeks.

That said, although you will be restricted from exercise, it’s still a good idea to move around your house frequently to keep your blood flow healthy. Even on the same day or the day after your procedure, it’s a good idea to get up and walk around your house for at least 15 minutes every two to three hours.

Do Your Breasts Need to Be a Certain Size?

You can have a reduction procedure regardless of the size of your breasts. Although most women who are interested in a reduction procedure have overly large breasts, you can still have this procedure if you want to remove a moderate amount of fat and tissue from the breasts or lift the appearance of the breasts.

Why Do Women Have This Procedure?

There are several common reasons why women are interested in using a reduction procedure to alter the natural size or appearance of their breasts. For example, overly large breasts that have loose skin tissue can have an oblong or elongated shape that can make women feel so conscious about their bodies. Other reasons women may be interested in this procedure include:

Ill-Fitting Clothes

When breasts are overly large or elongated, it can be difficult to find bras that fit well. Women with large breasts may have difficulty getting accurate measurements about band and cup size because of excessive breast fat or tissue. Not only are ill-fitting bras uncomfortable, but they can also cause pinching or skin irritation.

Back and Neck Pain

Women who have overly large breasts often experience back, neck, and even shoulder pain. This is because the weight of the breasts can affect the alignment of your spine or your posture, which can lead to lower back pain, tension in the neck, and other discomfort. When you can reduce the size and weight of your breasts, many of these pains disappear.

Skin Chafing and Irritation

Overly large breasts can also lead to skin chafing and irritation. Your skin may chafe, particularly on the underside of the breasts, due to sweat and humidity that causes friction on the skin. Skin irritation on the sensitive skin of the breasts can be incredibly uncomfortable and can sometimes lead to pressure sores, particularly if you have to wear tight-fitting bras for adequate support.

How Long Does a Reduction Last?

The results of your reduction procedure can usually last for several years or even a lifetime. Ultimately, the longevity of your results will depend on how much excess fat and tissue was removed from the breasts. Any remaining fat cells in the breasts will be able to respond to weight gain and hormone changes, which means that significant changes in your body composition from pregnancy or other weight gains will cause your breasts to grow again.

The best way to maintain long-lasting results is to manage your body weight with a healthy diet, regular exercise, and other methods. If you are planning to become pregnant in the future, it may be a good idea to postpone your reduction treatment until after you are done having children.

Are There Other Breast Procedures to Consider?

Aside from a breast reduction, your aesthetic goals may mean other surgical procedures are more appropriate. For example, if you currently have breast implants and you want to reduce the size of your breasts, breast implant removal surgery is usually a better option. On the other hand, if you want to increase the volume or augment the symmetry of the breasts, breast augmentation with implants or fat grafting and breast lift with augmentation are ideal.

In addition to cosmetic breast procedures, there are many other medical breast surgeries for patients to explore. Depending on your health condition and your goals, you may be able to combine a medical breast procedure with a cosmetic breast procedure. The full list of breast procedures available at MG Plastic Surgery includes:

  • Lumpectomy
  • Lumpectomy combined with breast reduction
  • Partial mastectomy
  • Mastectomy (modified radical)
  • Mastectomy with skin sparing
  • Mastectomy with nipple and skin sparing
  • Sentinel lymph node biopsy
  • Axillary Lymph Node dissection
  • Port placement for chemotherapy
  • Breast reconstruction with implants or flaps
  • Breast revision with fat grafting

Who Are Ideal Candidates?

Candidates who are ideal for breast reduction include those who are in good general health, those who do not smoke or use tobacco products, and those who do not have medical conditions such as pregnancy that will restrict them from having this procedure. The best candidates for this procedure also have realistic expectations and are committed to maintaining their results with healthy lifestyle practices.

Feel Satisfied With Your Breast Size

If you feel self-conscious about the size or shape of your breasts, you may want to consider a procedure such as a reduction to reduce large breast size. By reducing overly large breasts, you can potentially improve back pain, skin irritation, and much more. Get in touch with MG Plastic Surgery in Scottsdale, AZ to book a consultation today.

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