Breast Reduction

A reduction mammaplasty (a.k.a. breast reduction) is a plastic surgery procedure to reduce the volume of breast tissue to improve appearance and reduce chronic pain or limitations associated with overly large breasts.

Breast Reduction Overview - 801

The Skinny

Average Recovery

4 weeks




Surgical Procedure




$5000 - $6000


Before & After Images by Provider

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The Specifics

What is a breast reduction?

A reduction mammaplasty (a.k.a. breast reduction) is a plastic surgery procedure to correct the appearance and physical impact of overly large breasts. Similar to a breast lift procedure, a Breast Reduction uses one of three incision types: periareolar, vertical, or inverted T to remove excess breast tissue and reposition the nipple and areola reducing breast size.

The Anatomy of the Female Breast

Female Breast Anatomy Cross Section Illustration

A breast reduction surgery can alleviate neck pain, shoulder pain, and back pain, remove limitations on physical activity, and improve the breast aesthetic. Many candidates combine a Breast Reduction with a breast lift or breast augmentation with Implants to create the ideal breast shape, size, and volume.

What cosmetic concerns does a breast reduction procedure treat?

  1. Breast Shape & Size: Using one of three different incision patterns, a Breast Reduction removes excess breast tissue, including excess skin and fatty tissue, to alleviate discomfort and improve aesthetic lifting breasts into a higher position.
  2. Mommy Makeover: Postpartum breast changes may necessitate breast tissue reductions for new mothers to restore their previous breast appearance.

Who is the ideal candidate for abreast reduction procedure?

The ideal candidate for a breast reduction procedure is looking to correct overly large breasts that limit physical activity, create pain in the back, neck, or shoulders, skin irritation in the breast crease, or undesirable aesthetic. A Breast Reduction is not recommended for those who are younger than 18, pregnant, or breastfeeding.

What is the average recovery associated with a breast reduction procedure?

Most patients experience four to six weeks of recovery following a breast reduction. The compression garment is advised to be worn daily for three months. Most candidates return to work after one to two weeks, although driving should be avoided until it is comfortable to wear a seatbelt. Exercise may be resumed after six weeks.

To better understand the healing and downtime associated with the procedure, check out our complete guide to breast reduction recovery.

What are the potential side effects of a breast reduction procedure?

Possible side effects following a breast reduction surgery include scarring, changes in nipple or breast sensation, breast contour irregularities, skin discoloration, swelling, bruising, firmness, inability to breastfeed, fat necrosis, loss of the nipple or areola, and need for revision surgery.

What can someone expect from the results of a breast reduction procedure?

The results of a breast reduction are immediately visible after the procedure and are permanent, although they will finalize over a few months as the body heals. The results will be affected by significant weight fluctuations and pregnancy.

What is the average cost of a breast reduction procedure?

A breast reduction can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $12,500. The actual cost of a breast reduction is dependent upon location, board certified plastic surgeon, and length and involvement of the plastic surgery. Learn more in our complete guide to the cost of a breast reduction.


  • Long Lasting
  • Relieve Pain
  • Eliminate Previous Physical Limitations


  • Changes In Sensation
  • Possible Asymmetry

Invasiveness Score


Invasiveness is graded based on factors such as anesthesia practices, incisions, and recovery notes common to this procedure.

What to Expect

For patients with large breasts that cause neck, shoulder, and back pain, a breast reduction surgery will not only relieve daily aches, but result in perkier breasts as well. Here is a quick guide for what to expect before, during, and after a surgical breast lift.

The Takeaway

A breast reduction is a plastic surgery to reduce the size of your breasts through removal of excess skin and fatty tissue for smaller breasts, improved breast shape, and a higher position of the breasts.

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Source List


AEDIT uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Mayo Clinic Enlarged Breasts in Men
  2. Mayo Clinic Staff Breast Reconstruction with Implants


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