Breast reduction

A breast reduction decreases functional disorders related to having breasts that are too big and too heavy. It is impossible to predict long-term results of this operation due to many factors such as normal tissue slackening, pregnancy, the use of oral contraception, breastfeeding, weight changes, etc. The procedure allows the patient to feel more comfortable in their own skin, to solve clothing problems, and to more easily take part in physical activities. It also aims to reduce back pain, as well as shoulder and neck pain, and to relieve irritation problems under the breasts.

The operation

Breast reduction surgery is usually performed under general anesthesia. Before proceeding, the surgeon draws the periphery of the resection on the breast. This guiding line marks out the quantity of tissue to be removed.

The surgery includes resection, the remodeling of the breasts, and sutures. The areola’s diameter is often decreased. Scars typically have the shape of an inverted T and there is a scar around the areola. The incisions are covered with diachylon bandages and a dressing wraps both breasts for a few days. Sometimes, a small drain is inserted into each breast and is removed a few days later.

Postoperative care

In general, one must not extend the arms above the shoulders during the first two weeks that follow surgery. Wait four to six weeks before resuming sporting activities. Your surgeon will be happy to answer all of your questions.

Superficial bruises usually disappear after two or three weeks. Temporary numbness of the nipples can sometimes take a few months to disappear and rarely remains permanent.

The breasts take their final shape and position once the healing process is complete. In many cases, it can take at least a year. In the event that scars prove to be unsightly, it may be possible to improve them. Your surgeon will explain what this involves.


Any surgical procedure involves some risk. As infrequent as they occur, these risks still exist. Here is a list of possible complications:

Bleeding – It is normal that your dressing will be slightly stained with blood during the first few days. Seepage gradually decreases. More significant bleeding may require treatment.

Infection – An infection can occur after any surgery. The numerous ducts present in the breasts contain bacteria, which can sometimes cause infection. Most infections are pinpointed and effective treatment must be prescribed (sometimes with antibiotics). A more serious infection may result in decreased circulation and cause a more pronounced edema which can cause a partial opening of the incisions.

Loss of skin or areola (necrosis) – A reduction of blood flow can cause necrosis of the skin and fatty tissue. A partial or total loss of the areola is nonetheless extremely rare.

Scars – Breast reduction and breast lift surgeries necessarily lead to permanent scarring. These are usually acceptable, but the weight of the operated breast exerts strong pressure on all scars. Sometimes, they can expand with time or, in some cases, become thicker and painful but this is uncommon.

Asymmetry – It is impossible to achieve perfect symmetry of shape, volume, and the position of the areolas and breasts. A minor alteration may be useful after the healing is complete.

Breastfeeding – A breast reduction may prevent normal breastfeeding. It is likely that the quantity of milk will be insufficient.

Thrombophlebitis and pulmonary embolism – This is a blood clot that forms in a vein and could travel to and lodge itself in the lung. This risk, inherent in any general anesthetic, is very low.


  • Fat necrosis;
  • Loss of or decreased nipple sensitivity;
  • Possible increase in breast size after surgery;
  • Nipple discharge;
  • Retraction of the nipples;
  • Cysts.