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Breast Reduction

What is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction is a procedure to reshape the breast in order to make it smaller. There are different types of surgical procedures that may be used, including the following:

  • Suction Lipectomy
    This is a form of liposuction that allows for tapering of the edges of the tissue without unwanted side effects. Complicated gynecomastia conditions may require an open surgical procedure, in which an incision is placed into the breast tissue and the excess tissue is removed.
  • Endoscopic Surgery
    This newer procedure uses a small, flexible tube with a light and a camera lens at the end (endoscope) to examine the inside of the breast. Tissue is then removed without placing a large, open, surgical incision. Data regarding the accuracy or complications of this technique are not available at this time.
Each breast reduction procedure varies; however, the following are general guidelines for the surgery:

Anesthesia options

The type of anesthesia used will depend on many factors, including your preference, the surgeon, your age, and the size of the incision. Either local or general anesthesia may be utilized. The surgeon often will make marks on the skin before surgery to indicate the areas to be removed.


When the dressings are removed, the patient may be given a surgical bra. Stitches will be removed in a week or so.


Possible complications associated with breast reduction surgery may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Infection
    Infection is most common within a week after surgery. The infection can be treated with antibiotics or, in severe cases, the implant is removed for several months until the infection is gone before a new implant is inserted.
  • Capsular contracture
    A capsular contracture may occur if the scar or capsule around the implant begins to tighten. Treatment can involve either the removal or "scoring" of the scar tissue, or the removal or replacement of the implant.
  • Oversensitive, undersensitive or numb nipples
    Oversensitivity, undersensitivity, and/or small patches of numbness near the incisions may occur in some patients. The symptoms usually disappear with time, but may be permanent in some patients.
There is no evidence that fertility, pregnancy, or the ability to nurse will be affected by breast reduction. However, if you have nursed a baby within the year before breast reduction, you may produce milk for a few days after surgery. This may cause some discomfort, but can be treated with medication prescribed by your physician.