How Does Breast Reduction Work?

How Does Breast Reduction Work?

How Does Breast Reduction Work?

How Does Breast Reduction Work?

If you are considering breast reduction surgery, consult a board-certified cosmetic surgeon. It is crucial to determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure and understand what it involves.


You should also find out what the treatment can and cannot do. You can undergo this procedure at any age. However, you might require subsequent surgery later in life if your breasts are not fully grown. 


What Is Breast Reduction Surgery?


Another name for breast reduction surgery is reduction mammoplasty. It is a cosmetic procedure meant to reduce the size and change the shape of the breasts. The cosmetic surgeon removes glandular tissue, fat, and skin from the patient’s breast to change its size, shape, and position on the chest. 


Reduction mammoplasty has one of the highest satisfaction rates of all plastic surgery procedures. Cosmetic surgeons perform the majority of operations on an outpatient basis. Besides addressing your appearance, the procedure can help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with large breasts. 


Is Breast Reduction Surgery Right for You?


The procedure may be a good idea if you wish to change your appearance or if your oversized breasts are causing the following:


  • Low back pain

  • Neck strain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Headaches

  • Chronic rash or skin infections under your breast folds

  • Nerve pain

  • Trouble fitting into clothing and bras

  • Inability to participate in some activities

  • Poor self-image


How It Works


Plastic surgeons perform reduction mammoplasty through incisions on the breasts to remove the excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin. Sometimes, it is possible to remove excess fat through liposuction if excess skin is not an issue and breast size is primarily due to fatty tissue. The factors that will determine the technique used to reduce your breasts include:


  • Your condition

  • Personal preferences

  • Amount of reduction desired

  • Breast composition

  • Surgeon’s advice



Your surgeon will administer medications for your comfort during the surgery. The options include general anesthesia and intravenous sedation.  


The Incision


Your surgeon may use a circular incision around the areola. In this case, the incision lines will remain visible, and you can expect permanent scars. However, you can conceal them beneath a bra or swimsuit. Another option is a racquet-shaped or keyhole pattern, with an incision vertically down to the breast crease and around the areola. Surgeons also use an anchor-shaped or inverted-T incision pattern. 


Tissue Removal and Breast Repositioning


After making the incision, surgeons reposition the nipple and reduce the areola by removing skin at the edge if necessary. They then reduce, lift, and shape the underlying breast tissue. For huge breasts, they may remove the nipple and areola and transplant them to a higher position on the breasts.


Closing the Incision


The surgeon brings together the incisions to reshape the now smaller breast. Next, he/she adds sutures deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly reduced breasts. Surgical tape, skin adhesives, or sutures close the skin. In most cases, the incision lines will fade and improve over time.




Breast reduction surgery results are immediately visible. Over time, the swelling will resolve, and the appearance of the incision lines will improve. Satisfaction with the results should continue to increase as you recover. 


For more about breast reduction, visit Texas Plastic Surgery at our San Antonio, Texas, office. Call 210-981-4490 to schedule an appointment today.


Get in touch