MUSC Advanced Breast Reconstruction program

Breast Reduction

Patients with very large breasts may struggle with back, shoulder and neck pain as well as bra-strap grooving, rashes, self esteem issues and difficulty exercising – issues that we can resolve with cosmetic breast reduction surgery.

In a breast reduction, the incision is made around the areola and a vertical line extends downward and follows the natural curve of the crease under the breast. During a breast reduction, excess breast tissue, fat and skin are removed allowing the breast to be re-shaped into a smaller, lighter, firmer breast that is in proportion with the rest of your body. Your nipples are not detached from your breast. They are simply moved to a higher position so that most women retain nipple sensation and the ability to breastfeed.

  • Surgery length: 2-3 hours; outpatient
  • Anesthesia: general
  • Recovery: swelling, bruising, numbness, and permanent scarring
  • Back to work: 2-3 weeks
  • Resume normal activities: 6 weeks
  • Risks: bleeding, infection, loss of sensation, and asymmetrical breasts or uneven position of nipples

Breast reduction
Image via the American Society of Plastic Surgeons


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