Breast Reduction

  • Standard Recovery Time:
    1 month
  • Average Cost:
    $6,000 - $25,000
  • Anesthesia Required:
    Yes

About Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery, also known as Mammaplasty, is used to remove excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts. Many women with large breasts choose to undergo this procedure as it may ease any discomfort from having large breasts or achieve a more proportionate breast size for their body. 

Commonly asked questions about Breast Reduction

1. What is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery, also known as Mammaplasty, is used to remove excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts. Many women with large breasts choose to undergo this procedure as it may ease any discomfort from having large breasts or achieve a more proportionate breast size for their body.

2. Why is a breast reduction surgery done?

Breast reduction surgery is performed to resolve many issues such as:

  • Chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Nerve pain
  • Restricted activity
  • Poor self-image that is related to enlarged breasts
  • Difficulty fitting into bras and clothing
  • Chronic rash/skin irritation under both breasts

3. Am I a good candidate for a breast reduction?

You may be denied a breast reduction if:

  • You are pregnant, breastfeeding, or recently stopped breastfeeding
  • You have a history of poor wound healing
  • You have an abnormal mammogram/undiagnosed breast condition
  • You smoke
  • You are severely obese
  • You have a severe health condition, illness, or infection

4. How is a breast reduction performed?

Step 1: Anesthesia
Before your procedure, your doctor will recommend the best choice of anesthesia for you. The options are intravenous sedation and general anesthetic.

Step 2: The incision
There are three types of incisions made when undergoing breast reduction surgery. These options include a circular pattern around the areola (donut incision), an incision around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease (Lollipop incision), and an inverted T-shape incision (anchor incision).

Step 3: Removing tissue and repositioning the breast
The nipple is repositioned after the incision is made and the areola is then reduced by trimming around the edges (if necessary). The breast tissue is then reduced, lifted, and shaped.
The nipple and areola may need to be removed and transplanted to a higher place if the breasts are extremely large.

Step 4: Closing the incision
Sutures, skin adhesives, and/or surgical tape are used to hold the incisions together to create a smaller breast. Incision lines are permanent, but in the vast majority of cases, they diminish and improve over time.

Step 5: Enjoy the results
The results of your procedure are usually visible immediately. There will be some swelling and visible scarring, but these will fade over time.

5. How long does breast reduction surgery take to complete?

On average, the entire procedure takes around 2-5 hours to complete. Therefore, it usually does not warrant an overnight stay, and you can go home once your surgery is done, although you will not be able to drive, and you will need a family member or friend to take you home. That person should also plan on spending time with you at home to ensure you’re comfortable for the first one or two nights. 

6. What is the recovery like after surgery?

Every patient responds differently to surgery, so it is difficult to give an exact timeframe on how to recover from undergoing your breast reduction surgery. However, a rough guide to how your recovery may go is as follows: 

Day 1:  You will have bandages around both breasts, and you will be placed in a post-op bra – this will keep you comfortable and support your breast tissue as it heals. This bra is to be worn 24 hours a day except when showering. Using ice packs will reduce your swelling after surgery as well. 

Week 1:  You will need to take time off work in order to let your body rest and heal correctly. Depending on your body, you may be able to return to light work or a desk job a couple of days after surgery. 

Month 1:  After approximately 7-10 days, most of your pain and swelling should subside. Any tightness you felt in your breasts after surgery should also have lessened. Clothing choices will also become important during this first month. Soft undergarments and loose clothing will be more comfortable throughout the healing process and prevent motion-induced strain.

By the one-month mark, incisions will also have healed, and your freedom of movement will have returned. Toward the month’s end, you’ll likely be ready to start low-impact exercise.

7. How long do the results last?

Your breast reduction surgery results are considered permanent. However, due to pregnancy and weight gain or loss, the breasts may grow larger or lose their shape.

8. How much does breast reduction surgery cost in Canada?

The cost of a breast reduction surgery in Canada ranges greatly depending on the procedure’s scope and what province the procedure is performed in. A consultation with your surgeon will be able to give you an exact price for your procedure. In Canada, a breast reduction procedure costs between $8000 and $11,000 on average.

9. What are the risks of breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery carries the same risks as any other major surgery, but there are a few additional risks to consider:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Scarring
  • Infection
  • Loss of sensation in nipples and/or skin around the nipples
  • Difficulty or inability to breastfeed
  • Asymmetrical breasts

10. Is breast reduction surgery Worth it?

1634/1688 people who have undergone a breast reduction have rated the procedure “Worth It” (97%)

– Source: realself.com