Breast Reduction

Women who have very large breasts have to support too much weight on their chests. This leads to a number of physical issues including shoulder pain, neck pain, chronic headaches, back problems, and skin rashes beneath the breasts. The weight of large and heavy breasts can create painful bra strap trenches in the skin, as well. In addition to the physical issues, many women with oversized breasts suffer from self esteem issues, as they may be unhappy and embarrassed about their appearance. Breast reduction surgery can be the answer that women are looking for.

Who is a Good Candidate for Breast Reduction?

The best candidates for breast reduction surgery are women who are in good general health and who don't smoke. Good candidates have maintained their current weight for a full year, and are at or close to their ideal body weight. Women who plan to breastfeed in the future are typically not good candidates for this procedure.

Benefits of Breast Reduction

Breast reduction can help women get relief from many physical issues and symptoms. Having lighter and smaller breasts can allow women to finally wear clothes comfortably, play sports without discomfort, and much more. One of the best benefits of all is the increase in self-confidence.

Breast Reduction Techniques

There are 3 different techniques typically used in breast reduction surgery. These include the following types of incisions.

  • An anchor shaped incision that covers the bottom part of the breast. This allows for easy removal of the tissue, particularly in very large breasts.
  • A keyhole incision that circles the areola and the goes down to the crease under the breast.
  • A round incision that circles the areola. The tissue in then removed through this incision.

The specific technique used depends on how much tissue needs to be removed, the patient's preferences, whether areola reduction is needed, and whether additional procedures like breast lift are also being done.

Preparing for Breast Reduction

Preparation for breast reduction typically includes preoperative lab tests, and may include a baseline mammogram. Patients need to stop smoking before the surgery. Certain medications, including aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements may cause excess bleeding during surgery so they must be stopped beforehand.

The Breast Reduction Procedure

Breast reduction surgery is done while the patient is under general anesthesia, so patients won't feel any pain and will sleep through the surgery. Dr. Rau will create the incision type best suited for the patient's needs and will then extract excess breast tissue and fat. Excess skin is then excised. If the nipple needs relocation, it will be moved up to the proper position. The incisions are then closed and the breasts will be cleaned and bandaged. Most patients are able to return home the same day of the procedure, or possibly the next day.


By following Dr. Rau's guidelines, recovery can be as smooth and easy as possible. Patients should arrange for a family member or friend to take them home after the surgery. Ideally, patients should have someone stay with them for at least a day or two after surgery. Prescription pain medication can be used to control pain quite well after surgery, and most patients are able to transition to non-prescription pain medicine after a few days. Most breast reduction patients can return to work in 1 to 2 weeks. Heavy exercise should be avoided for around a month, but light exercise like walking is generally fine. Patients will need to wear either compression garments or high quality sports bras without underwire for around 4 to 6 weeks post-surgery.

Results: What to Expect

Having realistic expectations is essential if patients want to get the best results. Dr. Rau will work with each patient to help them understand what their breasts will look and feel like after their breast reduction surgery. Patients who have a breast reduction can expect to feel dramatically better as they finish recovery. While the breasts may still be sore and swollen, they'll be much lighter and easier to deal with.

Other Procedures to Consider

Breast reduction surgery is often combined with other breast surgeries. Although the breast reduction will reduce the amount of breast tissue, it won't change the actual position of the breasts. Since many women who need a breast reduction have sagging breasts, a breast lift may also be needed to get the desired results. In some cases, breast implants may be used after a breast reduction to help get the desired contour and appearance.

Tired of Oversized Breasts?

Tired of living with painful and oversized breasts? A breast reduction may be the best solution. Dr. Jeffrey Rau at Rau Plastic Surgery is a highly skilled and experienced surgeon who can help. Call Rau Plastic Surgery anytime to arrange a breast reduction consultation.