Large breasts can cause pain and frequent skin infections, as well as make it more difficult to lead an active life. In addition to physical discomfort, large breasts can affect one’s self image and confidence. 

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a more proportionate breast size and to alleviate pain. Some health insurance plans cover breast reduction surgery. 

Wake Forest Baptist Health's plastic surgeons guide patients through the breast reduction process, and help them experience a new world of activities, clothing options, and comfort in their bodies. 

Breast Reduction: What to Expect

Breast reduction is an outpatient procedure and is completed under general anesthesia. The surgery usually takes two to four hours. 

During the surgery, breast volume is reduced, and the breast is then lifted and reshaped. The most common incision is an inverted T or “anchor.” Incisions are made around the areola, vertically down to the breast crease, and within the breast fold. The areola is often made smaller and will be repositioned higher on the breast. A breast reduction may include liposuction for fat removal. 

Bruising and numbness of the breasts and nipples are common early in the recovery period. A compression bra is recommended for a few weeks. Patients can return to work in one to two weeks, and can resume physical activities in four to six weeks after surgery.