RisksBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Breast reduction surgery has the same risks as any other type of major surgery — bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to the anesthesia. Other possible risks include:
- Loss of sensation in the nipples and skin surrounding the nipples (areolae)
- Difficulty or inability to breast-feed
- Differences in the size, shape and symmetry (asymmetry) of the surgically altered left and right breasts, which might lead to further surgery to improve appearance
The risk of poor wound healing seems to increase with the amount of breast tissue removed. However, it isn't clear that women with a higher body mass index are at greater risk of complications from breast reduction surgery.
Nov. 30, 2016
- AskMayoExpert. What does surgical breast reduction involve and why is it done? Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
- Neligan PC. Plastic Surgery. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Saunders; 2012. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed July 16, 2014.
- Kalliainen LK. ASPS clinical practice guideline summary on reduction mammoplasty. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2012;130:785.
- Nguyen JT, et al. Long-term satisfaction of reduction mammoplasty for bilateral symptomatic macromastia in younger patients. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2013;53:112.
- Thibaudeau S, et al. The effects of breast reduction on successful breastfeeding: A systematic review. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery. 2010;63:1688.
- Kerrigan CL, et al. Evidence-based medicine: Reduction mammoplasty. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2013;132:1670.
- Breast reduction procedural steps. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reduction.html?sub=Breast+reduction+procedural+steps. Accessed July 17, 2014.
- Singh KA, et al. Additional benefits of reduction mammoplasty: A systematic review of the literature. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2012;129:562.
- Golden AK. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 9, 2014.