Breast reduction surgery is meant for women who have large breasts and want to resolve issues such as:
- Low-hanging breasts and stretched skin
- Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain
- Chronic rash or skin irritation under the breasts
- Deep grooves in the shoulders from bra strap pressure
- Poor posture
- Restricted activity
- Poor self-image related to large breasts
- Difficulty fitting into bras and clothing
You can have breast reduction surgery at any age — even as a teenager in some cases — but it's usually best to wait until your breasts are fully developed.
If you haven't started a family or your family isn't yet complete, you might postpone breast reduction surgery until pregnancy isn't an issue. Changes to breast tissue during pregnancy could affect your surgical results. Also, breast-feeding might be challenging after breast reduction surgery — although some research suggests that breast-feeding difficulty after breast reduction surgery is related to a lack of support or coaching rather than the surgery itself.
Oct. 08, 2011
- Spector D, et al. Not what I expected: Informational needs of women undergoing breast surgery. Plastic Surgical Nursing. 2010;30:70.
- Sabino N, et al. Self-esteem and functional capacity outcomes following reduction mammaplasty. Aesthetic Surgery Journal. 2008;28:417.
- Breast reduction. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/reconstructive-procedures/breast-reduction.html. Accessed Aug. 16, 2011.
- Henry SL, et al. Risk factors and complications in reduction mammaplasty: Novel associations and preoperative assessment. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2009;124:1040.
- Spear ME, et al. The impact of reduction mammaplasty on breast sensation: An analysis of multiple surgical techniques. Annals of Plastic Surgery. In press. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- Tenna S, et al. Postural variations after breast reduction: Introduction of a new technique to achieve an objective analysis. Annals of Plastic Surgery. In press. Accessed Sept. 26, 2011.
- Thibaudeau S, et al. The effects of breast reduction on successful breastfeeding: A systematic review. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery. 2010;63:1688.