Why it's doneBy Mayo Clinic Staff
Breast reduction surgery is meant for women who have large breasts and want to resolve issues such as:
- Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain
- Chronic rash or skin irritation under the breasts
- Deep grooves in the shoulders from bra strap pressure
- Restricted activity
- Poor self-image related to large breasts
- Difficulty fitting into bras and clothing
- Difficulty sleeping
You can have breast reduction surgery at any age — even as a teenager in some cases. However, 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.
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.