Breast Reduction Surgery

Sep 05, 2023

Table of contents

What is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgeries, also known as reduction mammoplasty or breast reduction surgery, are basically operations based on the reduction of breast volume. In these operations, fat tissue, skin tissue and glandular tissues in the breast are removed.

Breast reduction operations can be performed for aesthetic purposes as well as for medical reasons due to the fact that large breast tissue causes secondary diseases.

For which conditions can breast reduction surgery be performed?

Breast tissue does not have a vital role in the body. On the other hand, excessive breast volume can cause various health problems, including musculoskeletal problems. In addition, psychological and mental problems can also be seen in people with large breast structure. These reasons bring the reduction of breast tissue to the agenda.

In addition, breast reduction operations can also be considered in the following cases:

  • Restriction of physical activities due to breast size
  • Decreased quality of life due to the individual's appearance and thus psychologically and socially affected
  • Large breast tissue damages the nerves in the chest area and loss of function due to this
  • Redness, rash or redness under the breast
  • Chronic low back, neck and back pain


As in the whole body of obesity patients, the fat rates in the breast tissue are extremely high. For this reason, they constitute an important part of those who prefer breast reduction surgery. However, these patients need to lose weight and establish a healthy lifestyle before undergoing breast reduction surgery. If obesity patients undergo breast reduction surgery after the weight loss process, they can achieve the desired result without the need for a second operation.


Although there is no lower age limit in breast reduction operations, people must complete their physical development in order to achieve the desired results. Otherwise, as the development of breast tissue continues, it causes aesthetically unpleasant images to appear in the future.


During pregnancy, women's breast volume increases. Although this is expected, breast reduction surgery is not recommended during this period. For this reason, it is not recommended for people planning pregnancy to have breast reduction surgery before pregnancy. On the other hand, if breast reduction surgery is performed, there may be problems in milk production due to the removal of glands.

Chronic diseases

Patients with chronic diseases such as kidney failure or heart disease are at high risk of developing complications during and after surgery. Therefore, additional health precautions should be taken before surgery.

Smoking and alcohol use

Scar tissue healing is more difficult in people who smoke and drink alcohol. There is also an increased risk of complications. For this reason, it is among the issues that should be considered before making a decision.

Breast reduction methods and surgical methods

Breast reduction operations can be performed with different techniques depending on the size of the breast.


It is a method applied to patients whose breast volume is not large and whose breast skin is not loose. In this procedure, no incision is made in the breast tissue. Only oil extraction is performed. Since the amount of fat that can be removed with this method is limited, its area of use is limited. It can also be used in combination with the removal of some tissues.

Free nipple graft

In this method, the nipple and the colored area around it are removed at the beginning of the surgery. Excess tissues are then removed and the breast is shaped. In the final stage, the nipple is placed in place. This method is especially applied to people with chronic diseases such as diabetes and smokers. In addition, breastfeeding is not possible after free nipple grafting.

Techniques in which the niple areola complex is preserved together with a pedicle and other areas are removed

The most important difference in this technique, which is similar to the free nipple graft technique, is the preservation of the blood and milk vessels that feed the nipple. This technique, in which the entire nipple is protected, is applied with different methods. These methods include the following:

  • Horizontal double pedicle
  • Central pedicle
  • Vertical double pedicle
  • Medial pedicle
  • Inferior pedicle
  • Lateral pedicle
  • Supero-lateral pedicle
  • Superior pedicle
  • Supero-medial pedicle

How does the surgical process proceed?

Breast reduction surgeries are one of the surgical procedures that can be performed under local or general anesthesia. In breast reduction surgeries, excess fat tissue can be removed by methods such as liposuction or by making an incision.

In breast reduction operations, the incision is usually made under the breast to maintain the aesthetic appearance. On the other hand, an incision can also be made around the nipple. The purpose of this incision is to ensure that the nipple is shaped according to the new volume.

Through these incisions, not only the fat in the breast tissue but also the glands and connective tissues are removed. How much tissue will be removed is determined during the pre-operative examination. After the excess tissues are removed, the incisions are closed. At this stage, the nipple may also be lifted higher in order to achieve an aesthetic appearance.

In breast reduction operations, it is aimed for both breasts to be symmetrical. However, the different healing processes of the breasts sometimes prevent this from being possible. In this case, patients may require additional surgical procedures.

How to prepare before breast reduction surgery?

Before breast reduction surgeries, there is a preparation process that patients must undergo. It is extremely important to strictly follow the points to be considered during this preparation process in order to make the operation more successful. It will also reduce the risk of complications after surgery. For this, the following are among the points to be considered before the operation:

  • First of all, the medical history of the patients should be taken in detail. In addition, a detailed physical examination of the patients is extremely important for the planning to be healthy.

  • In order to plan a breast reduction operation, patients' expectations regarding breast size and shape must be fully understood.

  • Patients need to be informed about the stages of the operation. It is also important that patients are informed about the complications they may encounter after the operation.

  • Taking photographs of the breast tissues before the surgery will help to make a healthy comparison and will also help in planning.

  • Since it is a procedure performed under both general and local anesthesia, the type of anesthesia to be applied must be decided.

  • In order to know the general health status of the patients, necessary examinations should be performed before surgery and necessary precautions should be taken.

  • If patients are taking blood thinners, they should be discontinued before surgery.

  • In addition, if patients have medical treatments such as thyroid medication or anti-inflammatory drugs, they need to be readjusted.

  • Measurements such as mammography should also be performed before the procedure to evaluate breast cancer.

How does the healing process progress after breast reduction surgery?

The recovery process of patients after breast reduction surgery proceeds as follows.

  • Patients have no pain after waking up from anesthesia.
  • After the surgery, patients start to feed orally and start walking 4. the clock must run out.

  • In the absence of any other conditions, hospitalization for one day is required.

  • If a resistance is inserted during surgery, it will be removed at discharge or during the 4th postoperative period. are extracted in a day.
  • The recovery process after breast reduction surgeries varies according to the patients. Antibiotics and painkillers should be used for a week to protect patients from infections.

  • First dressing after surgery 4. is done in a day. If the resin needs to be removed at this time, it is done during the dressing process.

  • The second dressing is 8 days after surgery. is done in a day. If fusible sutures are used to close the incisions, this dressing is not necessary.

  • If permanent sutures are used, 15. stitches should be removed in a day.

  • Only the seams are closed with thin tapes. However, a sports bra should be worn for 8 weeks to support the breasts.

  • After 8 days, patients can return to their daily lives. However, it will take 2 to 3 weeks for the swelling and bruising caused by the surgery to disappear.

  • Within a few months after the operation, the lower edges of the breast begin to take their normal shape and the breast sits in place.
  • It takes approximately 1 year for the scars to decrease and the breast to take its final shape.

  • 6 months after breast reduction surgery and 12. monthly check-ups are required.

  • After the surgery, the reduction in breast volume is noticeable and the musculoskeletal pain in patients is reduced.

What to consider after breast reduction surgery

Among the points that patients should pay attention to after breast reduction surgeries are the following.

  • Drains need to be removed for patients to start showering.
  • After surgery, the upper body should be supported with 2 to 3 pillows during sleep.
  • Exercise and strenuous physical activities should be avoided in the first month after surgery.
  • It is necessary to wait 7 days to start driving.
  • For 10 days, blood thinners, aspirin and vitamin supplements should not be used.
  • You have to wait 2 weeks before you can swim in the sea or pool.
  • It is necessary to wait 15 days for the creams to be used to reduce the scars. Afterwards, these creams should be used twice a day for 6 months.
  • Afterwards, doctor examinations should not be interrupted.

Complications of breast reduction surgery

Some patients may experience complications or side effects after breast reduction surgery. However, if the breast reduction operation is performed with the correct technique and by a physician who is an expert in the field, the risk of complications is reduced. Complications can be treated with a second intervention or appropriate therapies.


Patients may experience bleeding both during and after surgery. Although it is a rare condition, blood accumulation between the tissues is prevented by the resistance placed after surgery.


As with other surgical operations, there is a risk of infection after breast reduction surgery. The risk of infection is minimized with preventive antibiotic treatment.

Changes in nipple and sensitivity

After breast reduction surgeries, there may be sensory changes in both the breast skin and the nipple. This condition is permanent in some patients and temporary in others.


Scarring is inevitable because it is a surgical procedure. However, appropriate methods are used to provide an aesthetic appearance.


Back and neck pain may persist after breast reduction surgeries. In addition, in some cases, scarring of the skin and deep tissue of the breast can cause pain.

Breast hardness

One of the rare complications is hardness due to scarring or fat necrosis. Hardness in the breast is an unpredictable condition.

Delayed wound healing

In some patients, it takes longer than expected for the incisions to heal completely. These patients require more frequent dressings.


Some women have problems breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery. For this situation, which is one of the unpredictable situations, patients with pregnancy plans should consult with their doctors.

Allergic reaction

Some patients have an allergic reaction to suture thread or plaster. It is a rare condition.

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