This information comes from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Breast reduction, also called reduction mammaplasty, enhances your overall appearance by making your breasts more proportional to the rest of your body.
Large, sagging breasts often interfere with normal physical activities. They can cause back pain, postural problems, deformities of the back and shoulders, skin rashes and breast pain. For these reasons, breast reduction generally is considered a reconstructive plastic surgery procedure. In addition to alleviating physical problems, however, it improves the shape of your breasts and nipple areas.
The operation usually is performed under general anesthesia and may be done on an outpatient basis or during a brief hospital stay. During the procedure, excess breasts tissue and skin is removed, your nipples and areolas (the pigmented skin surrounding the nipple) are repositioned, and your remaining breast tissue is reshaped.
A commonly performed breast reduction technique uses incisions that encircle the areola and then extend vertically down the breast and horizontally along the crease underneath the breast. There are other breast reduction techniques that may eliminate the horizontal incision, the vertical incision, or both. The use of any particular pattern of incisions depends on individual patient factors and the surgeon's recommendation. In some cases, lipoplasty alone, which leaves only small scars, may provide a sufficient amount of reduction.
After surgery, your breasts will be wrapped in a gauze dressing or placed in a surgical bra. You may be instructed to wear a supportive bra for several weeks. Loss of breast or nipple sensation is possible, but usually is not permanent. You should avoid strenuous exercise and overhead lifting for at least a few weeks. You should be able to return to work within two weeks.