breast reduction

Whereas breast augmentations and breast lifts are usually performed for aesthetic reasons, breast reduction surgery has important functional implications. In addition to repositioning an areola, removing excess skin, and improving a breast’s shape, breast reduction also removes portions of the mammary gland. Scars can be extensive, and take a long time to heal.

But there are also significant advantages to breast reduction surgery. Women with heavy breasts often seek a breast reduction to reduce shoulder, neck, or upper back pain. And in most cases breast reduction surgery is funded by OHIP and other medical insurance plans. 

Breastfeeding—and the ways surgery can affect it—is a complex and sensitive subject that we prefer to discuss with our patients personally instead of offering detailed information here. Many factors can affect a woman’s ability to breastfeed, most of which have nothing to do with breast surgery. Breast reduction surgery may reduce the amount of breast milk you can produce, but it depends on your personal history, the condition of your milk ducts, and the state of the nerves in your breasts. Nevertheless, most women continue to produce at least some milk after their surgery. Milk ducts and nerves can regenerate to some extent during later pregnancy, and many mothers breastfeed very successfully even without a full milk supply. 

Post-operative recovery can sometimes take four to six weeks, but most women who choose breast reduction surgery are ultimately satisfied with the end results, especially when it relieves them of the chronic discomfort associated with large or heavy breasts.*



*Individual results may vary and are not guaranteed. 

IN BRIEF 

LENGTH

3-4 hours

ANAESTHESIA

General

IN/OUTPATIENT

Inpatient. An overnight stay is usually required

SIDE EFFECTS

Temporary swelling, bruising, and some pain

RISKS

Pain, bleeding, infection, asymmetry, sensory changes in the nipple, healing problems.

RECOVERY

Back to work: 1-2 weeks. More strenuous activity: 2-3 weeks

FINAL APPEARANCE

1-2 months for swelling to completely resolve*