What is a Breast Reduction?

Breast reduction is a cosmetic procedure to reduce the weight and size of heavy breasts to improve comfort and body proportions. Many people choose to undergo breast reduction to reduce physical symptoms associated with heavy breasts such as back, neck, and shoulder pain. This procedure helps to make the breasts lighter, smaller, and firmer, and also improves overall breast symmetry.

Breast reduction surgery offers the following benefits:

  • Bras and clothing will fit more comfortably.
  • Breasts will be lighter, lifted, and firmer.
  • Breasts will be overall more balanced and better proportioned.
  • You will feel more confident in your body.

Who is a Candidate?

Physically healthy, nonsmokers who have overly large breasts that cause discomfort, limit their physical ability, or cause self-consciousness can often benefit from a breast reduction. Ideal candidates will be near their goal weight and have realistic expectations for the outcome of their procedure. To learn more about candidacy, contact our office today to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Willis.

The Breast Reduction Procedure

There is an array of different techniques that can be used to perform breast reduction surgery. The one that is right for you will depend on your breast anatomy, the amount of tissue that needs to be removed, and your desired results.

Liposuction for Reduction

In some instances, liposuction alone can be used to reduce the size of the breasts. However, if you have asymmetrical breasts, or sagging, stretched skin, another reduction technique may be more effective.

Lollipop Reduction

Patients who desire a moderate reduction in breast size and have more noticeable sagging skin are often good candidates for a lollipop reduction. The first incision will be created around the areola, while the second incision will be created vertically from the areola to the breast crease.

Anchor Reduction

The anchor reduction is often used for patients who need a significant amount of tissue removal and reshaping. This technique involves three incisions whith one running around the areola, the next running vertically from the areola to the breast crease, and the third extending vertically along the inframammary fold.


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Following breast reduction surgery, you will be sent home with a surgical compression bra that must be worn to reduce swelling. Soreness and swelling are to be expected during the first few days, though pain medications can help to keep you comfortable. The exact amount of recovery time will depend on your individual procedure and the extent of the surgery. Most people are able to return to a desk job within one week, depending on the nature of the job. Be sure to follow Dr. Willis’ recovery instructions to ensure the best results.

Contact Us Today

If you would like to learn more about breast reduction, contact Charlottesville Plastic Surgery in Charlottesville, VA today to schedule your consultation appointment. Dr. Willis will speak with you regarding your aesthetic goals and the appropriate treatment options to help you look and feel your best.

Breast Reduction FAQs

Can breast grow back after reduction?

The remaining breast tissue can still respond to hormonal changes, such as with pregnancy and childbearing. Although rare, the breast can increase in size with hormonal changes

Can you drink alcohol after breast reduction?

Yes, but it would be wise to wait a week to prevent thinning your blood and running the risk of a bleed and or hematoma.

Do you lose feeling in your nipples after breast reduction?

There is a small chance you may have nipple sensation changes with a breast reduction.

Do you lose weight after breast reduction?

There can be some minor weight loss from removing the tissue of the breast, but this is typically under 5 lbs.

How can I reduce my cup size?

A breast reduction can reduce your cup size.

How dangerous is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is very safe with a low complication profile.

How do breast reductions work?

A breast reduction removes significant excess breast tissue inferiorly and laterally, while also lifting the breast and nipple back into their normal anatomical position above the breast fold.

How do I know if I need a breast reduction?

If you are suffering from neck, back and shoulder pain, and have shoulder grooving from your bra, you may be a candidate for a breast reduction. Additionally, if they interfere with exercise or have recurrent rashes, then you may be a good candidate.

How long does it take for swelling to go down after breast reduction?

Swelling should subside over 2 weeks

How long does it take to recover from a breast reduction?

You will want to limit your upper extremity repetitive movements and extreme reaching for 4 to 6 weeks.

How many cup sizes can you go down with breast reduction?

A breast reduction should be able to bring you down to any cup size you desire.

When can I wear a normal bra after breast reduction?

Surgical support bra should be worn for 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.

Does breast size affect weight?

Breast size will have a minimal effect on your overall weight

Does insurance pay for breast reduction?

Insurance might cover your breast reduction if you have documented failed conservative measures. They will require a certain amount of in grams based off your height and weight.

Does weight gain increase breast size?

Weight gain can increase your breast size.

Has anyone had a second breast reduction?

Yes, occasionally people will undergo a second breast reduction

How do you know when you need a breast reduction?

Neck, back and shoulder pain may all be caused by a

How painful is a breast reduction?

A breast reduction is

Is it OK to wear a sports bra after breast reduction?

Yes, but you may want to discuss with your plastic surgeon to when you can transition to a sports bra

Is it worth getting a breast reduction?

A breast reduction is one of the most high satisfaction plastic surgery procedures.

How is the recovery from breast reduction?

After breast reduction surgery, your surgeon will give you instructions on what to do post-surgery. You may experience some discomfort, but outright pain is not common. Any discomfort will be controlled with prescription pain medication. For the first couple weeks, you will want to take it easy, but walking around is encouraged. Eat healthily, drink plenty of water, and change your dressings when necessary. For the first 2 to 3 weeks, you will need to sleep on your back. Typically, you can return to work in no more than a week.

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