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Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammaplasty)

Large breast size can limit physical activity, cause pain and contribute to self-consciousness. Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to create breasts that complement a woman’s body proportions. Reduction mammaplasty is considered reconstructive surgery when performed to alleviate medical symptoms, and is usually an insured procedure when coverage is pre-certified.


Procedure: 1-4 hours in surgery. If breast size is primarily due to fatty tissue, breasts may be reduced through liposuction alone. More often, stretched skin must also be removed, requiring a keyhole- or racquet-shaped incision beginning below the breast and circling the areola.  The nipple is repositioned and excess tissue is removed from the lower part of the breast.
Click here for procedural renderings.

Anesthesia: Usually general anesthesia; sometimes sedation with local anesthesia. 

Length of Stay: An overnight stay is most common; however some patients will be able to go home the day of surgery.

What to Expect: Oral medications relieve the initial discomfort. You’ll wear a support bra around the clock for two weeks. Absorbable sutures are used.

Resuming Activities: Mobility is encouraged early post-operatively. Light normal activities, including non-strenuous work, may be resumed in 5-10 days. Heavy lifting and vigorous exercise may be resumed after a few weeks.

Breast reduction may interfere with the ability to breastfeed.

Duration of results: Generally permanent, though breast size and shape can be affected by subsequent pregnancy, significant weight fluctuations and aging.

Risks: Bleeding, infection, changes in sensation, scarring. All surgeries carry risks associated with anesthesia.  

Source: The American Society of Plastic Surgeons

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Robert J. Knowling, M.D., F.A.C.S.
at The Cosmetic Surgery Center of Huntsville

4011 Balmoral Drive | Huntsville, AL 35801 | (256) 881-2220 | toll-free: (877) U LOOK NEW (856-6563)
Please call between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday

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