Breast Reduction

Some of the happiest post-operative patients are those who elect a breast reduction. Patients tell me all the time, they wish they would have had the surgery years before.

The Procedure in


To reduce pendulous breasts or large breasts that are troublesome, a breast reduction might be the best procedure to consider. A breast reduction is similar to a breast lift. The major difference is in the amount of tissue and skin being removed. Breast reductions are considered functional. Large, hanging breasts often begin in puberty and persist. Physical problems may include pain in the neck, back and shoulders, rashes in the crease of the breasts and poor posture. Psychological and lifestyle issues often present themselves as well. Women with this condition have trouble finding proper clothing and are unable to participate in activities others take for granted. Prospective patients often speak of being self-conscious and inhibited.

This procedure removes excess breast tissue, skin and fat to contour the breast into a lighter, smaller shape. The nipple is repositioned to match the new breast shape. Type and location of incisions are discussed at consultation and are dependent upon the patient anatomy. By reducing and reshaping the breasts, less weight is being carried and a more active lifestyle is possible. The objective is to deliver a proportionate, aesthetic result. Patients report some of the benefits of breast reduction are noticeable immediately after surgery.

Surgical Notes



Length of Surgery

3-4 hours

Outpatient / Inpatient


Adjunct Procedures



3-5 days

Dr. Lee's Priorities &


Dr. Lee spends an inordinate amount of time in his breast reductions to be sure they are not simply smaller, but aesthetically pleasing as well. Type and location of the incisions are discussed at consultation and are dependent upon anatomy. Incisions are typically made around the areola, vertically down from the areola to the breast crease and may also include a horizontal component at the breast crease. If possible, Dr. Lee will do a shorter, vertical incision.

This technique takes more time in surgery, but in Dr. Lee’s experience, creates a prettier breast. Excess fat, skin and tissue are removed through these incisions and the nipple is repositioned to match the new breast shape. Although the nipple is relocated, it remains attached to the blood vessels and nerves in order to optimize sensation and appearance. Liposuction can accompany a breast reduction procedure to further sculpt the chest and underarm area.


Is a breast reduction a complicated surgery?

A well-done breast reduction takes longer than either an augmentation or a breast lift. Because it is an operation sought to relieve symptoms caused by heavy breasts (back and neck pain) it is classified as functional and can potentially be covered by insurance. I consider every breast reduction aesthetic as well as functional. It is a philosophical point of view—one that involves both time and technique. The time he takes in the operating room is evident in the final result which not only makes the breasts smaller, but “enhanced” as well. My approach takes more time and care but spares the patient from having a scar that goes towards the middle of their chest. Scars in the middle of the chest are more visible and occasionally don’t heal as well. I think the extra time spent in surgery is worth the result I get.

Can I ask you to give me a specific cup size with a reduction?

Breast characteristics and nipple location will determine the final size of the breast since enough tissue must be preserved to make a pretty breast.

Will my breasts ever grow big again?

Breast reduction is considered a permanent procedure, however significant weight gain can affect the overall result. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and exercise program post-surgery.

Can a nipple die?

The nipple remains attached to the nerve and blood supply during the relocation. It is possible though not probable that the blood supply could be interrupted. This is why it is critical to check the surgeon’s experience and credentials to mitigate any risk. Patient also share responsibility for their outcome. Patients who smoke are not good candidates for this procedure.

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