About Breast Reduction

Breast reduction is a surgery that reduces the size of the breasts. In order to decrease the size and weight of the breast, the surgeon removes excess tissue, fat and loose skin. Women typically have this surgery in order to improve their quality of life by reducing pain or discomfort in the back, shoulders, or neck, or to correct cosmetic issues, like sagging, due to large breast size.

Is Breast Reduction Right for Me?

There are many reasons a woman considers breast reduction surgery – one of the main reasons being that the patient wants a permanent, long-term solution to problems caused by uncomfortably large breasts. If you suffer from any of the following conditions, breast reduction may benefit you:

– If the size of your breasts is causing physical pain, or making it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as exercising or even sleeping
– If you suffer from breast sagging, asymmetry or downward-pointing nipples, often referred to as pendulous breasts
– If you are self-conscious or unhappy with the size of your breasts
– If your posture is negatively affected by the weight of your breasts
– If you experiences rashes or skin irritation in the skin underneath your breasts

If you consistently suffer from any of these conditions outlined above, we suggest you schedule a consultation with Dr. Buchanan to discuss the possibility of a reduction and the added benefits it could bring to your life.


Recovery varies from patient to patient, but typically patients follow a similar timeline. Sutures are typically removed between one to two weeks post surgery. After the stitches are removed, you can return to work and can resume very light exercise. We recommend wearing an elastic, stretchy sports bra, or a surgical, compression bra for up to 6 weeks post-surgery. Avoid bras that have an underwire during this time. Swelling should subside between 3-4 weeks, but light swelling may be evident for up to 3-6 months.

How Much a Breast Reduction Cost?

The cost of a breast revision surgery will vary depending on several factors including the experience and training of your surgeon, the exact techniques and supplies used, as well as charges for anesthesia and the operating room facility. The only way to get an exact price quote is to come in for a consultation.

If you’ve considered breast lift surgery, but feel like you are limited financially, speak to Dr. Buchanan or one of the VIVIFY staff members about financing options. We do our best to work with each patient by offering financing plans to help her achieve her surgical goals.

Will Insurance Cover My Breast Reduction?

Many, but not all, health insurance plans will cover this procedure as long as the patient can show that the reduction is medically necessary. If you are experiencing headaches or pain in the shoulders, neck, or back that you believe is caused by the size and weight of your breasts, consult with your plastic surgeon and make sure that you have been documenting these symptoms with your regular doctor. If your plastic surgeon agrees that you would be a good candidate for a medically necessary breast reduction, then you can work with your health insurance provider to apply for approval of the procedure. Every insurance company has different requirements in order to approve the procedure and you should discuss those with your insurance ahead of time. It is important to be clear on your financial responsibility before undergoing any surgery.

Finding the Right Plastic Surgeon

During your search for a potential plastic surgeon, you should only consider a surgeon who is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). Board-certified surgeons spend a minimum of 6-8 years in training after medical school to ensure that they are well-trained in both aesthetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Changes to the nipple sensation and/or function are possible with breast reduction surgery. However, there are many women who retain the ability to produce milk and breastfeed after breast reduction surgery. Roughly 1% to 5% of women who do not have breast surgery cannot breastfeed for other medical reasons, and there is no way of knowing prior to surgery if you fall within this statistic.

The cost of breast reduction surgery will vary depending on where you have the procedure done, and the specifics of your procedure. Additionally, whether or not insurance is helping cover the cost of the procedure will dictate your overall financial responsibility. The only way to get an exact price quote is to come in for a consultation.
You can expect to have some mild discomfort and pain after breast reduction surgery. Pain is manageable with the right pain treatment. About 3-7 days post-op, most patients are off of the strong pain medications and can use an over-the-counter pain reducer, like Tylenol.
A discussion with your board certified plastic surgeon is the best way to find what size is right for you. The ultimate decision will depend on your anatomy, your measurements, and your overall goals. The idea is to reduce your breasts to a size that better fits your frame. With some insurance plans, there is a minimal tissue removal requirement, so this may need to be taken into account when deciding whether your overall size goals can be met within the guidelines of insurance requirements.

Swelling should be mostly gone by six weeks. It may take up to 3-6 months for the final results to be revealed. For more information, please contact our office to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Buchanan.

As mentioned above, vigorous exercise is discouraged for a minimum of two weeks post-surgery to avoid early complications. After that you can return to normal exercise with the exception of any chest activity (pushing, pulling, and heavy lifting) which will be limited for 6 weeks after surgery. After six weeks, you can gradually ease back into your normal routine.
Breasts will fall into their final position typically three to six months post-op.
We recommend elastic, stretchy bras, or a surgical, compression bra after surgery. Avoid bras that have an underwire or lots of internal padding and structure until 6 weeks after surgery. You want a bra that offers snug compression and good support without being overly tight and distorting the breasts.
We typically recommend anywhere from three to seven days, depending on your individual circumstance and work requirements. Discuss your specific work duties with Dr. Buchanan if there are any questions.