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Breast reduction: less inconvenience

Heavy breasts can cause physical, aesthetic and even psychological inconveniences. They are also known to cause back and neck complaints. Other women simply dislike their big, heavy breasts. Breast reduction can be an appropriate solution.

A breast reduction can be the solution if you want a smaller cup size. The plastic surgeon removes fatty tissue, glandular tissue and excess skin tissue. Your breasts will be smaller, lighter and firmer. The nipple will have a “normal” diameter of 4 cm. Your breasts have not only become smaller, they have also been re-shaped. Therefore, a breast reduction is usually also a breast lift, where the nipple is lifted to a more aesthetic position.

Who comes under consideration for breast reduction?

Most women who suffer psychologically or physically from heavy breasts decide to have a breast reduction. The foremost requirement for this operation is that the breasts are fully developed. Therefore, this operation is rarely performed under the age of 18. There is, however, no other age limit for breast reduction or breast correction surgery.

Because the surgeon also removes mammary gland tissue, there is no guarantee that you will still be able to breastfeed after surgery. Keep this in mind when planning (more) children.

The first consultation

During the first consultation it is important that you explain your wishes and expectations to the surgeon. How many cup sizes do you want to reduce your breasts? Your height and weight are taken into account. Then the surgeon examines your breasts and measures them. After surgery, your nipples will no longer be at the same place: they have been lifted upwards.

The surgeon informs you in detail about the operation and anaesthesia. A breast reduction leaves visible scars that fade after some time but never completely disappear. Your surgeon can tell you exactly how and where the scars will be. Maybe this helps you to get a better picture of the final result. Remember though that every body is different and that you cannot have exactly the same breasts as those chosen on a picture.

The preparation

You will receive extensive instructions in order to prepare properly for the operation. You need to buy a sports bra with the agreed cup size. It is best to buy a bra with front closure. You should bring this bra with you because it will serve as a bandage when discharged from the clinic or hospital. Under certain circumstances, some preoperative examinations may be necessary. Medication use must sometimes be stopped or modified before the operation. You usually stay one night at the hospital. You may already leave the clinic a few hours after surgery when surgery is performed in The Baronie. It is necessary to arrange for someone to pick you up and take you home safely. Because you have to rest sufficiently after surgery, it is also recommended to organize additional household help.


Breast reduction is always performed under general anaesthesia because of safety reasons and an increased comfort for the patient. Only a small breast or nipple lift is possible under local anaesthesia.

The operation

Breast reduction surgery takes about two to three hours. The surgeon makes an incision around the areola, then from the areola to the breast fold and sometimes also in the breast fold itself. Fatty tissue and skin tissue are carefully removed. Subsequently, the surgeon rearranges the nipple and areola and lifts them to a natural position.

In most cases, the nipple remains connected to the nerves and blood vessels. It is possible that nipple and areola become less sensitive after surgery only if your breasts are very large.

After the operation

The first days after surgery, your breasts remain bandaged so you cannot immediately see the result. In the beginning, your breasts will feel slightly swollen. The pain is minimal and you will rarely need painkillers. The heavy feeling in the breasts may continue for one or two weeks.

The bandage and the drains are removed after a few days. From that moment on you have to wear a special sports bra until the swelling and bruising have disappeared. The swelling may cause your breasts to be sensitive for a short period. Do not worry about that. In most women the feeling comes back after a few weeks or months. Sometimes it can take a year and only in exceptional cases your breasts will stay more or less numb.

After about two weeks you can go back to work. Keep in mind that you should not lift heavy things in the first three to four weeks. Try to rest as much as possible. Your body needs time to recover completely.

A new cup size

A smaller cup size is a enormous relief for many women. The reduction of your breasts delivers many advantages: you are relieved from a heavy load, your breasts are more in proportion with the rest of your body and your clothes will hang better. You will be very pleased with the final result but do keep in mind that breasts, more than any other part of the body, can change significantly under the influence of gravity, hormones and weight fluctuations. But they will not regain the size they had before. You may assume that breast reduction surgery gives a permanent effect.


Breast reduction should not be considered as heavy surgery. But as with many other operations, complications can occur, such as: bleeding, infection, necrosis of skin, nipple or fat or excess scar formation. There is also a chance that the feeling in the nipples will disappear totally or partially. You must, however, realize that these complications are extremely rare.

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