If your large breasts weigh you down figuratively or literally, breast reduction may be the solution to enhance your quality of life and confidence. The surgery requires some downtime, though, and you’ll need to be prepared. Here’s what you can expect after breast reduction.

What is Breast Reduction?

Breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) is a surgery that reduces the size of overly large breasts. This can be done for cosmetic reasons or to reduce physical side effects. 

Many women experience back, shoulder, and neck pain from heavy breasts. They may also have rashes under their breasts and discomfort from bra straps digging into their skin. Overly large breasts can also make it difficult to find bras that fit, wear certain clothing, or engage in some physical activities. 

Breast Reduction
 Before & After Photos


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How Does Breast Reduction Work?

Dr. Holley performs breast reduction at West Michigan Plastic Surgery under general anesthesia. Before the procedure, he will discuss your concerns and goals to create a personalized treatment plan.

During the procedure, Dr. Holley typically makes an incision vertically down the breast from the areola and horizontally under the breast crease. This is called an anchor or inverted T incision. He then removes excess skin and tissue to decrease size and reshape the breasts. If needed, he may reposition the nipples and areola to fit the new breast shape. A breast reduction procedure typically takes two to three hours.

What to Wear After Breast Reduction

After the surgery, your breasts will be wrapped with gauze and an elastic bandage or surgical bra. There may be drainage tubes to keep any excess fluid from accumulating. You’ll be able to go home the same day with the help of a friend or family member, and we’ll give you detailed aftercare instructions.

We’ll remove the drainage tubes and gauze bandaging after a few days. You’ll need to continue wearing the surgical bra for several weeks to support your breasts as they heal. This surgical bra helps your breasts heal properly in their new shape and position while also reducing swelling. You should wear it at night, too. Since lifting your arms above your head may be difficult, try to wear loose-fitting clothing or button-up shirts for the first week.

After four to six weeks, you can switch to a sports bra. Avoid wearing underwire bras for at least two months.

Consultations Available Now

Take the first step. Get your questions answered by meeting with one of our knowledgeable medical staff for an in-person consultation. Simply fill out the form, and one of our experienced team members will reach out to you promptly to schedule your consultation.

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How Long Does Breast Reduction Recovery Take?

Swelling, bruising, and soreness are normal after breast reduction. Dr. Holley will prescribe pain medication if needed. Most patients return to work approximately one week after surgery. You will need to avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, and putting pressure on your breasts for several weeks. Your breasts should look and feel normal in approximately two to three months, but swelling can take a year to subside entirely.

Take the Next Step

Would you like to learn more about breast reduction? Simply fill out the form on this page or call West Michigan Plastic Surgery at (269) 222-1611 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Scott Holley, a Board-Certified plastic surgeon.  Proudly serving Kalamazoo and the greater Southwest Michigan area.