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Step 1. Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The type of anesthesia used will be determined collaboratively with you and your doctors.

Step 2. The Incision

The most common method of completing a breast reduction procedure involves the use of three incisions- one around the areola, another vertical incision from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease underneath the breast, and finally a horizontal incision beneath the breast that follows the natural curve of the breast. There are other techniques that require a variation of these incisions. The incision beneath the breast in the inframammary fold can be minimized depending on the degree of skin excess that needs to be corrected. Sometimes there is no need for that incision at all.

Step 3. Removal Excess Breast Tissue and Skin and Redraping

Excess breast tissue and skin is removed and the nipple and areola are moved to a higher, more desirable position. The areola may be reduced in size if it has been stretched or is undesirably large. The skin that was located above the nipple before moving the nipple higher is brought down and together to form the new breast shape. To allow for preservation of sensation and the ability to breastfeed, the nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying tissue.

Step 4. Close the Incision - See the Results

Once the breasts are the desired shape, the incisions are stitched closed. In general, it typically takes six months for breasts to settle into their final position. Results are apparent immediately after surgery but swelling will occur and take time to subside.

You may be a good candidate for breast reduction if your breast are too big for your body, if you are self conscious about your size, have poor posture, suffer from neck and back pain, your bra straps dig into your shoulders, and you have discomfort doing daily activities.

Breast reduction surgery takes approximately 3 hours. 

Recovery time varies between patients but you should be able to go back to work and normal activities within a week or two. Strenuous activity and overhead lifting should be avoided for several weeks.

A breast lift is often combined with a breast reduction.

You have a range of surgical facilities to select from when booking with JW Plastic Surgery. We have over 10 hospital and 5 outpatient centers for you to select from. In some cases, your medical history will determine the most appropriate health setting for your procedure.

Most patients in the Midwest select to have their procedure performed at JW Operatory, our Joint Commission-accredited facility on the North Shore, due to the lower price and higher availability of the facility. Patients in the Florida Keys have surgery at Lower Keys Medical Center. 


A breast reduction is a surgical procedure that will reduce the size of the breasts. Breasts that are too large for your body can cause pain, improper posture, and discomfort during daily activities. Breast reduction alleviates these medical issues but also can make clothes fit better as your profile will be more proportional. Many breast reduction patients tell us that their family thinks they have lost weight after the surgery because of the dramatic change in profile and clothing options.


In many cases a breast reduction is covered by insurance if it is determined to be medically necessary to give the patient relief from discomfort and pain the breasts are causing. Each insurance carrier has different guidelines that must be met in order for them to cover the procedure. During your consultation you should have a good idea if you meet the qualifications for insurance to cover the surgery. Your coordinator may call you before your consultation to discuss your insurance company's policies for coverage. We need to know before your consultation if you are coming in for a cosmetic surgery consultation or if you are coming in for a medical issue related to your breast size. Free consultations are only for cosmetic surgery procedures. 


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