Surgery to Reduce Breast Size: Is it the Best Solution?

Women who have very heavy breast tissues or large, ptotic breasts are often in pain. But it’s not just physical pain. They may feel less free to move or dress as they might like. They may also feel they look ‘frumpy’ or heavier than they actually are, in terms of body mass index (BMI). Even simple activities like walking, dressing, lifting and exercising are not as comfortable to perform for women with large, heavy breast tissues. If they had more moderately sized, slightly smaller breasts, life would be easier and far more comfortable. This is what leads many women to choose this life-changing breast reduction procedure.

Weight Loss to Reduce Breast Size

Losing weight or reducing your body fat levels (changing your BMI only goes so far, though, and depends on your breast composition re glandular and adipose tissues)

Binding Heavy Breasts to Reduce Breast Size

Binding wraps and/or tightly fitting bras are solutions that temporarily compress your breast volume. For a long-term solution, a breast reduction may be a more suitable option depending on the patient’s needs. Reduction surgery by a specialist plastic surgeon such as Dr Rubinstein can make a life-changing difference for patients who are tired of the discomforts and pain of having very large and significantly sagging breast tissues.

Breast Reduction Surgery – Medical Definitions in Plain Language

Reduction surgery is a procedure that involves the removal of fat, glandular tissue and skin, to reduce the size, weight or volume of the breasts. It inherently involves a lifting of the breast tissues and nipple area, which a surgeon can reshape and resize for aesthetic reasons (appearance improvements). Additional breast shaping techniques such as aerola nipple complex (ANC) positioning and liposuction of excess fatty tissues in the breast area can also be used to attain a better result. But each surgeon performs these surgeries using their preferred techniques and surgical abilities. Although all patients experience different healing processes and scarring. The procedure is primarily performed for medical reasons such as:

  • postural-related back and neck pain
  • shoulder pain from carrying heavy breast tissues on the upper torso
  • skin indents from bra straps
  • skin chaffing or skin infections from voluminous breasts

Patients should be aware that all surgery carries risks and that results can vary from patient to patient.


Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery

  • Shapely breasts that are less droopy (ptotic)
  • Lighter, more rounded and/or teardrop-shaped breasts
  • Uplifted breasts and centrally-located nipples
  • Nipples resized and readjusted for aesthetic purposes
  • Look trimmer, feeling it is easier to move, lift and exercise
  • Clothing feels more comfortable and you’ll have more choices
  • Exercise freedoms including less bouncing and better posture
  • Less back pain, shoulder pain and skin indentations from bras
  • More comfortable bra wearing

Patients report a very high satisfaction rate for breast reduction surgery. Further, it is considered to be one of the most positively life-changing of all plastic surgery procedures.

Is Breast Reduction the Best Solution for Large, Heavy Breasts?

Breast size results from a combination of factors. These include your genetics, your body composition and your overall breast composition, your weight/body mass index and your stage of life. Even thin individuals can have heavy or voluminous breasts that cause them concerns or health issues such as neck, shoulder or back pain. Hormones can also sometimes have an effect on your breast size and shape, as can your overall metabolism. If you have large breasts, you don’t have many choices if you want them to become smaller. You can lose weight, bind your breasts or have them surgically reduced. But sometimes even losing weight won’t reduce your breast size to the degree you’re seeking. That’s a great time to visit with a plastic surgeon to discuss what’s involved with breast reduction surgery.

Corrective Surgery of Asymmetric Breasts

Dr Craig Rubinstein is internationally-known for plastic surgery techniques to correct unevenly sized breasts or misshapen and elongated nipples. No two breasts are alike. Every patient has one breast that is larger, lower or differently shaped than the other breast. But some patients have what’s known as severe asymmetry. Where one breast is noticeably different in size, shape or position – a breast reduction operation can be planned carefully to adjust for asymmetry. This allows your breasts to become more even in appearance (size, weight, shape and position).

  • The breast tissue that is removed is sent off for examination.
  • Your risk of breast cancer may also potentially be lowered, as you have less breast tissue with the potential for cancerous change.

Example of Breast Reduction Before and After Photos

Case Study 1: Breast Reduction Before and After Photographs

breast-reduction-before-after-photographs-Melbourne-rubunstein medicare

Case Study 2: Breast Reduction Before and After Photographs


What Happens During Surgery for Breast Reduction?

Tissue reduction, nipple repositioning and breast reshaping are all performed for a harmonious look and balanced proportion of the breasts and nipples. Your operation would be performed while you’re under general anesthetic in a private hospital in Melbourne. The breast reduction operation takes between two to three hours to complete (this can vary from patient to patient). During surgery, your excess breast tissue will be gently removed. Further, your surgeon may reshape and elevate the breast-nipple in accordance with best-practice surgical plans and your aesthetic goals. You’ll be provided with a supportive bra to wear from after the procedure and given advice on long-term bra wearing (24/7). You will usually stay in hospital for at least one night (or two) once your breast reduction is completed.

Recovery and Healing after Breast Reduction Plastic Surgery

Your healing period is important. It’s imperative you do not rush this time of healing. Naturally, surgery is a major event and your body needs time to rest and recover. During surgery, your breast and surrounding tissues are disrupted. Expect bruising and swelling for at least a few days after surgery. To many patients’ surprise, physical discomfort after a breast reduction is uncommon (but every patient’s healing and pain or discomfort levels can vary) Over-the-counter pain medications often work, but if required, we may prescribe additional painkillers to optimise your comfort and/or help you sleep as you heal. Dr Rubinstein uses dissolving stitches under the skin. These don’t leave markings but you will still have a scar. As a result, sutures do not have to be removed. We will also help you learn how to care for your incision lines as they heal.

Advanced Scar management strategies such as Healite II may be available in some of our locations. Silicone strips may also help minimise scars. Ask the Coco Ruby team. We will arrange weekly appointments with our specialist nursing team after the procedure to ensure everything is healing well and to monitor your progress. You will see your surgeon and/or nurse and/or care team six to eight weeks later.

Surgery Recovery Tip for After Having Breast Reduction

It’s important to relax when you get home and avoid stretching, pulling, heavy lifting or hard exercise for at least six weeks. It’s also imperative to look after your skin and to wear the right support garments. They should feel a lot more comfortable after you heal. Dr Rubinstein is known for his breast reduction surgery expertise and is one of Melbourne’s most sought after plastic surgeons for breast and abdominal procedures.

Dr Craig Rubinstein Specialist Plastic Surgeon Breast Tummy Surgery
Dr Rubinstein is known for his Breast Reduction Surgery expertise and is one of Melbourne’s most sought after Specialist Plastic Surgeons, expert in Breast and Tummy Surgery for women

Recommended further reading:

Get a guide: Visit our Downloadable Guide pages. Breast Reduction Techniques and Outcomes – Meta-Analysis – source:

Breast Reduction using Liposuction

Semin Plast Surg. 2004 Aug; 18(3): 225–229. doi:  10.1055/s-2004-831909 PMCID: PMC2884718 PMID: 20574478

New Trends in Reduction and Mastopexy

Liposuction Breast Reduction Techniques  Guest Editors Scott L. Spear M.D., F.A.C.S. Steven P. Davison M.D., D.D.S., F.A.C.S.

Breast Reduction Using Liposuction Alone

Martin J. Moskovitz, M.D.1 and Sherwood A. Baxt, M.D.2 Author information ► Copyright and License information ► Disclaimer

Breast Reduction Improves Symptoms of Macromastia and Has a Long-Lasting Effect

Bruhlmann Y. MD;; Tschopp, H. MD; Annals of Plastic Surgery: September 1998

Source/article: Breast Reduction Techniques and Outcomes: A Meta-analysis

Breast Reduction Research & References

Jack Penn F.R.C.S. Jack Penn  -Brenthurst Clinic, Johannesburg, South Africa PlumX Metrics DOI: Please Contact Dr.Rubinstein’s office to book a consultation or enquire about further information regarding plastic surgery procedures.

Dr. Craig Rubinstein’s affiliations include:

fracsASAPSAustralian Society of Plastic SurgeonsASPSisaps