Breast Reduction

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Having overly large breasts can be a burden. But you don't need to suffer from the resulting physical and emotional discomfort. Find relief with a breast reduction surgery. 

At UVA Health, our world-class plastic surgeons offer personalized care with this life-changing procedure. They have the skills to minimize scarring and make recovery as easy as possible.

While more common in women, breast reduction can also be done in men. And it's often covered by medical insurance when deemed medically necessary.

Do I Need a Breast Reduction?

Reducing the size and weight of your breasts brings many benefits. It can:

  • Relieve rashes and neck, shoulder, and back pain
  • Improve your posture
  • Reshape enlarged areolae (nipples)
  • Make both breasts the same size and shape
  • Give you more options for exercise and activity
  • Improve your body image

After surgery, breasts are usually more shapely. Scars typically fade and aren’t especially noticeable.

Breast Reduction for Men

Enlarged male breasts and nipples is often due to gynecomastia. This medical condition can make men feel embarrassed and self-conscious with or without a shirt on. Breast reduction surgery can help men:

  • Have a firm, masculine chest
  • Feel better about their appearance when shirtless and when wearing thin, fitted shirts

How Is Breast Reduction Performed?

Breast reduction is typically performed as outpatient surgery using local anesthetic with IV sedation or general anesthetic. We tailor incisions to each patient’s unique needs.

During the surgery, the surgeon:

  • Removes excess breast tissue and fat
  • Repositions the areolae (and reshapes them if necessary)
  • Tightens the outer skin
  • Closes the incisions with sutures and surgical tape

How Long Does It Take to Recover?

After surgery, you'll likely experience swelling, bruising, and numbness in parts of the breasts for the first few weeks.

Most patients can return to:

  • Nonstrenuous jobs, school, and normal activities within 1 to 2 weeks
  • Jobs that require heavy lifting within 2 to 3 weeks

While the procedure leaves thin scars, they generally fade from pink to white over months to 1 year.

Learn more about our expertise in plastic surgery.