R. Scott Haupt, M.D.

Utah Cosmetic Surgery (801) 293-8100
Quick question? Text us at
(385) 321-0941

Breast Reduction

Do you feel that you're weighted down too much by your breasts? Do your bra straps bite into your shoulders? Do you get backaches? Perhaps you have skin irritation beneath your breasts? Some women with very large breasts suffer from breathing problems. Some are irritated at the limitation it places on their physical activity. Some breast reductions surgeries can be covered by insurance however, coverage depends on your insurance plan.

Is breast reduction for me?

Breast reduction is a surgery tailored to you as an individual. Each one is different. If you want to breast-feed, better to wait until that's done before you have any breast reduction surgery. Otherwise, as long as your breasts have fully matured, you can consult a plastic surgeon and begin to plan your surgery.

At Utah Cosmetic Surgery, we offer you a consultation. We'll take time with you to discuss the procedure and listen to what you'd like to have done. We'll make sure you understand the possibilities and limitations, and we'll make our recommendations.

The procedure

Breast reduction is done with general anesthesia, which means you'll be totally asleep and will have no memory of the procedure. The surgery takes around 2-4 hours.

  • The incision will be lollipop or anchor shaped. That is, it encircles the areola and runs downwards to the base of the breast for the lollipop and for the anchor; it encircles the areola, runs downwards to the base with a half circle near the bottom crease. 
  • The tissue removed will usually be fat, skin, and excess glandular tissue, although sometimes just fat needs to be removed. In which case, liposuction may be done. If there is concern about the tissue removed it may be sent to a pathologist for review.
  • The nipple will be moved upwards to match the new size and shape of the breast. Stitches are internal and will be placed around the areola and over the entire incision.

Recovery period

For the first few days you may feel some pain, and we'll give you a pain prescription to help with that. It is rare for the discomfort to continue for more than a week.

  • After a day or two we'll remove the bandages
  • You'll be wearing a bandage or bra 24 hours a day until the swelling and bruising fades, which is usually several weeks
  • Light activity may start after a couple of days, but may be 6 weeks to return to normal activity.
  • The stitches, if they are not absorbable, will be taken out after one to three weeks

You should take things easy for a month or so after your breast reduction. Don't lift heavy things. We'll give you some post-op instructions, and you can probably return to work after about a week or two, as long as your work isn't very strenuous.

Over the longer term

It could be 6 to 12 months before your breasts are established in their new shape. Even so, several things can affect them, such as weight gain or loss, pregnancy, and hormonal changes.

Scarring is an individual thing. Each of us is different in how long it takes for scars to fade and shrink. Eventually they'll become just thin white lines for some people, although for others, they may remain somewhat raised and/or red. You can wear a low neckline regardless, as these scars are low on the breasts.

If you would like to learn how breast reduction can improve your appearance and self confidence, contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I a good candidate for Breast Reduction surgery?

The ideal candidate for breast reduction surgery is at least 18 years old, is in good health, and wants to reduce the size of her breasts. The prospective patient should also have fully developed breasts. These reasons include those who are self-conscious about their breast size, or due to physical discomfort in the shoulders, neck and back. Large breast size can also affect posture, limit activities, and cause skin or breathing problems. You can discuss this further with Dr. Haupt during your consultation.

What is the breast reduction procedure?

You will be under general anesthesia before the procedure begins. An incision will be made from the areola to the base of the breast. Tissue will then be removed. This includes fat, excess glandular tissue, as well as skin. A liposuction may be performed if only fatty tissue is removed. The nipple is aligned to match your new breast size and shape. The incisions are stitched up, gauze dressings are placed over the area and a bandage or surgical bra is used to cover the gauze.

What are the risks of breast reduction sugery?

The shape and size of your breasts may determine how invasive the surgery is. There are many ways the skin, tissue, and fat are moved around. Younger women who have less sagging and better skin contraction may not have as invasive a surgery as women who have extremely large breasts where sagging, or excessive tissue may have to be removed. And, because this is surgery, there are other risks to note. These include reactions to the anesthetic, asymmetry, scarring, infection nerve damage with loss of sensation and rarely wounds or tissue loss. Though these risks are small, you need to follow Dr. Haupt’s instructions so you may heal as well as you can post-operatively. There is also a chance that breast feeding may be more difficult after you have had breast reduction surgery.

How long will it take before I can return to my normal activities?

Again, this depends how you heal. There will be some pain and discomfort for a few days following the procedure, but you will be given a pain prescription to help you cope with this. After a couple of days the bandages can be removed. You’ll have to wear a bandage or bra 24 hours a day until the bruising and swelling subside, and this can take several weeks. Stitches may be removed after a couple of weeks if they are not absorbable. All these things will take around a month. While you can return to work after a couple of weeks, it is recommended that strenuous activity or exercise be postponed until Dr. Haupt feels it is okay.

How will I be affected in the long term?

It can take up to a full year before your breasts are completely established into their new shape. Other factors, such as pregnancy, weight gain or loss, and more can affect the size and shape of your breasts. Scarring will fade, but this may take longer for some people than it does for others.

If you would like to learn more about breast reduction surgery, please contact Dr. Haupt at Utah Cosmetic Surgery. We are currently located in the Salt Lake City area and serve many of the surrounding cities as well as the surrounding states.