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26 Sep 2018 | CAPS Clinic

What’s involved in a breast reduction?

By Dr Alastair Taylor (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery | Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons | MED0001401767)


Most people think I spend all my time making breasts bigger, but in fact I see as many breast reductions as augmentations.

All surgical procedures carry risks. Results vary and specific outcomes are not guaranteed. To learn more about the risks of aesthetic surgery visit

Who is an ideal candidate for a breast reduction?

Patients as young as late teens to early 20’s experiencing the weight, back and neck pain, poor posture and lifestyle limitations large breasts impose, or women in their 40’s and 50’s who have put up with their issues for so long and just want it to stop. Then there are those in their 70’s who have put up with these limitations even longer.

Why should I consider a breast reduction?

Large breasts are heavy. They sag, cause hygiene issues with rashes underneath, women develop grooves in their shoulders from the weight and chronic back and neck pain is very common.

It is quite difficult finding a bra to fit.  Bras that do fit are expensive and hard to find.  It is difficult to run with large breasts, dance, or even play golf.

Women are often referred to me by Chiropractors or Physiotherapists after all other interventions have failed.

What is involved?

The aim of a reduction is to reduce the breast size by about half. The nipple is moved up and redundant breast material and excess skin is removed. The remaining tissue is re-shaped around the nipple.

How is the surgery performed?

There are many ways of performing a reduction but the 2 main methods are the inferior pedicle and the vertical pedicle. I tend to use the inferior method for older patients and the larger reductions.  It produces a flatter breast for maximal material and skin removal.  The vertical pedicle is for younger patients who desire a more projecting slightly larger breast than the inferior pedicle.

What is the expected recovery?

The operation takes around 3 ½ – 4 hours under a general anaesthetic and you will stay one night in hospital with a bandaged chest. It isn’t a particularly painful operation to recover from, although the liposuction of the lateral chest can be sore.

Patients can shower the day after the surgery, wear a support bra for 6 weeks and take 2 weeks off work.  They can exercise when they wish, but won’t feel like doing so for 2 weeks.

Are there any risks involved?

Surgery should never be entered into lightly, there are risks associated with any operation and it is important you discuss these with the surgeon in detail prior to committing to a procedure.


Learn more about having a breast reduction surgery at the CAPS Clinic in Canberra.

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