Breast Lift/reduction? (photo)

I am a 40 year old mother of two. I'm only 4'11, but I wear a size 36DD. I'm interested in having a reduction & lift to a 34C. A few questions: 1. What kind of procedure and scar would I have? 2. How long is the procedure? 3. How painful is the recovery and how is pain controlled? 4. What happens if I were to lose weight after the surgery? 5. What are the most common problems after surgery? 6. How long is recovery? How long before I could drive? 7. What is the approximate cost? Thanks!

Doctor Answers 11

Breast Reduction Recovery and Cost?

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Breast reduction usually involves at least vertical scars and sometimes a horizontal scar in the groove.  The procedure lasts about 3 hours.  Recovery is usually uneventful and healing is usually complete at about 6 weeks.  Pain is not a big issue and is managed with pain medication if necessary for the first few days.  Driving can be resumed in about a week.  The cost runs from $7500 to about $15000. 

Breast lift

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You may benefit from an "anchor type" incision procedure.  the surgery takes about 2-3 hrs and is usually not that uncomfortable.  If you lose weight the breasts may sag.  Usually patients can go back to desk type work within a week.  I tell patients not to drive for 7-10 days.  The cost will vary. Good luck.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Lift/reduction?

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In order:

1--breast reduction, with an anchor type incision. Circle around the areola, vertical line down to the breast fold, horizontal line in the fold.


3--Pain varies, usually it is modest, most of us prescribe oxycodone or a similar agent.

4--You may lose some breast volume, but it is hard to predict.

5--Bleeding, infection, asymmetry, wound healing problems

6--Back to (light) work in a week or less, full gym activities by a month, driving in a few days, when off narcotic pain meds

7--About $8000

When you ready for an in person consultation, RealSelf has listings of surgeons in your area. You should consider cross referencing the listings from the The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery dot org). A listing in the ASPS website assures you that your surgeon is not only board certified,  but also is a member in good standing of the major plastic surgery organization in the U. S.

Thank your for your question, best wishes.


Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

Great candidate for a circumvertical breast lift

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Thank your for the question and photos.  You are a great candidate for a circumvertical breast lift.  The incision will be around your areola and down the breast.  You will also have a small incision in your breast fold since the amount of skin reduction will need it.  Cost will vary as will time of surgery from surgeon to surgeon as well as the region of the country.  Make sure you have a few consults with well trained board certified plastic surgeons.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

Breast reduction concerns

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Thanks for the questjons. You appear to be an excellent candidate for a breast reduction.  I would perform it using an anchor scar, but it can also be done with the lollipop scar.  The surgery takes about 3 hours and can be done in an outpatient surgery center.  Most women are surprised at how little pain there is.  The risks are low, and it is a very safe procedure.  The worst risk is loss of circulation to the nipple, but this is rare among experienced surgeons.  Estimated cost $6000 plus operating room and anesthesia. You'll save the most having it done in a surgeons own operating room.  Good luck!

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast Reduction Concerns…

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Thank you for the questions and pictures.

You will benefit from breast reduction surgery; this will be best performed when you have achieved a long-term stable weight. Doing so will help decrease the risks of surgery and help minimize the chances that additional surgery will be come necessary in the event of weight loss that occurs after the breast reduction procedure.

The remainder of your questions will depend on the specific plastic surgeon who you choose to take care of you;   you will find that you may receive different opinions/recommendations from every plastic surgeon you visit.

 Make sure you consult with board-certified plastic surgeons; ask to see lots of examples of their work.

Best wishes.

Breast Lift/reduction?

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To answer your questions in order. 

1. Full inverted T incision. 

2. 2 to 4 hours

3. Pain is very subjective but most control is via oral pain meds

4. The breast "could" possibly droop

5. Bleeding, skin issues, scars

6. From week to 2 weeks, 5 days on average

7. $4500 to $8500 range


Breast lift and reduction options

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As I see it you need a lift and reduction that will have good long term support and you need to provide adequate volume in the upper pole of the breast, so that that area does not appear hollow.  In general skin brassiere techniques (inverted T) have the disadvantage of stretching out and diminishing upper pole volume.  For one idea take a look at the Structural Mastopexy area in the breast section of my website.  The procedure takes 2 to 3 hours, but this is not the most important consideration.  Typically the recovery has less discomfort than an augmentation and is well managed with standard pain pills like Norco for a few days.  Weight loss of 5 to 10 pounds after surgery probably won't have much effect, but greater degrees of weight loss might be an issue, especially if your breast has a fatty structure.  Recovery is not too bad for most people.  It is possible to return to normal light activity in less than a week, but heavy activity and athletics take longer.  Most people can drive as soon as they are off the pain pills.  Cost varies significantly with the skill of the surgeon and the quality of the surgical facility.  This is important surgery.  Please don't bargain hunt. Complications are expensive.

John Q. Cook, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Breast Reduction Questions

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Based on your photos, I  would recommend that you have a breast reduction where a portion of your breast tissues is removed to decrease and size of your breast and lift the breast tissue at the same time. I would recommend the inverted T breast reduction due to the face that you have severe sagging as well as a lot of breast tissues to reduce both in horizontal and vertical directions. This type of surgery typically takes a surgeon about 3 to 4 hours to complete. I would definitely use post-op On-Q pain pump catheter to help reduce post operative pain/discomfort. Your recovery is typically 2 to 3 weeks where you should be able to resume daily activities. I would limit the driving until you are comfortable moving your arms freely without discomfort. This may be 1 to 3 weeks after your surgery. The most common problems that we see after this type of surgery is minor superficial delay healing of the incision which is treated with local wound care. The cost of this type of procedure can vary based on surgeon's experience and location where the surgery takes place.

Best Wishes,

Stewart Wang, MD FACS, Wang Plastic Surgery

Stewart Wang, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Vertical breast lift and reduction are really the same operation.

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A breast reduction is really a breast lift with just more breast tissue removed.  The vertical technique offers the best shape and less scarring than the traditional "anchor" technique.  There is just one vertical scar that also goes around the areola (the "lollipop" scar).  It is not very painful.  In fact, the pain rating in our survey of patients was 3.3 on a 1-10 scale.  Pain is well controlled with medication.  Patients resume driving in about 6 days on average.  The cost is $6000 at our facility, paid in advance.  The most common problem is delayed healing or widening of the vertical scar.  This can be touchup up later in the office if necessary.  Surgery takes two hours.  Postoperative weight loss will make your breasts smaller so it is important not to remove too much at surgery.  There are huge benefits in quality of life.  I've attached a link to this part of my website so you can view real patient photos and testimonials if you like.

Eric Swanson, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.