Will You Perform Breast Reduction Surgery As an Outpatient Procedure?

Doctor Answers 57

Yes, outpatient breast reduction

Breast reduction has evolved from an inpatient procedure with a 1-3 night hospital stay as recenly as 10 years ago to a routinely outpatient procedure. The factors involved are:

  • better anesthesia (more propofol, less inhalational anesthesia) which helps speed recovery and reduce nausea
  • The routine use of local anesthesia with epinepherine injection at the initiation of the procedure decreases blood loss significantly. For example, when I was in training it was fairly routine to have a patient donate blood a few weeks before the procedure in preparation for a possible transfusion. Now my blood loss is literally a teaspoon or two.
  • The above allows many plastic surgeons (such as myself) to do the procedure without hardly touching the cautery device. Less burn = less swelling and pain.
  • Quicker procedures = less anesthesia
  • Routine use of premedication for nausea

For patients whom are paying out of pocket, I do this procedure in my clinic operating room (unless there are contraindications) with deep sedation with an anesthesiologist and excellent local anesthesia. These patients often feel ready to go home 15 minutes after the procedure, although I keep them longer for monitoring.

Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 183 reviews

Breast reduction- outpatient procedure

Breast reduction has become an outpatient procedure.

We send many of our patients to an aftercare facility for a nights' stay with an RN both for the safety of the patient and their comfort as well, especially if a big reduction is performed, if the patient is older or there are any health issues. 


Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Outpatient breast reduction okay for healthy women

In general, outpatient breast reduction surgery can be performed and is being done so more and more commonly. This does come down to the preference of the surgeon, but for most women this is a viable option.

Shahram Salemy, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 149 reviews

Outpatient Breast Reduction can be done for appropriate patients

Thanks for the question.

As with any surgery the key in determining whether it can be safely done as an outpatient is your pre-existing health and the procedure itself.

Breast reduction as an outpatient surgery can be performed in appropriate patients. In the last 3 years, I have performed hundreds of breast reductions with the vast majority as outpatient surgery.

Key considerations are other medical issues that would cause concerns about an outpatient procedure (morbid obesity, sleep apnea, pain issues, etc).

In addition, we use treatments like pain pumps to insure that our outpatient breast reductions feel great as well.

I hope this helps.

Steven H. Williams, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Breast reduction is a safe outpatient procedure.

For the last 13 years I performed and continue to perform my breast reductions in my certified office surgical suite. I do this surgery under intravenous sedation from a certified nurse anesthetist and with tumescent fluid infiltration.

This is a very safe technique. I use a short scar technique, all dissolvable sutures and no drains. All my patients go home within half an hour after surgery and I see them back in my office the next day for a postop check.

George Marosan, MD
Bellevue Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Outpatient breast reductions are very common

Twenty years ago, most breast reduction patients spent 1-2 days in the hospital following the procedure. Now, most are performed very safely as an outpatient. I usually allow the patient to decide if they would like to stay overnight. Most, when given a choice, seem to want to go home.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews


It is very likely that your breast reduction could be performed without a stay in the hospital. Unless you have other medical issues that put you at high risk for complications, a low pain tolerance, or anxiety about going home after the procedure, it can usually be performed safely as an outpatient. Good luck.

Daniel Sherick, MD
Ann Arbor Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


To Dman123,

Hello, again.  Breast reduction is a rapid recovery procedure that is done on an out patient basis in an accredited ambulatory surgery suite.  Most patients return to work or school in 4 days and exercise without restriction in 3 weeks.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast reduction is often an outpatient procedure

Typically about 50% of our patients go home after spending some time in the post anesthesia care unit.  These are usually the younger patients without any other medical problems who live in town. It is rare that anyone stays any longer than one day in the hospital even if they do stay.

Scott Tucker, MD
Winston Salem Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Outpatient breast reduction

In the Bronx, almost all of the breast reduction procedures I do are performed on an outpatient basis. The exceptions are: patients with significant potential health risk  factors, or those who come from great distances.

Barry H. Dolich, MD (Retired)
Bronx Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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.