Telephone: 212.988.180035A East 84th Street, New York, NY 10028

Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty)

New York, NY Breast Reduction Surgery

Particularly large and heavy breasts can create both aesthetic and physical concerns for women.  While some women are self-conscious about a disproportionately top-heavy figure, other women may experience physical symptoms as well.   Heavy and pendulous breasts can cause back, neck, and shoulder pain.   Additionally, when heavy breasts rest on the chest, moisture may be trapped, leading to chronic skin rashes and infections underneath the breasts.  Heavy breasts may also induce lethargy and reduce the ability to exercise.  In certain cases, insurance may cover breast reduction surgery to alleviate these medical conditions. 

Breast reduction surgery (reduction mammoplasty)can address both physical and aesthetic concerns by removing fat, breast tissue, and skin to reduce the size and weight of the breasts.  Breast reduction is often combined with breast lift surgery in order to elevate and reshape the breasts to give you a more balanced and youthful looking figure.  At Plastic Surgery & Dermatology of NYC, we understand that breast reduction surgery is a highly personal decision.  While some women may desire only a slight decrease in breast size, others may seek more significant reduction, as well as lifting and re-contouring.  We offer a full range of options so that you can choose the procedure that works best for your specific needs.  In some cases, breast reduction may be accomplished using liposuction.  For other women, traditional incisional breast reduction may be the best approach.  We can also use a combination of liposuction and surgical reduction to bring about ideal results.*  Dr. Levine will discuss with you what procedure or combination of procedures will help you reach your specific goals.

Reduce size and weight of breasts
Give you a more proportional figure
Elevate breasts in a more youthful position
Correct sagging and drooping
Alleviate back, neck, and shoulder pain caused by large breasts
Prevent skin rashes and infections under the breasts
Reposition the nipple
Reduce the size of the areola

Who is a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?

Women who are unhappy with the appearance of their breasts, or who are experiencing physical problems caused by overly large and heavy breasts, may be good candidates for breast reduction surgery.  Additionally, women who want to reduce the size of their breasts, while improving breast shape and position, may benefit from breast reduction combined with breast lift.  Dr. Levine will meet with you to discuss your goals and expectations, and help you determine if breast reduction would be right for you.

Breast Reduction with Liposuction Only Traditional Incisional Breast Reduction
Performed in our in-office surgical facility Performed in our in-office surgical facility or in the hospital
Go home same day* Go home same day, or stay 1 night in hospital*
Procedure time about 1-2 hours* Procedure time about 3-4 hours*
Twilight or general anesthesia, depending on type and extent of liposuction General anesthesia
Only tiny incisions needed Incision placement varies, depending on extent of reduction
Minimal sutures needed Sutures will dissolve on their own
Back to work varies, ranging from next day to 1 week, depending on type and extent of liposuction used* Back to work in 1 week*
Light exercise in 1 week* Light exercise in 1 week*
More strenuous exercise in 2 weeks* More strenuous exercise in 3-4 weeks*
Surgical bra may be recommended for 2 weeks post procedure* Surgical bra recommended for 2 weeks post procedure*
Swelling and breast tenderness possible for 1-2 weeks* Swelling and breast tenderness possible for 1-2 weeks*

Will insurance cover breast reduction surgery?

Insurance may cover breast reduction surgery if the surgery is intended to treat medical conditions. We will discuss whether your condition may be covered by insurance during your initial consultation.  If your condition fulfills the medical requirements for insurance coverage, it usually takes 2-6 months to receive approval from the insurance company.  If the insurance carrier determines that the procedure is cosmetic, they will not cover the procedure.  We will do our best to help you navigate through this process.*  

How is breast reduction surgery performed?

There are many techniques that may be used to reduce breast size.  Depending on the amount of correction needed, your procedure may include liposuction, traditional incisional surgery, or a combination of both.  Liposuction options include traditional liposuction, laser liposuction (SmartLipo™), ultrasound liposuction (VASER®), or power assisted liposuction.  Liposuction alone is usually indicated only for women seeking a slight reduction in breast size, without any repositioning or reshaping.  Traditional breast reduction surgery or surgery combined with liposuction may be considered for women seeking a more dramatic breast reduction, as well as breast elevation and reshaping.  Dr. Levine will discuss with you the best technique to address your specific concerns, and answer any questions that you may have.

Where do you place incisions for breast reduction?

For breast reduction using liposuction, only tiny incisions are needed in order to place the cannulas that remove the fat.  Three to four incisions, each about ¼ inch long, may be placed in the areola (the darker skin surrounding the nipple), the arm pit, or the breast crease. 
For breast reduction surgery, incisions will be placed carefully in order to minimize visible scarring where possible.  Incision placement will depend on many factors, including your specific anatomy and the amount of correction you desire.  Dr. Levine will discuss with you the best place for your incisions, but in general, incisions are usually made in one of three patterns:

  • Around the areola (circumareolar; edge of the nipple)
  • Around the areola, and then vertically down to the breast crease (lollipop or vertical pattern)
  • Around the areola, vertically down, and then running horizontally along the breast crease (inverted “T” or anchor incision)

What kind of results can I expect from breast reduction surgery?

Our patients can achieve excellent results from breast reduction surgery.*  While breast reduction can help reduce breast size, as well as improve the shape and position of the breasts, it’s important to remember that breasts are dynamic organs that transform over time due to natural aging and hormonal changes.   A breast reduction cannot stop the natural aging process, and you should expect certain changes in the breasts as you continue to age, including changes in breast size, shape, and symmetry.  

Breast Reduction Before And After Front View Breast Reduction Before And After Side View

* Patients individual results may vary.

Can breast reduction surgery be combined with other procedures?

Yes.  Breast reduction surgery is often combined with breast lift surgery in order to reduce the size and weight of breasts, while improving the shape and position of the breasts.   Some patients choose to combine breast reduction with other cosmetic procedures, such as inverted nipple correction, tummy tuck, and liposuction.  Dr. Levine will discuss with you what procedure or combination of procedures may best suit your specific needs. 

How can I prepare for breast reduction surgery?

During your initial consultation, Dr. Levine will examine your breasts to determine their physical condition, the thickness and quality of the skin, and the characteristics of any stretch marks.  He will also address your medical history to determine other factors that may affect breast surgery, such as hormonal influences, history of weight fluctuations, and pregnancy.   Most women will need a current mammogram (within one year) in order to serve as a baseline for postoperative comparison.  Dr. Levine will thoroughly discuss your goals and expectations, including possible risks and the best way to prepare for your surgery.  He will let you know what to expect before, during, and after your procedure, and he will answer any questions that you may have. 

What type of anesthesia will be used for breast reduction surgery?

The type of anesthesia will vary according to the type of procedure.  For most liposuction techniques, we may use twilight or general anesthesia.  For traditional incisional breast reduction, we recommend general anesthesia.  You will discuss your procedure thoroughly with both Dr. Levine and our board-certified anesthesiologist to determine the best type of anesthesia for your needs. 

What can I expect during breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery can be performed in our state-of-the-art, in-office operating suite, which is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF).  Breast reduction surgery may also be performed in the hospital.  The length of your procedure will depend on whether you are having breast reduction with liposuction only, or traditional incisional breast reduction.  In general, breast reduction with liposuction alone will require a much shorter procedure time, usually about 1-2 hours.  The procedure time for traditional incisional breast reduction will vary depending on the extent of the procedure, but on average, the surgery usually takes 3-4 hours.*   After your procedure, you will wake up in our warm and caring recovery suite, where our licensed, registered nurse will make sure you are comfortable and assist in your recovery.  You may return home the same day or elect to stay overnight in the hospital.

What can I expect after breast reduction surgery?

Every surgery is different, and you will receive detailed post-operative instructions for your specific needs.  In general, you can expect to have possible bruising, swelling, and tenderness of the breasts for 1-2 weeks after surgery.   Most patients report mild to moderate pain after the surgery, which is usually well-tolerated with medications.*  At Plastic Surgery & Dermatology of NYC, our concern for you doesn’t end when you go home.  We’re dedicated to providing ongoing care to ensure a fast, safe, and smooth recovery.  Dr. Levine will see you for post-operative visits, and he and our staff stand ready to answer any questions you may have about your recovery, as well as your overall health and well-being. 

How can I find out more about breast reduction surgery?

Dr. Elie Levine will be happy to meet with you to discuss breast reduction surgery. Please call our office at 212-988-1800, or make an appointment online for a personal consultation in our New York City offices.