Does Breast Reduction Surgery Hurt?

When deciding to undergo a breast reduction surgery there are many questions and concerns that arise, one concern being: how badly will this operation hurt? Generally, once a patient has decided to go for a consultation, their lives have been dramatically affected by their breast size and they are ready to make a change. They have carefully thought about their options and have significant motivation to undergo the operation. Though the decision has been made, whenever an operation is involved, it is only natural for patients to worry about their recovery and how they will feel after. It is natural to worry about how you will feel after a breast reduction surgery.

In our experience, having performed hundreds of breast reduction surgeries we have found that a mammoplasty surgery is less uncomfortable, painful, and hurts less than a breast augmentation surgery (meaning it hurts less) where implants are inserted and the breasts are made larger. A very common misconception about breast reduction surgery is that it is very painful. While there is pain associated with this operation, as with any other, most patients report experiencing some grogginess and shoulder stiffness or discomfort, but no significant pain the day after surgery. The patient will be prescribed pain medication in order to reduce any amount of discomfort felt after the operation to make recovery as easy as possible.

During a breast reduction surgery there is no modification made to the chest wall musculature like in a breast augmentation, where the pectorals major muscle is released and lifted for an implant to be inserted under the muscle. This release and modification induces more pain than the removal of breast tissue. A breast reduction is approximately three hours long, depending on the surgeon and the amount of work that needs to be done and is not very painful. The main goals of a breast reduction are to perform a breast lift while reducing the volume and weight of the breasts, and to improve the symptoms associated with large, heavy breasts. Scar formation and healing is different from person to person and is dependent on the technique of the surgeon, as well as the individual skin type and genetic factors.

Patients who present with a history of neck pain, upper back pain, shoulder pain, deep shoulder grooves from bra straps, and chronic rashes or infection due to sweating and skin-on-skin rubbing, are good candidates for mammoplasty surgery. It may be possible to get this operation covered by insurance depending on the policy coverage, as well as adequate proof that it is a medically necessary procedure. When consulting with a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, all of your options will be thoroughly discussed and all questions will be answered.