10 Things to Know if You’re a Breast Reduction Surgery Candidate


For women who choose to have a breast reduction procedure, the relief can be immense and immediate. After years of back and shoulder pain, to say nothing of difficulty finding clothing that fits, having some of your breast volume removed can literally feel like a weight being lifted. Many patients report feeling better the instant they wake up from the operation.

As with any other surgery, though, there can be some potential risks or complications to be aware of. And, it’s important to ensure that you’re a qualified breast reduction surgery candidate. When you make a consultation appointment here at Charlotte Plastic Surgery, one of our providers will evaluate your needs, talk with you about your goals, and ensure that you’re eligible for a safe and incident-free procedure.

In the meantime, here are a few things we’d tell anyonewho was thinking about having their breast size reduced.

breast reduction candidate

10 Considerations for Breast Reduction Surgery Candidates

  • Breast reduction procedures come with an extremely high rate of patient satisfaction. Out of all the different cosmetic procedures that can be performed, this is the one that seems to have the most unanimous approval, across the board. Women who have their breast size reduced tend to be immediately gratified, and over time they notice an increase in their energy level, their stamina, and their day-to-day comfort level. This is not a procedure that you’re likely to regret.
  • You’ll need to spend some time resting. The procedure itself tends to take around three hours, and most patients are cleared to go home the same day. Once you arrive back home, you’ll feel very tired and sore for a few days, and will need to stay off your feet. You’ll be back to relative strength within a week or so, but you’ll need to avoid strenuous exercise for at least one full month, allowing your body time to heal.
  • During your recovery, there may be some minimal pain or discomfort. With any surgery, a little discomfort can be expected. Women who have their breast size reduced typically say the pain subsides after the first couple of days. Our surgeons can provide long-lasting pain relief that helps you get through those early days with very little pain. After that, over-the-counter pain medications are usually more than sufficient to take the edge off.
  • You may or may not be able to get the exact cup size you want. The extent of your breast reduction will depend on various factors, including your current breast size and composition. For most patients, it’s possible to go down one to two cup sizes. During your consultation, your surgeon will talk to you about the specifics, and ensure that you have the right expectations for your breast reduction procedure.
  • Most of the time, breast reductions are accompanied by breast lifts. While you’re under, your surgeon will probably do more than just remove some tissue. You may also get the shape of your breasts slightly adjusted and the nipples re-positioned, helping your breasts look younger and perkier. Not all breast reductions require this “two for one” approach, but it’s pretty common. Ask your surgeon for additional details.
  • You can expect some scarring, but it will fade over time. For most breast reduction surgery candidates, the scars will be lollipop-shaped, with a circle around the nipples and then a thin line extending down the breasts. These scars will appear large and swollen initially but will quickly begin to fade. Most patients see their scarring significantly reduced during the first year after their procedure.
  • Some patients report some diminished nipple sensitivity. One of the most common side effects of a breast reduction surgery is the loss of nipple sensitivity. For most patients, sensitivity is largely or completely restored within a month or two. In some cases, it may be permanent. You can talk with your surgeon directly about this risk.
  • Another common side effect is trouble breastfeeding. Some women who have their breast size reduced report some difficulty breastfeeding. It can be difficult to predict which women ultimately face this problem. If it’s something that concerns you, it may be best to hold off on your breast reduction procedure until you’re completely finished having children and nursing them.
  • We can help you visualize your results. Some women have a little bit of trepidation about having their breasts reduced, simply because they aren’t totally sure they’ll like the results. Over the past 6+ decades, we’ve performed literally thousands and thousands of breast reductions, and your surgeon will be able to review numerous before and after photos with you, so you can see just what your result might look like.
  • We’re happy to tell you more about whether you qualify as a breast reduction surgery candidate. It’s critically important to us that our patients be good candidates for a safe breast reduction procedure, and that they have a clear sense of what the results and the recovery time will involve. That’s why we like to have in-depth consultation visits, where we can talk with you about your goals and also review your medical history, ensuring this is a medically wise decision. If you are a basically healthy person and struggle with pain or discomfort due to your breast size, then having a reduction can often be a judicious move.

Learn More About Whether You’re a Good Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery

At Charlotte Plastic Surgery, our providers have ample experience helping women get the breasts they want, whether through a breast augmentation, a breast lift, or a breast reduction. We would love to learn more about your objectives, to help you visualize your results, and to answer any additional questions you have about the process.

To schedule a consultation with the Charlotte Plastic Surgery team, we welcome you to contact us at your next convenience. Reach out to our office any time you’re ready to learn more about your eligibility for breast reduction.