Breast Reduction Risk Factors:

This site will explain in detail:

The Risks of Breast Reduction Surgery

The breast reduction procedure is normally safe, but as with any surgery there are risks relating to the operation itself. There can also be some risks with the anesthetic. If there are any early signs of infection it will be vigorously treated, and if bleeding occurs post-op, it will be immediately dealt with. Eliminate some of the risks for men by reading this website - Click Here.

Some patients may experience:

Delayed incision healing

Noticeable and permanent scars on the breasts and around the nipples. The breast reduction procedure will leave some scars, but some women have a greater tendency to produce scar tissue than others do. Women who smoke are more likely to heal slowly and develop prominent and permanent scarring. Most doctors will not proceed with someone that is currently smoking.

Small sores around the nipples following surgery. These sores can be treated with antibiotic cream.

Breasts that are slightly mismatched or nipples that are unevenly positioned.

Inability to breast-feed because most the milk ducts leading to the nipple are removed.

Permanent loss of feeling in the nipples or breasts.

Loss of blood supply to the nipple and areola, which can lead to tissue death. This complication is rare, and the nipple and areola can usually be rebuilt from skin grafts taken from other parts of your body.

Infections which can lead to more serious health issues. In the most extreme and rare cases, some infections can lead to death if not dealt with quickly.

Who Shouldn't Consider Breast Reduction Surgery?

Surgery is not recommended for anyone with:

Breast cancer

Diabetes, unless being fully managed

Cellulites in the breast area.

Hardened or Aged breast skin

List of possible risks & complications:

Anesthesia reaction



Breastfeeding problems

Boxy or Flat Breast (normally occurs post-operatively as a temporary condition)

Change in nipple color

Dissatisfaction with breast size (too small or too large)

Fat Necrosis

Hematoma (pooling of clotted blood; risk is 3-4%)

Infection (signs of infection: warmth, redness, soreness, swelling)

Irregularities in position of nipples and areola

Keloid (heavy scar)

Nerve Damage

Nipple loss (1%)

Nipple numbness


Permanent numbness

Reactions to medications

Sensory change (4-7%)

Seroma (pooling of watery blood)

Skin irregularities

Skin necrosis

Slow healing


Visible scar

Wound separation


Small differences in shape or size of the breasts are not uncommon following breast reduction surgery.

Fat Necrosis

"Fat necrosis is more common in larger resections. A study reported a 16% incidence of fat necrosis in obese patients having resections of more than 1000 g. However, the incidence of fat necrosis has been reported as low as 0.8% in 371 patients undergoing an average resection of 870 g per breast."

Source: Daane SP, Rockwell B, Breast Reduction Techniques and Outcomes: A Meta-Analysis. Aesth Plast Surg 1999;19:293-303; Mandrekas AD, Zambacos GJ, Anastasopoulous A, Haspas DA. Reduction mammaplasty with the inferior pedicle technique: early and late complications in 371 patients. Br J Plast Surg 1996;49:4426; 35. Strombeck JL. Reduction mammaplasty by Strombeck technique. In: Goldwyn RM, editor. Plastic and reconstructive surgery of the breast. Boston : Little, Brown & Co; 1976:195209.

Nipple Sensation

Most patients will have some loss of nipple feeling following this surgery. This is almost always temporary and will take up to six months for the feeling to return.

Wound Separation

Sometimes the incision can be pulled apart. This can happen from people attempting to return to work or strenuous activities. It is treated with moist dressings. Keep in mind that although it is easy to treat, it can cause additional scarring and will take longer to finish healing.



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