Breast Reduction

Plastic Surgeon & Medical Spa Serving Newport Beach, Orange County & the Greater Los Angeles Area of California

Large breasts are often a desirable trait that symbolizes attractiveness and femininity. However, it is possible for breasts to be so large that they interfere with your life. Very large breasts can result in a variety of issues, including:

  • Back, shoulder and neck pain
  • Rashes and irritation from breasts rubbing on your chest
  • Painful grooves from bra straps digging into your shoulders
  • Difficulty engaging in athletic activities
  • Posture problems
  • Unwanted attention from others
  • Difficulty finding clothes that fit well and accentuate your figure

Dr. Richard Lee can perform breast reduction to alleviate these issues and provide you with a breast size that will make you feel confident and beautiful. You can learn about your options and receive individualized treatment recommendations by speaking with Dr. Lee in person.

Please call 949-548-9312 today to schedule a breast reduction consultation. We serve patients in Newport Beach and throughout Orange County, California.

How common is Breast Reduction?

According to the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, nearly 100,000 breast reduction procedures are performed annually in the United States. This procedure is not only very common, but it is one that is among the highest in patient satisfaction rates for elective surgery.

 Benefits of Breast Reduction

Many of our breast reduction patients find their procedure to be life-changing, allowing them to live a pain-free and active life. Some of the benefits you may experience from your procedure include:

  • Improved breast appearance
  • Alleviation of chronic shoulder, neck and back pain
  • Improved overall physical comfort
  • Improved self-confidence and more positive body image
  • Ability to more easily engage in your favorite athletic endeavors
  • More proportionate body contour
  • Look more attractive in clothing
  • Reduction in breast droopiness

Patient Testimonial

"Dr. Lee is an incredibly talented plastic surgeon. His credentials are top notch & it’s clear he’s a true perfectionist & artist. Dr. Lee is thorough & has a pleasant demeanor. He has a finely tuned office & an excellent team. Elizabeth, Lindsey, & Robin always accommodating & available to answer questions. Surgery center, overnight stay, & nurse Gina were all first rate. Today I am 6 months post op breast reduction/tummy tuck/lipo. Coming from a health care background & picky person by nature, I couldn’t be happier with my results & everything in between! Thank you, Dr. Lee!"

Ideal Breast Reduction Candidates

If you would like a smaller breast size, you are most likely a good candidate for breast reduction. If you experience any of the issues discussed above, you will most likely find that undergoing breast reduction is one of the best decisions you will ever make.

In addition, ideal breast reduction candidates should be in good overall health and have realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure. Smokers must be willing to quit before surgery and throughout the recovery process in order to ensure proper healing, minimize the risk of complications and achieve the best possible results.

If you may have children in the future, you should discuss these family plans with Dr. Lee. Future pregnancies will not rule you out as a breast reduction candidate, but the changes that occur to your breasts as a result of pregnancy and breastfeeding may have a negative impact on your results.  If you are experiencing a significant amount of physical pain from your large breast size, it may still be worth moving forward with the procedure now. However, if you aren’t in serious pain and you plan on becoming pregnant in the near future, Dr. Lee may recommend delaying your procedure in order to avoid the need for a revision procedure after pregnancy.

Will there be any Scarring?

Patients should expect to have some scarring after their breast reduction procedure. Having scars does not necessarily mean they will be significant. Experienced plastic surgeons typically develop ways to keep incisions discreet and as short as possible. Incisions first look like a thin, raised line on the skin. They may be somewhat pink or red. Over time, the skin flattens and may either lighten or darken. The process of healing can take up to a year and, once the incisions are fully healed, can be helped along with an approved scar treatment program. 

The good news about breast reduction scars is that they should not be visible when wearing a bra or bikini top. In some cases, the scar may show slightly at the inframammary crease below the breasts.

To facilitate optimal scar recovery, patients should avoid:

  • Smoking
  • Tanning
  • Excessive scrubbing
  • Scratching the area

During the postoperative period, patients should carefully follow their doctor’s post-care instructions. Proper care of the incisions sets the stage for optimal healing.

What to do before the procedure

Patients who are in good health usually have very few, if any, steps to take beforehand. Some patients may be advised to get a mammogram or have certain labs run. For the most part, the week before surgery is devoted to preparation for recovery. Patients may fill their prescriptions, pre-make meals so they do not have to cook while recovering and arrange someone to accompany them to the surgery center for their procedure. It is necessary to have someone drive home and stay with the patient for 24 to 48 hours while they get used to taking their prescription pain medication. 

What to avoid before the procedure

Before undergoing surgery, patients who smoke must quit. It is important to avoid smoking and nicotine so the body can heal optimally. In the week before surgery, it is necessary to avoid medications and supplements that can thin the blood. Examples include aspirin, anti-inflammatory medication, and certain vitamins and supplements. Substances that thin the blood increase the risk of excessive bleeding during and after surgery. The risk of bruising is also elevated by blood-thinning medications and supplements. 

Every patient is unique. The doctor may have additional recommendations for you based on your particular situation.

Your Breast Reduction Procedure

Your breast reduction procedure will be performed on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia. Generally, it will take about 2-3 hours to complete the procedure.

In most instances, Dr. Lee will use an inframammary incision that runs horizontally beneath the breast fold, a vertical incision that runs down the front of the breast and a periareolar incision that circles the outer border of the areola.

breast reduction incisions diagram

After the incision is made, Dr. Lee will remove excess skin, fat and breast tissue to achieve your desired breast size. He will then tighten the remaining skin and reposition the areola. Dr. Lee incorporates a breast lift with every breast reduction procedure to ensure a youthful, attractive appearance.

Please view our Breast Reduction Before & After Gallery to get a better understanding of the results that can be achieved during your procedure.

Do breasts sag after breast reduction?

During the breast reduction procedure, the surgeon may trim excess skin to fit smoothly over the smaller breast mound. This should result in firmer, shapelier, and perkier breasts. During the initial recovery phase, the breasts may appear swollen. They may feel tight. These side effects usually subside in about a week. The breasts also may feel firmer and look higher on the chest. Over time, as tissue heals, the breasts settle into their final resting position. We do not expect this position to look saggy. 

Patients should understand that, while the results of breast reduction surgery are permanent, the breasts do change over time as a result of aging. At some point, some degree of sagging may occur. This usually does not begin until years after surgery.

Recovery and Aftercare

Due to the lingering effects of anesthesia, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery. In addition, you may find it helpful to have someone stay with you for the rest of the day in case you need assistance.

You should expect to experience some soreness and have a limited range of motion during the first week of recovery. Dr. Lee recommends that you wear a supportive bra all day and night for the first few weeks after surgery. After this, you can gradually transition back to wearing a regular bra.

You can generally return to work after about 1-2 weeks, depending on how quickly you heal. However, you will need to avoid strenuous activities, including heavy lifting, for 3-4 weeks. Dr. Lee will monitor your recovery closely and let you know when it is safe to resume these activities.

You can expect to gradually start seeing results once swelling subsides. However, it may take as long as six months before your final outcome is apparent.

Will My Breast Reduction Be Covered by Insurance?

Breast reduction surgery can be covered by health insurance if the procedure is deemed medically necessary. If your overly large breasts are causing back, shoulder or neck pain and/or rashes under your breasts, your health insurance will likely pay for part or all of your breast reduction.

Our staff will assist you in filling out any insurance paperwork in order to ensure as much of your procedure as possible gets covered.

Contact our Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon

Please contact Dr. Richard Lee using the form on this page or call 949-548-9312 today to schedule your breast reduction consultation. We serve patients in Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana and throughout Orange County, California.