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Breast reduction

Breast reduction surgery shrinks too-big breasts by surgically removing fat, glandular tissue (used in milk production), and skin.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: June 26, 2012

Women with especially bulky, heavy, or pendulous breasts commonly experience neck and back pain from the excess weight. Breast reduction surgery shrinks too-big breasts by surgically removing fat, glandular tissue (used in milk production), and skin.

But men may also suffer from their own version of enlarged breasts. Gynecomastia is a condition describing overlarge male breasts (colloquially known as moobs) - meaning the gents get breast reductions as well.

For women, breast reduction surgery was the fifth most common surgical procedure in 2009, and among men it was the third most popular.

What It's Good For

Breast reduction surgery can relieve back and neck pain, improve posture, and boost self esteem. It will also make strapless tops more practical.

Who it works for: Yes, you can have too much of a good thing. The ideal candidate for breast reduction surgery suffers from too-big breasts that cause skin irritation, chronic rashes, neck pain, deep shoulder grooves from bra straps, posture problems, and - when it comes to fashion - the inability to wear strapless dresses comfortably. Breast reduction surgery may help alleviate all of these symptoms.

Recommended age range: Breasts must be fully developed, so individuals should wait until their 18th birthday for breast reduction surgery. Nevertheless, more than 4,000 patients age 13-19 had breast reduction surgery in 2009. A majority of male breast reduction (58%) is done between 19 and 34 years old.

When will I see results?: Although your chest will be immediately lighter, scars can take up to six months to fade. Breasts will be swollen for up to a month, so don't get rid of your larger bras right away.

How long it lasts: The results are permanent, though if you're unsatisfied with the results, revision surgery can further adjust breast size and shape.

Key benefits of breast reduction: Breast reduction is one of the most gratifying of any surgery, and it's no wonder. Overly large breasts make for heavy baggage. Toss some of the weight out, and symptoms may vanish altogether. 80-95% of patients are fulfilled by their less-filled breasts.

Find experts who offer breast reduction near you