10 Breast Reduction Side Effects You Might Experience

breast reduction side effects

breast reduction side effectsAside from the benefits of breast reduction, you also have to be aware of breast reduction side effects before committing to undergo surgery.

Knowing the following possible breast reduction risks and complications can help you manage your expectations so that you have no regrets after your surgery.

Pain and Soreness

Like all other surgeries, it’s normal to experience pain, discomfort, and soreness in the first few weeks after your breast reduction surgery.

Since pain is a highly individual response, your plastic surgeon will prescribe you with pain medications that you should take as needed.

Swelling and Bruising

Bruising is a common side effect of breast reduction surgery. Resting well and avoiding strenuous activities can decrease the severity and duration of bruising.

On the other hand, swelling can last up to a year post-op. Only until then will you be able to see the final results of your breast reduction surgery.

Altered Breast and Nipple Sensitivity

You may notice some sensitivity or numbness in your breasts and nipples as you heal, especially during the early weeks after breast reduction. It might take up to a year before your sensory nerves regrow and repair, restoring your normal breast sensation.

However, around 15% of patients experience permanent nipple numbness post-op, leading to some breast reduction regrets.


The extent of your breast reduction scarring depends on the amount of tissue removed and the technique your plastic surgeon used.

However, you can rest easy knowing that your incisions will be concealed easily by swimsuit and undergarments.


Watch out for the classic signs of infection such as tenderness, warmth to touch, swelling, redness, and fever. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your plastic surgeon to receive prompt treatment.

Adverse Anesthesia Reactions

Breast reduction is often performed under general anesthesia, which can cause several adverse reactions such as nausea and vomiting. More serious anesthesia risks include heart failure, pneumonia, and muscle damage.

Bleeding and Blood Clots

The development of a hematoma is a rather common breast reduction risk for many patients. Hematomas are pockets of clotted blood within tissues, and they can cause pain, infection, and scar tissue development.

To prevent blood clots from forming, make sure that you walk around after surgery as much as you can and drink lots of water.

Poor Wound Healing

Another breast reduction complication is the separation of wound edges, leading to poor wound healing.

If you experience this, use wet bandages to keep your wound edges moist and encourage wound binding and the development of collagen. In some cases, you might need to undergo revision surgery.

Fat Necrosis

Fat necrosis in breast reduction surgery happens when fat and surrounding tissues die due to lack of blood supply.

Immediate treatment is necessary for fat necrosis because it can spread and worsen, causing infection or gangrene.


One of the reasons for many breast reduction regrets is breast asymmetry after surgery.

To avoid this, make sure that you ask for before and after photos of your plastic surgeon’s previous breast reduction patients so that you can gauge his skill in providing favorable and symmetrical results.

breast reduction free consultationIf you want to learn more about these breast reduction side effects, Schedule a Free Consultation with one of our double board-certified plastic surgeons.
We’ll be more than happy to answer your concerns.

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