Breast Reduction FAQs

If you’re considering breast reduction surgery, you most likely have several questions and concerns. Here, you’ll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions to help you feel more confident about making your decision to reduce your breast size.

Breast Reduction FAQs

Regarded as one of the best breast reduction surgeons in the San Diego Area, board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Halls and his staff take a patient-first approach toward your care that includes an emphasis on patient education. If you have any concerns that are not addressed here, please don’t hesitate to contact us online or call (858) 458-0100 today to request a breast reduction consultation at La Jolla Breast Institute.

Am I a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?

The best candidates for breast reduction should be in good physical and mental health and have realistic expectations about their results. If you have overly large breasts and experience a number of physical and emotional issues related to breast size ranging from neck and shoulder pain to feeling self-conscious about your appearance, you may be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery.

How do I know what size is right for me?

The best size for your smaller breasts can be determined by a number of factors. Most importantly, you should choose a size that allows you to experience the most comfort in your day to day life, taking into consideration your lifestyle and habits. Women who would like to be very active, but haven’t been able to enjoy certain activities because their breasts get in the way or become uncomfortable, may want a relatively small breast size.

On the other hand, women who would like to maintain a curvier look without the associated aches and pains may only want a minor reduction. And of course, you need to consider your cosmetic goals as well. Many women feel more attractive after a breast reduction because their bodies are more proportionate. Dr. Halls will work closely with you to help you choose a look you’re comfortable with.

What about scarring?

Scarring is often a primary concern for women considering a breast reduction. Dr. Halls presents his patients with two options for incision placement during a breast reduction:

  • A vertical incision placement traces around the areola and then follows a vertical line from the bottom of the areola to the inframammary fold, the natural crease at the bottom of the breast.
  • The classical incision placement follows the same path as the vertical incision, but continues along the inframammary fold for a short distance on either side.


At your consultation, Dr. Halls can go over these options with you and explain the advantages of either one.

Scarring from a breast reduction, like with most surgical procedures, is permanent, but the scars should fade dramatically in the first year after surgery. With proper care, some women’s scars heal to the point that they are barely detectable. Additionally, most women who get a breast reduction are happy enough with their results that they feel the scars are well worth the benefits.

Can my nipples be moved or resized during a breast reduction?

Absolutely. Less than optimal areola size and/or nipple placement is one of the most common issues that women with large breasts experience. Large breasts often suffer a certain degree of sagging, which stretches the skin and can result in downward-pointing nipples or nipples that are off-center. During your breast reduction, Dr. Halls can re-center the nipples as needed to place them in a natural-looking position in the center of your breasts, as well as resize the areola for a fully proportionate look.

Will my insurance cover the costs?

That’s a great question, and varies depending on your insurance company, your coverage and your needs. Some insurance companies will cover some or all of the costs of a breast reduction surgery if the procedure is necessary for health reasons. These are often related to back, neck or shoulder pains, though some women get breast reduction surgery due to skin problems and other issues related to having large breasts. However, if you are choosing breast reduction primarily for cosmetic reasons, your insurance company is unlikely to cover the costs.

What is the recovery like?

The recovery process can be different for each patient, but typically, some pain is experienced for a couple of days following your surgery. Keeping a special surgical bra on for 24 hours a day during this time can help reduce swelling and support your newly shaped breasts. Some women continue to experience some discomfort for a week or two following surgery, although most patients can usually resume their work and social life by 2 weeks after surgery and ease back into more vigorous activities after 3 to 4 weeks. Dr. Halls will go over a detailed recovery plan to make sure you understand exactly what to expect.

How long until I see my results?

You should notice a difference immediately after the surgery in how your breasts feel and look. However, the results will initially be obscured by some swelling. Over the course of the next month or two, your swelling will dissipate and you’ll have a better idea of your final results. Along with the aesthetic improvement, most women feel very pleased with the lifestyle benefits that smaller, more proportionate breasts can offer.