Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure to reduce the size and lift the breasts.  This is done by removing excess breast tissue and skin to achieve a breast that is in proportion with your body and perhaps more importantly, to alleviate the discomfort associated with excessively large breasts (macromastia). Breast reduction surgery can relieve not only the physical and psychological strains of overly large breasts but help women attain a more comfortable, proportionate and attractive chest.  For complex procedures like breast reduction surgery, you want a specialist and NYC plastic surgeon, Alexes Hazen MD, has almost 20 years of experience performing and mastering breast procedures. With Dr. Hazen as your surgeon, you will be in expert hands.

Breast Reduction Before and After Photos

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Breast Reduction Surgery Procedure

Breast reduction procedures are typically performed with the patient under general anesthesia or sedation.  The three main incision types for breast reduction surgery are:

  • Incisions only around the the areolas (the pigmented skin encircling the nipples). This technique is used for very small reductions and lifts.  This incision is useful for patients with small breasts who desire a small reduction and who also have minimal ptosis, or droop. The patient must have good quality skin.​

  • Keyhole incision or Lollypop – The incisions encircle the areolas and extend down to the breast folds in a flared pattern, similar to an old-fashioned keyhole shape. The surgeon removes the extra skin, tissue and fat and sutures the incisions. These incisions will leave vertical scars from the areolas to the breast folds. This is useful for a moderate reduction in a patient who also does not have a lot of skin and breast ptosis. 

  • Anchor incision – this incision is shaped like an anchor, encircling the areola, extending vertically to the breast fold (or inframmary fold) and then continuing in both directions along the breast fold.

Dr. Alexes Hazen helps you decide which incision is best based on your unique considerations and goals and size. Regardless of incision type, the nipple is typically moved to a higher location on the breast, although it usually remains connected to the underlying blood vessels and nerves. In very large breasts, the nipples may need to be removed and grafted to their new position.

Who is a Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?

The best candidates for breast reduction surgery are women in good health at or near their ideal weight. For patients who are overweight or obese we can begin a weight loss program to help the patient get to their goal weight.  Potential patients  also must have realistic expectations, be nonsmokers (or at least be willing to quit smoking for a time) and be able to follow pre- and postoperative surgical instruction. Teenagers who have excessively large breasts also may be candidates for breast reduction. However, surgery can only be performed after the breasts have finished developing. 


Usually insurance will cover breast reduction surgery. Very large breasts can cause many health and emotional problems. In addition to self-image issues, patients may also experience physical pain and discomfort. The weight of excess breast tissue can impair your ability to lead an active life. The emotional discomfort and self-consciousness often associated with having large pendulous breasts can be as important an issue as the physical discomfort and pain. To summarize, you may be a candidate for breast reduction surgery if:

  • You are physically healthy

  • You have realistic expectations

  • You don't smoke

  • You are bothered by feeling that your breasts are too large

  • You have breasts that limit your physical activity

  • You experience back, neck and shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts

  • You have shoulder indentations from bra straps

  • You have skin irritation beneath the breast crease

Post Surgery Recovery 

After breast reduction surgery, your incisions are be covered with dressings or bandages. Drainage tubes may be inserted into your incisions to help prevent the accumulation of fluids and help reduce the post operative swelling. You may be asked to wear a support bra or elastic bandage to help support the breasts as they heal.

Dr. Hazen gives you detailed instructions about wound care and the resumption of physical activities. After the incisions are totally healed Dr. Hazen will begin you on a scar management program.

Why Choose Dr. Hazen

Dr. Hazen is an expert in breast surgery and has an eye for ideal aesthetic results.  Dr. Hazen works with you to understand your desires and your goals, and then helps you with the entire process so that you can have the most beautiful result with the least scarring possible.  Communication is key with your surgeon and Dr. Hazen makes a point of really understanding her patients' unique desires and needs.  

What to Expect From Your Consultation with Dr. Hazen

After welcoming you, Dr. Hazen takes a thorough look at your medical history and conditions, including hospitalizations and medications taken.  A physical exam is performed.  Your goals and desires for surgery are fully explored, and Dr. Hazen gives a comprehensive explanation of the surgical procedures that are possible for you, including complications and risks.  Dr. Hazen describes your individual recovery process. Now you have the option to have your pre-operative photos taken (saves a visit). Dr. Hazen and you may explore any issues that are blocking or interfering with the surgery actually happening, including anxieties around it. Then your surgery plan is made with a time line.  If the procedure is not covered by insurance, estimated costs for surgery and anesthesia are presented to you.