Breast Reduction FAQs – Top Questions & Answers

Breast Reduction Surgery can help reduce the size and weight of large breasts. This can reduce back pain, shoulder pain and neck ache. Dr Scott Turner is a Breast Surgery Expert and Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Newcastle and Sydney NSW. Here are his answers to the most common Breast Reduction FAQs.

About Breast Reduction FAQs

 Do I need a Breast Reduction?

  • You may be a good candidate for a Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammaplasty) if you have:
    • Breasts that are overly large and seem to be out of proportion to the rest of your body
    • Pain in the neck, back, and shoulders caused by the weight of your breasts
    • Grooves in the tops of your shoulders caused by your bra straps
    • Difficulty engaging in exercises and other activities of daily living due to your breast size

Do I need a Breast Lift or Reduction?

  • Patients seek a breast reduction when their large breasts cause neck, shoulder, or back pain that inhibits their ability to exercise or perform daily activities. If you are happy with your breast size but just want to change shape & position, a breast lift can help raise your breasts by eliminating excess skin and reshaping the remaining breast tissue to achieve a more youthful appearance. In most cases, both procedures can be combined to achieve a better clinical outcome – a lift and a reduction.

Is a breast lift included in a breast reduction?

  • A breast lift and breast reduction are similar. Breast Reduction Surgery involves reducing size or weight while Breast Lift typically changes shape not weight. A breast lift removes excess skin to achieve a younger breast contour while a breast reduction removes excess skin, fat, and tissues to achieve well-proportioned breasts. A Breast Reduction typically includes a Lift, but a Lift does not always include a Reduction.

How do I find the best Breast Reduction Surgeon in Sydney?

  • The best breast reduction surgeon is someone who:
    • Is a Specialist accredited with RACS as a plastic surgeon – FRACS
    • Has professional Memberships of Plastic Surgeon Associations like ASAPS or ISAPS
    • Has specialization in breast reduction or breast surgery
    • Has solid experience in treating a large volume of patients
    • Practices at a state-of-the-art hospital that is accredited
    • Is comfortable to talk to regarding your questions

Look at their Before and After Photos and their online reviews of past patients.

Do I need a referral for a breast reduction?

  • You don’t need a medical referral to have a consultation with Dr Turner. But if you plan to claim surgery on Medicare you will need a valid referral at the time of surgery. Visit your GP to get a medical referral then you can contact Dr Turner’s team to schedule a consultation. A GP Referral is valid for 6 months, a referral from a specialist is valid for only 3 months.

How do I prepare for breast reduction?

  • You should stop smoking several weeks before your breast reduction surgery. Follow your surgeon’s pre-op instructions closely. Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they could increase your risk of bleeding. Do not eat for 12-18 hrs before your surgery. Get a baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue.

Are you a Candidate? – Qualifying for Breast Reduction FAQs

How big do breasts need to be for reduction?

  • You could have any largish breast for a reduction, however patients with DD, DDD or G and H cups breast size are very good candidates for breast reduction. Dr Turner will also assess other factors such as your health and desired cosmetic goals.

 Can I get a breast reduction if I am overweight?

  • It is possible to have a breast reduction if you are a little bit overweight. However, it is best if you are near or within stable ideal weight. Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of complications.

What BMI do you need for breast reduction?

  • Your BMI should be less than 30 or 35. Most surgeons will not operate over a BMI of 35 and patients with a BMI of 40+ will need to lose weight before surgery and are commonly referred to a weight loss surgeon.

Do I need to lose weight before a breast reduction?

  • Yes, you need to achieve a stable weight that is near your ideal before the procedure as weight fluctuations can alter the results of your breast reduction. In addition, being overweight or obese can increase your risk of complications.

Can you get a breast reduction while pregnant?

  • It is not a good choice to undergo a breast reduction while you are pregnant. Your breast size will increase during this time which will undo the effects of breast reduction. Most plastic surgeons will not perform cosmetic surgery on you if you are pregant.

Is there an age limit for breast reduction surgery?

How old should I be for breast reduction surgery?

  • You should be at least 18 years old. However, some surgeons may perform it in teenagers who are suffering from physical and emotional discomfort due to their breast size. You will need a psychological assessment and have to wait a longer cooling off period of 3 months. Before your procedure, your surgeon will conduct a complete health assessment to determine if you are a good fit for the procedure.

Breast Reduction Surgery FAQs 

How long does a breast reduction take?

  • The procedure typically takes 2 to 4 hours. This will depend on the amount of breast tissue that will be removed and if other combined breast surgeries are necessary.

How much weight do you lose with breast reduction?

  • You can lose around 2 to 5kg after the procedure. This is excess breast tissue and fat.

How small can you go with breast reduction?

  • Most breast reduction patients go down one to two cup sizes. Complete removal of the breast is a different procedure called a Mastectomy or FTM Top Surgery.

Paying and Funding your Breast Reduction Surgery

Will Medicare Cover Breast Reduction Surgery in Australia?

Is breast reduction surgery covered by insurance?

  • The cost of the procedure may be partly covered by your Private Health Fund if it’s medically necessary and meets the Medicare criteria. In most cases, you may get a part reimbursement if your breast reduction surgery meets the criteria and is performed to address physical and emotional discomforts associated with overly large breasts. Before your surgery, make sure to check your level of PHI cover and clarify your coverage with your insurance provider to determine the rebates.

Recovery After Breast Reduction FAQs

How long is breast reduction surgery recovery?

  • Complete recovery after a breast reduction usually takes 8-12 weeks. This will depend on the extent of the surgery and your ability to heal. High intensity work and exercise should be avoided after surgery.

How do I sleep after breast reduction surgery?

  • You should sleep on your back after your surgery. This will help prevent putting excessive pressure on your breasts.

When can I shower after breast reduction surgery?

  • Patients can typically resume showering after two to three days. Before this period, you can take a sponge bath but should avoid washing your incision sites. When you are ready to shower, your surgical bra can be removed. When you shower, you can gently wash your breasts and incision sites. When drying your body, make sure not to rub your incisions. Pat dry and let them air dry the rest of the way. You should also avoid soaking in baths, hot tubs, and pools for at least four weeks as these can expose your wounds to bacteria and increase your risk of infection.

How long after breast reduction can I take a bath?

  • Wait until your incisions have healed – about 4 to 8 weeks

How long does swelling last after breast reduction?

  • Swelling after breast reduction can last for about three to four months. This can be controlled by wearing compression garments and taking the prescribed medications. In addition, further swelling can also be prevented by avoiding heavy lifting and other vigorous activities.

How long after a breast reduction can you exercise?

  • You should wait until instructed by your surgeon. In the first few days after your procedure, you will be allowed to do light walking exercises to prevent blood clots and improve your blood circulation. It is usually around 3-4 weeks before you can start gentle exercises. More strenuous exercises may start around 8-12 weeks. Read more Guide to Exercise after Breast Reduction Surgery.

How long after breast reduction can I have sex?

  • After breast reduction surgery, it is recommended that you wait at least three weeks before having sexual intercourse.

How long after breast reduction can I wear an underwire bra?

  • You need to wait 3-6 months before wearing an underwire bra as it could lead to a breast injury.

When can I run after breast reduction?

  • You can resume running after 6 weeks. However, you should observe your body for any untoward signs and symptoms such as uncontrolled bleeding, significant pain, and changes in breast sensation.

When can I swim after breast reduction?

  • Swimming should only be done after 2 months post surgery.

When can you lift weights after breast reduction?

  • You will be allowed to engage in activities that require lifting 6 weeks after your breast reduction. Start gently.

What bra should I wear after breast reduction?

  • You should wear a support bra without an underwire. This prevents further injury to your breasts.

How tight should a sports bra be after breast reduction?

  • Your bra should be snug fit but not too tight. When engaging in different activities, you should not feel any discomfort or pressure when wearing your sports bra.

When can you sleep on your side after breast reduction?

  • It is recommended that you wait for 2-4 weeks before sleeping on your side.

Why is my stomach so bloated after breast reduction?

  • During your operation, you will receive intravenous fluids to replenish your body’s electrolyte levels. This will also allow your surgeon to administer medications. Administration of this fluid can cause some bloating as your body regulates its fluid levels postoperatively. You may also become constipated – probiotics and drinking fluids may help.

How do I get feeling back in my nipples after breast reduction?

  • Within 2-3 months, your nipple sensitivity will be naturally restored. It is normal to feel changes in the sensation of your nipples after a breast reduction but this is only temporary. If your nipple sensitivity is not restored after 2-3 months, you should consult with your surgeon to determine the best course of action.

How do I reduce breast reduction scars?

  • There are a number of treatments to minimise scars after breast reduction. Incision type, Lasers and Products can help. Scar gels may be used for fresh or old scars to help reduce their appearance. Over time, scars typically fade in color and even shrink in size. Your surgeon will recommend that you use a scar gel as soon as the incision heals. Some patients get raised, hypertrophic or keloid scars which require special treatments.

Breast Reduction FAQs about Concerns & Risks

 Can you breastfeed after a breast reduction?

  • There is a high chance that you will still be able to breastfeed after a breast reduction surgery. Dr Turner will use special techniques to preserve your milk ducts so that your breastfeeding ability is much less likely to be affected.

Are breast reductions permanent?

  • Yes, the tissues removed from breast reduction will never grow back. However, significant weight gain and pregnancy can still affect the results of a breast reduction by increasing the size of your breasts with extra fat.

Do breasts grow back after reduction?

  • They are unlikely to grow back to the same large size. However, factors such as pregnancy and significant weight gain can cause your breasts to get bigger again.

Is breast reduction safe?

  • Breast reduction is considered a safe and effective procedure to reduce the size of the breasts. It typically has a lower risk of complications if performed by a qualified breast expert and plastic surgeon.

Can you have a second breast reduction surgery?

  • Yes, it is possible. If performed by an experienced surgeon, your second breast reduction surgery can improve sagging or heavy breasts after further childbirth or weight fluctuations.

Does breast reduction affect pregnancy?

  • No, you can still get pregnant after a breast reduction.

Will pregnancy ruin breast reduction?

  • Pregnancy can induce many changes to your body so it can affect the results of your breast reduction. Specifically, breast changes such as a significant increase in breast size during pregnancy can ruin the results of your breast reduction. This is the reason why this procedure is recommended for women who have finished having children.

What does a hematoma look like after breast reduction?

  • Your breast will look like it has a large bruise. This is only temporary and can resolve after a few weeks. This can caused by internal bleeding and may require drainage or re-operation.

Breast Reduction Celebrity FAQs

Did Ariel Winter get a breast reduction?

  • Yes, she had it when she was only 17 years old. Her breast size was reduced from a 32F to a 34D.

Did Simona Halep have a breast reduction?

  • Yes, she underwent breast reduction because she felt that her breasts were affecting her career in tennis. She also opted to have breasts reduced from a 34DD to a 34C when she was 17 years old to improve her game.

Did Scarlett Johansson get a breast reduction?

  • Yes, she underwent several plastic surgeries and breast reduction was just one of those.

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

  • Enquire to find out more about your surgery
  • Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A GP Referral is required to Consult with Dr Turner (under new AHPRA Regulations)
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book Your Consultation

  • You can book your initial consultation by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment


  • To find out more information about surgery you can book a FREE 15-minute phone conversation with our Friendly Patient Care team via Calendly- Book Consultant 1 or Book Consultant 2

Contact us or call on  1300 437 758  to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.

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