Is it Worth it to Have a Breast Reduction?
When you’re considering any elective medical procedure, you need to know the risks, and weigh them against the benefits. The choice of whether or not to have elective surgery is very personal, and every person will make their choice differently. Here, we’ll discuss the major risks and benefits of having male breast reduction surgery. If you want to learn more about what the procedure and the recovery are like, please visit Breast Reduction (Female): the Procedure and Recovery.
Please note that this page is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for qualified, individualized medical advice. You should discuss your potential elective surgery with your own doctor(s), including your primary care physician and the surgeon who will perform your surgery if you decide to proceed.
Any surgery has risks, and they should be carefully weighed before you decide to proceed. There is a chance of infection, which may require antibiotics and may also lead to a less aesthetically-pleasing result. There is also a chance of excessive bleeding during the surgery, which occasionally requires a blood transfusion. Some women react badly to anesthesia. There is a small risk of death due to any surgery. Although it’s important to be informed, these risks are small in most healthy people; talk with your surgeon to determine your personal risk.
There is also the risk that you won’t be happy with your breast reduction result. Your surgeon might remove too much or not enough tissue from the breasts. You can minimize this risk by choosing a surgeon who listens to you and tries to understand your goals well. Additionally, it’s neither possible nor desirable to remove every bit of fat from any area of the body; therefore, if you gain weight later, the fatty tissue in your breasts will grow just like the rest of your body’s fat tissue. It’s important to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to maintain the benefits of your breast reduction surgery. Your incisions may not heal well, leading to scars which aren’t aesthetically pleasing.
Some women experience changes in sensation in the breasts and/or nipples after breast surgery. This could include numbness or pain. It may not fully resolve after you heal from your surgery.
Women with extremely large breasts may experience a variety of negative effects from them. There is often back and neck pain from the weight of the breasts, and the bra straps may dig into the shoulders and upper back, causing additional pain. The breasts may interfere with your activities by getting in the way. Additionally, many women with very large breasts have a negative body image and experience a drop in self-esteem as a result of the large breast size. A breast reduction can reduce or eliminate these problems, allowing a woman to live a fuller, pain-free, more confident life.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average surgeon’s fee for a female breast reduction in 2013 was $5,165. This varies between surgeons and in different regions, so check with the surgeon you’re considering to find out the exact price. Additional costs, including the anesthesia, operating room fees, medications, and possibly additional items, may not be included in this fee. For more detail, please see our Breast Reduction (Female) Costs page.