Breast Reduction

Certain individuals suffer from excessive breast size, and breast reduction is a surgical procedure recommended by Dr. Hankins used to relieve typically large, pendulous breasts. These patients suffer daily with physical pain and often embarrassment and even lack of self-confidence. This type of procedure is not usually performed on patients until the breasts are fully developed, but in certain cases it can be performed earlier if the breasts are severely interfering with lifestyle or normal daily routines. Neck and back pain, skin irritations, shoulder grooves, breathing difficulties and poor posture are all common medical problems associated with larger breast size. Breast reduction relieves these issues and provides physical relief and a better appearance of the patients’ breasts.

Be assured, Dr. Hankins will meet with each patient during a personal consultation on breast reduction to discuss surgical procedures, risks, options, care after surgery. At this time, our plastic surgeon will perform a physical exam and discuss the patient’s medical history. Some considerations the patient and plastic surgeon will review is current breast tissue and size, age, position of the breasts, sizing of the nipples, etc. Based on this thorough exam process, Dr. Hankins Plastic Surgery will be able to provide you with the best procedure necessary so you will receive ideal results desired.

The costs associated with breast reduction surgery may be covered by some insurance plans. While Dr. Hankins does not participate in any insurance plans, he does perform surgeries for enrolled patients. Our office recommends contacting your insurance company first to see if a pre-authorization is necessary to continue in the breast reduction process.  Our staff would be more than happy to discuss options with you.


Breast reduction has certain risks involved as with any plastic surgery procedure. Risk can include the following:  bleeding, infection, scarring, numbness, reaction to the anesthesia, wound healing problems, asymmetry, inability to breast-feed and disappointment with the size of breasts after surgery.  Dr. Hankins will make sure his patients are fully aware of all surgery risks prior to moving forward with any procedure.

Prior to Surgery

Dr. Hankins will request lab work from each patient prior to surgery. Patients might also be required to have a mammogram, electrocardiogram or chest x-ray before breast reduction surgery, depending upon their medical history.  Our staff at Dr. Hankins Plastic Surgery will communicate to patients guidelines on how to prepare for breast reduction surgery, such as what to eat, drink, restrictions on smoking and taking medications.  This is an outpatient surgery, and each patient must have proper transportation after surgery and a caregiver for several days following this procedure.


Dr. Hankins performs the common Vertical or Short-Scar Technique which is the use of an incision around the areola and an incision lengthening downward in a “lollipop” shaped scar. With these Dr. Hankins is able to remove excess fat, skin and breast tissue at the same time repositioning the nipple and areola in a higher position. The skin is re-draped over the breast tissue, allowing improved shape and contour.  Dr. Hankins might also use liposuction to remove breast tissue from the armpits or lateral breast if necessary.  There will be no stitches to remove after the surgery.

After Surgery

Patients go home wrapped in an ACE bandage. Pain and discomfort for approximately one week following surgery. Dr. Hankins will ask you to return to the office after 24-48 hours so he may remove the bandage, examine the suture lines, and then a support bra will be applied to be worn 24 hours per day until swelling resolves.  Patients are able to shower 24-48 hours after surgery and bruising and swelling will be apparent at this time.

Dr. Hankins reminds patients that your breasts during a menstrual cycle may become swollen and tender or have shooting pain with a loss of sensation in the nipples and/or breast tissue. This is normal for patients, and for most these symptoms go away, however, patients are cautioned that there is a risk of numbness that does continue.

After breast reduction surgery, patients cannot lift anything heavy for four weeks.  Dr. Hankins does like to see patients being somewhat active, which helps in the healing process.  After about two weeks, patients should be able to get back to their normal daily schedule.  Exercise, depending upon patient energy levels, should be limited to stretching, bending and light activity while wearing good athletic bra support.  Sexual contact needs to be avoided for six weeks as arousal can cause incisions to swell, and there may be increased and painful sensitivity to the breasts.  A bit of drainage from the incisions is normal after surgery. Dr. Hankins needs to be made aware of any unusual pain, bleeding or swelling. Breasts will settle into their normal positioning after about 12 months. Dr. Hankins sees very pleased patients after this point in time, and patients feel and look so much better after breast reduction.