Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Average Cost of Breast Reduction Surgery and Lift

This article will go over the factors that affect how much a breast reduction with lift costs and what you can expect to pay if you choose this surgery.

The price of a breast reduction is variable and depends on the surgeon, the procedure and the hospital. The cost of a breast reduction can vary from $5,000 to $15,000, with an additional fee for liposuction if needed. If you also want to have a lift at the same time as your breast reduction, costs will increase significantly because there are more incisions required during this procedure (from three to five).

Average Cost of Breast Reduction Surgery and Lift

A breast reduction with lift is a procedure where excess tissue is removed from the breasts and the nipples are repositioned to a higher position. Insurance coverage for breast reduction surgery varies greatly by state, but patients are often required to pay a copayment (an amount paid before treatment), which can be up to $300 per visit.

When you have insurance, it’s possible that your health plan will cover part or all of the costs of breast reduction surgery. However, many plans only cover medical procedures if they’re medically necessary—and some may require pre-authorization from your doctor before any benefits kick in. In other words: it may not be worth applying for insurance unless you think you’ll need the coverage later on down the road!

If you don’t have insurance through work or another source like Medicare or Medicaid, then finding affordable financing options may be difficult because most companies require proof of good credit before extending credit lines as low as $5,000—the average cost of removing excess tissue without lifting skin along with each implant (which would make them much less expensive). If this sounds like information overload right now…you’re not alone! Here’s what we recommend doing next:

Before You Get a Breast Reduction

Before you get a breast reduction and lift, there are several things to consider. You should be in good health, with no chronic illnesses or other medical conditions that would complicate the surgery or recovery process. You should understand that even with successful surgery, your breasts will never look exactly the same as they did before you had children or gained weight. And most importantly, you need to trust your surgeon—your doctor will be responsible not just for helping you achieve the look you want but also for making sure everything goes smoothly during and after your procedure.

After Your Breast Reduction

After your breast reduction, you will be in the hospital for a few hours, where you can be monitored for any complications. The average amount of time spent in recovery is 2-3 days in the hospital and 4 to 6 weeks at home. In addition to being sore for a few weeks after surgery, you may experience swelling and bruising. You’ll need to wear a compression garment for up to six weeks following your procedure—and sometimes longer if you have significant swelling during that time—in order to help minimize swelling while promoting healing.

You should avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise during this time period as well; it’s also recommended that you avoid sun exposure (don’t lie out on the beach) and keep away from hot tubs or saunas until your doctor gives you permission. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions regarding all of these things before releasing you from their care

Breast Reduction Risks and Complications

  • Risks and complications of breast reduction surgery:
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Numbness or loss of sensation in the nipple area
  • Breast asymmetry (lopsided breasts)
  • Possible risks associated with a breast reduction with lift:
  • Bruising, swelling, and/or bleeding at the incision site(s). This is normal and will typically go away after a few weeks. If it doesn’t go away or gets worse, call your doctor immediately. You may need additional treatment to make sure you heal properly after surgery. After this point, if you notice any redness around one or both incisions that gets worse over time instead of better (pinkish/purplish color), this could indicate infection developing inside your body cavity called cellulitis which requires immediate medical attention!
  • Possible risks associated with a breast reduction without lift (often called “simple”):

tissue damage caused by fat necrosis; scar tissue can form over time causing pain and irritation

deformity due to uneven skin distribution between breasts or poor choice in implant size for frame size – see below for more on choosing an appropriate implant size

Related FAQs

  • What is the average cost of a breast reduction?
  • What is the average cost of breast reduction in Los Angeles?
  • How much does breast reduction surgery with insurance cost?
  • How much does breast reduction surgery without insurance cost?

Breast Reduction Surgery Cost Near Me

Your surgeon’s fees, facility fees and anesthesia are all included in the surgery price.

  • Doctor’s fee: This can vary from $2,500 to $5,000.
  • Medical supplies: These might include sutures and gauze bandages. If a drain is needed after surgery (which allows excess fluid to drain away), this will also be included in your final bill.
  • Follow-up visits: Some doctors charge extra for follow-up visits, but many offer them free of charge to patients who’ve had procedures done at their office or hospital.

We hope you’re feeling less nervous about your breast reduction and lift! If you have any more questions or would like to discuss the cost of surgery with one of our experts, contact us today. We’ll be happy to give you a consultation at no charge and answer any questions that may arise during this process.

Breast Reduction Surgery Cost without Insurance

  • There are various cosmetic and medical reasons someone might seek a breast reduction.
  • If you’re considering it, you’re probably wondering how much the surgery costs, how the scar heals, and how long recovery lasts.
  • Two board-certified plastic surgeons are answering all of your breast reduction questions.

Whether you’re interested in getting a breast reduction for aesthetic reasons or because you’re experiencing any kind of discomfort, it can be a life-changing surgery. The procedure is performed on people across all ages, starting at 18 — but you may also get it younger with parental consent. If you don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

Just like with a breast augmentation, there are a number of reasons a breast reduction surgery might be right for you. “Common cosmetic reasons that a patient may choose to undergo breast-reduction surgery are they feel their breasts are too large and don’t fit their frame, they are self-conscious about them, or they want to feel more confident in their clothing,” Smita Ramanadham, MD, FACS a double board-certified plastic surgeon, tells POPSUGAR. “Some may even find it difficult to exercise or participate in sports due to the size of their breasts.”

On the other hand, there are also medically-necessary reasons for a breast reduction. “[It] can help resolve back, neck, [and] shoulder problems a patient may be experiencing such as pain, discomfort, shoulder grooving, and muscle spasm of the neck and trapezius muscles,” says Jennifer Walden, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and the president of The Aesthetic Society.

No matter your reasoning, we have the answers to all the most common questions on the procedure. From just how much breast reduction surgery costs (and whether or not it’s covered by insurance) to what you can expect during and after the surgery, keep reading to get some clarity from two plastic surgeons.

Breast Reduction Surgery Prerequisites

Like with all plastic surgery procedures, your breast reduction will start with a consultation. This preliminary meeting covers whether you’re a good candidate for the surgery health-wise and whether the surgery is right for you overall. “A preoperative visit facilitates the lab work and other prerequisites that may be needed to ensure patients are in an optimal state of health with the lowest risk of complications,” Dr. Walden.

In general, it’s recommended that you’re over the age of 18 years old and haven’t had any breast growth for at least six months. “They may ask about medication use and smoking history,” says Dr. Smita. “They will also assess your risk for breast cancer and may require a mammogram be performed based on these risk factors.”

Should you be cleared for surgery, this is when the doctor will take before photos, provide an estimate on cost, and help you schedule it.

Breast Reduction Surgery Cost

Like any plastic or cosmetic procedure, the cost for a breast reduction varies depending on where you’re located geographically and your specific surgeon. It also depends on whether or not your surgery is covered by insurance (more on that below). If you’re paying for your breast reduction without insurance, you can expect to pay approximately $6,000 total, which is the reported average cost, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Is Breast Reduction Surgery Covered By Insurance?

As we previously covered, there are two different categories of reasoning for seeking breast reduction: cosmetic and medical. If you’re seeking surgery for cosmetic reasons, unfortunately, insurance will not cover it. A medically-necessary procedure, on the other hand, may qualify — but the process isn’t easy.

“If you have symptoms from your large breasts, however, and are attempting to go through insurance, it’s best to start your process with your primary care doctor or OB/GYN,” says Dr. Smita. “They can best treat your symptoms and if no improvement is achieved, evaluation by a plastic surgeon is recommended.”

If you’re attempting to get insurance coverage for this procedure, you’ll need to fit certain criteria and have a documented medical history of breast-related ailments. Even still, Dr. Walden says it used to be a bit easier to go through insurance for a medically-driven breast reduction, but that’s no longer the case. “Historically, breast reduction procedures, especially those requiring up to one to two pounds of tissue being removed from each breast, were covered by insurance with the appropriately provided medical documentation,” she says. Now, however, many third-party companies are declining to do so.

Breast Reduction Surgery Risks

As it goes with any plastic surgery procedure, there are a handful of risks associated with breast reduction. This includes your usual post-op bruising and scarring, as well as infection, and wound-healing complications associated with a lack of blood supply to the area. Additionally, Dr. Smita lists that “the main risks include asymmetry, loss of nipple sensation, nipple loss, [and] inability to breastfeed.” Smokers experience an increased risk of these complications. If you’re concerned about any of the aforementioned dangers, you should address them with your surgeon early on.

What to Expect During Breast Reduction Surgery

During your first or second meeting with your doctor, you’ll go over your desired end result. “During a consultation for breast reduction surgery, your surgeon will ask about your goals for surgery, including ideal new size,” says Dr. Smita.

On the day of the surgery, you should prepare to be at the hospital or operating center for roughly six hours. After you’re prepped for surgery and your doctor reviews your surgical plan with you, you’ll be put under anesthesia and your plastic surgeon will get to work.

“After the procedure, an hour is typically needed for the patient’s post-anesthesia recovery and caregiver instructions,” says Dr. Walden. “They awake in a bra or ace wrap dressing with postoperative instructions.” (More on those specific instructions later.)

Breast Reduction Surgery Before and After

The post-surgery instructions for a breast reduction are similar to other chest procedures. “This surgery is generally very well tolerated with minimal pain or discomfort,” says Dr. Smita. “While patients are sent home with pain medications, most patients will stop their use within the first few days after surgery.”

You may be sent home after your breast reduction surgery with drains to “gently rid you of any excess fluid after the surgery and sutures/surgical glue, which will need to be removed between weeks one to two, typically,” says Dr. Walden.

It’s recommended that you take two weeks away from work post-op, and for the first four to six weeks, you should restrict your activity. “Avoid overusing [your] arms, strenuous exercise, heavy lifting, and swimming or bathing submerged in water,” says Dr. Walden. Walking, however, is encouraged immediately.

You won’t be able to wear underwire bras for the first six weeks — instead, you’ll be given a special, front-clasping post-op bra. At the six-week mark, you’ll go back for a follow-up appointment. “Six months and even more so, one year postoperative is when the final results are seen best,” says Dr. Walden.

Breast Reduction Scars

Your breast reduction surgery will leave you with a small scar that resembles an anchor. “They are present around the areolae extending vertically down the breast mound and end at the inframammary crease underneath the breasts,” says Dr. Walden. “The way incisions heal and the consistency and coloration of a scar is based upon one’s own genetics of healing and skin type, and scars take a good 12 to 18 months for fully fade, flatten, and mature.”

These scars are permanent, but you can improve the appearance of your surgical scars by using products to help fade them during the healing process. “If indicated by a thickened or discolored scar, we employ the use of microneedling, profractional laser, broadband light, pigment lightening creams, steroid injections, [and] silicone compression strips,” says Dr. Walden, but usually your body just needs time.

Breast reduction weight requirements

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, removes fat, breast tissue and skin from the breasts. For those with large breasts, breast reduction surgery can ease discomfort and improve appearance.

Breast reduction surgery might also help improve self-image and the ability to take part in physical activities.

If you’re thinking of breast reduction surgery, talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon. It’s important to understand what’s involved with breast reduction surgery, including possible risks and complications. It’s also important to know what the surgery can and can’t do.

Why it’s done

Breast reduction surgery is meant for people who have large breasts that cause the following:

  • Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Shoulder grooves from bra straps
  • Chronic rash or skin irritation under the breasts
  • Nerve pain
  • Not being able to take part in some activities
  • Poor self-image due to large breasts
  • Trouble fitting into bras and clothing

Breast reduction surgery generally isn’t recommended for people who:

  • Smoke
  • Are very obese
  • Don’t want scars on the breasts

You can have breast reduction surgery at any age — sometimes even as a teenager. But breasts that aren’t yet fully grown might need a second surgery later in life.

Reasons to postpone breast reduction surgery include:

  • Planning to have children. Breastfeeding might be challenging after breast reduction surgery. However, certain surgical techniques can help keep the ability to breastfeed.
  • Planning to lose weight. Losing weight can often result in changes to breast size.


Breast reduction surgery has the same risks as other major surgeries — bleeding, infection and a bad reaction to the anesthesia. Other possible risks include:

  • Bruising, which is temporary
  • Scarring
  • Difficulty or inability to breastfeed
  • Differences in the size, shape, and look of the left and right breasts
  • Not being happy with the results
  • Rarely, losing the nipples and skin around the nipples or the feeling in them

How you prepare

Your plastic surgeon will likely:

  • Look at your medical history and overall health
  • Discuss what size you want your breasts to be and how you want them to look after the surgery
  • Describe the surgery and its risks and benefits, including likely scarring and possible loss of feeling
  • Examine and measure your breasts
  • Take photographs of your breasts for your medical record
  • Explain the type of medicine used to put you to sleep during surgery

Planning breast reduction surgery might require:

  • A mammogram
  • Not smoking for at least six weeks before and after surgery
  • Not taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements, to control bleeding during surgery

Usually, you can go home the day of the surgery. Arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital.

What you can expect

Breast reduction surgery is usually done under general anesthesia, either in a hospital or outpatient surgical center.

During the procedure

Incisions made for breast reduction surgery

The method used to reduce the size of your breasts can vary. The process might include:

  • Surgery through incisions
  • Liposuction to remove excess fat in the breasts

The surgeon usually:

  • Makes an incision around the nipple and areola and down each breast
  • Removes excess breast tissue, fat and skin to reduce the size of each breast
  • Reshapes the breast and resets the nipple and area around it, also known as the areola

The nipple and the area around it usually stay attached to the breast. For very large breasts, the surgeon might need to remove them and add on a new nipple.

Your surgeon will try to make your breasts look alike, but breast size and shape might vary somewhat. The size of the areola also might be smaller. The incision scars will fade over time, but they won’t completely go away.

After the procedure

Immediately after surgery:

  • The breasts are covered with bandages and a surgical bra to hold them in place
  • A tube might be placed under each arm to drain any extra blood or fluid
  • You may receive medicine for pain and medicine to decrease the risk of infection

For the first days or week after surgery:

  • The breasts will probably feel tender
  • The breasts might be swollen and bruised
  • A surgical bra that closes in front is worn to support the breasts

After that:

  • Limit physical activity for 4 to 6 weeks while the breasts heal
  • Wear an approved surgical bra at all times to allow the breasts to heal and reduce swelling

Scarring fades over time. You will need a follow-up visit with your surgeon to check your recovery.


Successful breast reduction surgery can relieve pain in the upper back, neck and shoulders. It might also increase the ability to take part in physical activities and promote a better self-image.

Results will show right away, but it can take months for the swelling to completely go down and the surgical scars to fade. The final result generally lasts a long time. But aging, changes in weight, pregnancy and other factors can change breast shape and size.

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