Breast Reduction

Conveniently located to serve St. Louis, Missouri

breast reductionA breast reduction is a reconstructive procedure that may be covered by some insurance companies, depending on the weight of tissue removed. This is in contrast to a cosmetic breast lift/mastopexy procedure where minimal breast tissue is removed and the breast is reshaped and lifted. Breast reduction is not recommended for women under 16 years of age whose breasts have not matured, except in severe cases.

During breast reduction surgery, a significant amount of breast tissue is removed and the breast is completely reshaped and lifted in order to restore a more youthful appearing breast. This includes reducing the size of the nipple – areola complex if needed. Scars are placed around the areola and extend down vertically from the areola to the lower breast fold, in a “lollipop” shape. The incision may need to be extended horizontally and concealed in the lower breast fold in large breasts, in an “anchor” shape. This can help to elevate the breast to a more youthful position. The diameter of the breast is reduced if needed and the breast is lifted onto higher position on the chest.

Dr. Cabbabe will discuss the procedure in detail with you during your consultation. Depending on your insurance, pictures of your chest may need to be sent to the insurance company for review prior to their authorization.

Preparing for Surgery

Dr. Cabbabe will ask that you refrain from taking any aspirin, plavix, Coumadin, ibuprofen or any other type of blood thinner. If you are older than 40, a mammogram within one year prior to the procedure is recommended as part of normal health screening. Dr. Cabbabe strives to meet and exceed his patient’s expectations. If you decide to combine breast lift with breast augmentation, you will have an opportunity to try implants of various sizes inside a bra which will help you determine which size implant is best for you. Dr. Cabbabe will also measure your chest width to help you determine the best fit for you.

breast reduction
breast reconstruction

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Breast reduction surgery takes around 2-3 hours to perform, usually under general anesthesia. Antibiotics are given before the procedure and drains are rarely used. Patients are able to shower the next day and go home in a bra. Early range of motion is done with the arms. Patients will generally follow-up within 1 week and then approximately 3-4 weeks later and then in several months.

Nipple sensation and the ability to lactate are usually preserved in these procedures. Women are able to get mammograms after surgery and this does not interfere with breast cancer detection.


Recovery is approximately 1-2 weeks from a breast reduction procedure. Most women who have this procedure done will be up and about the next day, moving around although they may need pain medication occasionally, but most women state it was easier than they anticipated.

Dr. Cabbabe strives to make the procedure as easy and comfortable as possible for his patients. Before surgery, patients may receive anti-inflammatory pain medications that do not cause bleeding. At the time of surgery, local anesthesia numbing medicine is used that is long – lasting into the breast. After surgery, early range of motion is begun and pain medications are given.


Bleeding may occur after surgery and necessitate a return to the OR. Most women have asymmetry before surgery and minimal asymmetry may be present after surgery. Some of the skin may lose sensation, including potentially the nipple – areola complex although this is not common. There may be areas of skin that are slow to heal, including the nipple – areola complex. Finally, scars may become thick and irritated and require revision surgery.

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