Is breast reduction surgery for you? Our plastic surgeon explains

  • cairns plastic surgery

Breast augmentation is one of the most common breast procedures we’re asked about here at Cairns Plastic Surgery.

Many women opt for this procedure to improve their self-confidence, or get the body they’ve always wanted.

However, not all women opt for augmentation – many choose the opposite!

Plastic surgery is all about helping you get the body YOU want. 

It’s highly individual – in many cases, women choose breast reduction surgery instead (also known as mammaplasty).

How does breast reduction surgery work?

Breast reduction is one of the most common breast procedures we perform, and has improved the quality of life of women of all ages, boosting their self-esteem and physical well being.

Breast reduction surgery removes excess fat, skin, and glandular tissue, which reduces the size of the breast, allowing women to achieve their preferred bust line.

This can help with issues such as…

Upper back and neck pain

Breast size and shape can often be associated with significant upper back and neck pain. 

This is because large breasts add extra weight, and can cause the muscles to strain.

What’s more, they can also result in poor posture and discomfort.

For some women, this discomfort and pain can stop them from working and enjoying their hobbies and other favourite activities.

Opting for mammaplasty can reduce breasts to a more manageable size (better suited to your frame), helping to reduce these problems.

Trouble participating in sports

When breasts are too heavy, it can result in trouble participating in certain sports and activities. Some sports may simply be too awkward to compete in if you have a larger chest.

As a result, many women struggle to comfortably exercise or participate in physical activity like sports. They are left feeling uncomfortable and often in pain, as their large breasts are simply too difficult to manage during exercise. 

Women who feel their fitness regime has been affected by their large breasts may consider breast reduction surgery to improve comfort and allow them to comfortably exercise.


It isn’t uncommon for women to feel embarrassment as a result of having large breasts.

Some women also may feel like they attract unwanted attention as a result of their breast size.

Some women have even reported instances of bullying prompted by their large breasts.

Considerations for breast reduction surgery

Maintain a healthy weight

Before considering this surgical procedure, young women will be assessed according to their weight.

As a general rule, we recommend maintaining a healthy weight and good diet before going into any procedure in order to minimise the chance of complications.

Losing weight may be recommended before your surgery, and we may also take a look at your medical history.

Pain management

It isn’t uncommon for plastic surgery procedures to result in some degree of pain or discomfort during your recovery.

While in most cases this pain isn’t severe, it can affect your everyday life.

It’s important that you take adequate time off work in order to properly heal, and not to rush back to your day-to-day activities (work, exercise, and even looking after the kids).

Your surgeon will talk you through your recovery program and if you have any questions about recovery before or after surgery, we’re always just a phone call away!

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Realistic expectations 

As with any life-changing procedure, it’s important that you know what to expect going in.

During the consultation process, your plastic surgeon will ensure that you’re fully aware of the process, including what you expect.

Breast reduction surgery starts with an incision (we carefully choose an area to minimise visible scarring).

Afterwards, excess fat, tissue, and skin are removed, and the remaining skin is tightened around the newly contoured (and smaller!) breast.

After the procedure, you may experience some swelling, bruising and discomfort that typically goes away after two weeks. 

Want to learn more? Book a complementary information session with a Cairns Plastic Surgery nurse to find out if breast reduction surgery may be for you. 


Your breasts won’t recover overnight. After breast reduction surgery, you will still need to wait – sometimes up to six months to one year – before your breasts settle and fully heal. 

To help you get through the recovery process, your plastic surgeon will help create an individualised recovery plan that accounts for the most likely risks you’ll face.

In addition to modifying your routine, we’ll also prescribe aids like compression garments to ensure optimal healing. 


Obviously, you’ll want your procedure carried out by a qualified and reliable surgeon.

However, that isn’t the only thing you should look for in a practitioner – you should also ensure that you’re comfortable with your plastic surgeon.

Plastic surgery can be life-changing. However, it can also feel extremely personal, and can leave you feeling vulnerable and exposed.

It’s a totally natural reaction to feel self-conscious – that’s why we suggest choosing a surgeon who makes you feel comfortable.

At Cairns Plastic Surgery, the experience means everything.

From your initial meeting with a Cairns nurse through to post operative appointments 12 months beyond your surgery, we’re with you every step of the way.

Breast reduction for teens and young women

Mammaplasty is a surgical procedure that is proven to be safe and effective, and which has helped countless women improve their mental wellbeing and self-confidence.

But what about teenagers and young women?

According to Queensland law, there are several tests that need to be satisfied before plastic surgery can be performed on a female who’s aged under 18:

  • They must be able to provide informed consent, and prove that they understand what they’re about to undergo
  • In other cases, they may also need parental consent as well
  • The surgeon needs to consider the patient’s physical and psychological health
  • The procedure cannot reasonably be delayed until they’re 18

According to the Australian Medical Association, patients under 18 “should not have procedures to modify or enhance physical appearance” unless it is in their best “medical and psychological interests” or expressly prescribed by a doctor or psychologist.

We suggest talking to a plastic surgeon to determine if breast reduction surgery may be suitable for your teenager.

We’ll evaluate your case to see whether it satisfies the legal requirements, and connect you with other specialists if there are alternatives.

Contact Cairns Plastic Surgery today

Dr Hertess and her team understand that plastic surgery is a major decision, and one that isn’t made lightly.

For more information on mammoplasty, we invite you to book a complimentary information session with one of our nurses.

Our no-strings-attached meeting will cover all your concerns and discomfort, and help determine whether breast reduction surgery is the right pathway for you.

Contact Cairns Plastic Surgery to book this free meeting today. Call (07) 4031 5755 or fill in this enquiry form and we will be in touch!