What is a breast reduction?

A breast reduction is a procedure that decreases the size of the breast. People with disproportionately large breasts can experience neck pain, back pain, and other physical symptoms. Women who undergo breast reductions can notice physical and psychological benefits from the surgery. Men can also have a breast reduction. Men who have conditions like gynecomastia (a condition where male breasts are abnormally enlarged) may also seek a breast reduction.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/10/2014.


  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Breast Reduction: Reduction Mammaplasty Accessed 4/11/2014.
  • Vasconez HC, Habash A. Chapter 41. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. In: Doherty GM. eds. CURRENT Diagnosis & Treatment: Surgery, 13e. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2010. library.ccf.org Accessed 4/11/2014.
  • Gonzalez MA, Glickman LT, Aladegbami B, Simpson RL. Quality of life after breast reduction surgery: a 10-year retrospective analysis using the Breast Q questionnaire: does breast size matter?. Ann Plast Surg. 2012;69(4):361-3.

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