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Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery may help patients decrease back and shoulder pain by reducing breast size


Complementary Surgeries for breast reduction

Breast reduction surgery is often combined with a tummy tuck surgery for more dramatic, body contouring results. For further information on combining your breast reduction with another surgery, please discuss with Dr. Trevor Brooks at the time of your consultation.

    • ​In order to set up your initial consultation you will need to see your family doctor or a walk-in clinic doctor for a referral letter. The referral process is helpful because your family doctor knows your medical history, family history and your BMI (body mass index).

    • If you are working towards meeting a weight loss goal, or quitting smoking, please keep in mind your family doctor may hold off on sending your referral letter to Dr. Brooks.

    • Dr. Brooks has some requirements to ensure patients receive the best outcome from the surgery, and your family physician knows these requirements. Dr. Brooks will see patients for consultations if their BMI is under 32, but the surgery will not occur until your BMI is under 30. If you are unsure what your BMI is, click here and input your information, or call our clinic patient coordinators to assist you.

    • It’s important to note that Alberta Health Services (AHS) requires at least 300g of tissue per breast needed for a reduction or balancing reduction to qualify as a covered (no fee to the patient) surgery.

    • At the time of your initial consult, you will meet with Dr. Brooks to discuss your breast reduction goals in detail. The surgical steps are explained, your reduction options are presented and all your questions are answered. 

    • Watch this video of a consultation with Dr. Brooks to know what to expect.

    • If you are still working on your weight loss goals at the time of the consult, you are reminded that you have one year to book your surgery, or you will need to get a new referral letter and have another consultation.

    • General anesthesia is used so you will be extremely comfortable and asleep during the surgery.

    • Incisions will most often be made around your nipple, from the base of your nipple down to the breast crease, or directly on the skin surface of the breast, above and below your nipple. Dr. Brooks chooses the best incision option for you.

    • Once the incision is made, the breast is reduced in size and reshaped.

    • The consultation video referenced above shows images of and describes the scars you can anticipate.

    • A breast reduction surgery typically takes 2-3 hours to perform.  

    • Call Dr. Brooks or go to a walk-in-clinic if you have any of the following:

      • A fever over 37 degrees.

      • Yellow, green or foul-smelling drainage.

      • A large red area around the incision.

      • An allergic reaction to the medications, or dressings (this could be shortness of breath, a rash/redness, hives, etc.)

    • You must stay in Medicine Hat for 1-3 days post-surgery, as per Dr. Brooks, due to post-surgery complications that could occur. This policy is in place for other procedures as well.

    • Once you are awake from the surgery, and our recovery team has cleared you to go, your arranged ride can drive you home.

    • Your chest will feel sore for the first 3-7 days, your pain medication will help alleviate any discomfort.

    • Your follow up appointment:

      • Dr. Brooks will want to see you 15-20 days after your surgery. To ensure you get in within this time, please call 403-487-0460 promptly after your surgery to set the appointment.

    • Dressing/Bandages after surgery:

      • Your dressings applied in the operating room should remain on, dry and in tact for 5-7 days following surgery. You should not shower during this time.

      • You will see the nurses at Day Surgery Medicine Hat (at MHRH 2nd floor) 7-8 days after your surgery for a dressing change. 

      • You may shower the day after the nurses see you. Dry the area by patting with a clean towel or allowing to air dry. After each shower, place a very thin layer of Polysporin on the incisions. If you have Steri-strips, let them fall off on their own.

      • There will be bloody drainage on the dressings, this is normal.

      • If bleeding occurs, hold constant & firm pressure for 10 minutes with a clean towel. If bleeding continues and cannot be stopped, seek emergency care and then contact Dr. Brooks to inform him.

      • Do not submerge the area in water for 3 weeks (no baths, hot tubs, pools, ocean/lake water). Your sutures are dissolvable and submerging them in water could open your incision up.

      • Once the outer dressings are removed, the bra from you were put in, in the OR, or a well-fitting support bra (with no underwire) should be worn 24 hours a day until Dr. Brooks instructs otherwise. *If you take it off to launder it, please rest during that time.*

    • Medication after surgery:

      • Take your regular medication as prescribed (unless Dr. Brooks has specifically instructed you otherwise). Typically a pain medication and an antibiotic will be prescribed after surgery.

      • Do not drive while taking the pain medication.

      • Make sure to finish the entire antibiotic prescription.

      • Once done the pain prescription, you may use acetaminophen (Tylenol), unless Dr. Brooks has instructed you otherwise.

      • Avoid ibuprofen (Advil) and inflammatory medication (Aleve) for the first 4 days.

    • Return to work after surgery:

      • Most patients are able to return to work 3-4 weeks after the surgery. 

      • People with jobs that require heavy lifting may require more time before returning to full duties. We can provide you with a work note.

    • Activity after surgery:

      • You should take it easy for the first week but you need to be up and walking around 4-5 times/day to decrease the risk of blood clots. Do not raise your arms above your shoulders for the first week.

      • Swelling is normal. For the first week keep your torso elevated with pillows while sleeping on either your back or side. Continue on your back or side for the first 4 weeks. If comfortable, you may sleep on your stomach after 4 weeks.

      • Beginning the second week of recovery, you may resume a full range of motion with your arms, as your pain tolerance permits.

      • Avoid lifting, pushing and/or pulling any object heavier than 10 lbs for the first 4 weeks (for reference, a 4L milk jug is 9 lbs).

      • Avoid sexual activity for the first 2 weeks, and then be carful for the next 2 weeks.

      • Do not do sports, heavy house/yard work, or use exercise equipment until 4-6 weeks after surgery or when Dr. Brooks has given you the go ahead.

      • You may begin scar massage at 3 weeks (if there are no open areas to the incision). Use firm pressure and cream (Vitamin A, Vitamin E or Aloe Vera are all excellent choices), and push against the direction fo the scar (perpendicular).

      • A high quality vitamin and silicone scar gel is available at Dr. Brooks’ office, but there are many available at most pharmacies as over-the-counter products.

    • Sunshine:

      • After 3 weeks, if your surgical site is to be exposed to sun, apply an SPF 45 or higher sunscreen and for at least 1 year after continue to do so to prevent the scar from changing to a darker colour.

    • Diet after surgery:

      • Resume your regular diet.

      • Drink plenty of fluids.

      • Stay away from alcoholic beverages for 1 week.

      • Limit caffeinated beverages for 1 week.

      • Avoid smoking/vaping for 3 months before and 6 weeks after surery for better wound healing. Nicotine constricts blood vessels.

What to expect from breast reduction surgery

What is Breast reduction surgery?

A breast reduction surgery is performed to restore your comfort by reducing the size of your breasts. It involves Dr. Brooks removing excess fat, tissue and skin to alleviate the discomfort you may be experiencing in your shoulders, neck, and back which is a common concern with large breasts.


There are many reasons why someone is considering breast reduction surgery:

  • Reducing neck, back and shoulder pain

  • Improving self-confidence about breast size

  • Decreasing breast size to be in proportion with body frame

  • Redirecting nipple position

  • Relieving chafing and skin irritation caused by sagging breast skin

  • Balancing the size of asymmetrical breasts

Results of Dr. Trevor Brooks’ surgeries can be viewed on his social media feed.

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