What is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery, also called a reduction mammaplasty, both lifts and decreases heavy or overly large breasts. A typical breast reduction removes one-half to three-quarters of breast volume. Breast reduction is a godsend for many, as it often relieves neck and back pain, as well as improves their overall self-esteem.

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Why Choose Dr. Zenn?

  • Dr. Zenn is universally recognized as a master breast surgeon by his peers.
  • He is frequently invited to teach breast surgery techniques around the world.
  • Dr. Zenn has published several textbook chapters and articles on breast surgery technique.
  • He was honored as a Castle Connolly Top Doctor for Cosmetic Surgery.
  • He is among the best trained and experienced in breast reduction surgery of all Raleigh plastic surgeons.

Why Pursue A Breast Reduction?

Patients come to Dr. Zenn for breast reduction surgery for a variety of reasons:

  • Some have breasts that are just too big for their body. They are often “top-heavy” and have genetically disproportionate, overly-large breasts
  • Some find that their bodies have changed following pregnancy, weight gain, or as a result of aging
  • Many wish to return their breasts to a smaller size with a perkier, more youthful shape

Do Big Breasts Cause Problems In Your Life?

It is not uncommon for people with large breasts to live with daily discomfort and self-consciousness related to their chests. Those with heavy or outsized breasts frequently describe their struggle to find clothing styles or bras that fit well. Breast reduction allows them to more easily find bras and everyday clothes, which has an enormous impact on the quality of their lives. Some even choose to go bra-less for the first time ever.

“I received a breast reduction from Dr. Zenn about 1.5 years ago, and I can honestly say it was the best possible experience I could have ever imagined.” 

- Breast Reduction Patient

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The Difference With Dr. Zenn

Breast reduction surgery is highly artistic. After Dr. Zenn removes excess tissue, he must then shape the remaining breast. This is not a cookie-cutter or one size fits all procedure, as the breast contouring happens in real-time in the operating room. For great results, the operating surgeon must have an eye for aesthetics as well as great skill.

Dr. Zenn has extensive experience in the full range of reduction mammaplasty surgery techniques. Under his care, patients can expect excellent results that are symmetrical, attractive, and in harmony with the rest of their body. Because this surgery is both functional and cosmetic, it consistently produces some of his happiest and most appreciative patients. Not only do they look better, they feel better too.

Breast Reduction Surgery

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Breast Reduction Before & After

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Your Breast Reduction Consultation

During your initial consultation with Dr. Zenn, you will discuss your concerns and symptoms, as well as what you hope to achieve with breast reduction surgery. The primary goal of the consultation is for you and Dr. Zenn to develop a common understanding of the breast size you would like. Together you will develop a surgical plan based on shared goals, your body type, and his expertise.

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What Are Results Like After A Breast Reduction?

You may wonder if your breasts will look natural following breast reduction surgery, with special attention to their new shape and any possible incision scars. Dr. Zenn will review his extensive gallery of before and after photos with you, so you can see actual results on his patients with similar body types and objectives to your own. Dr. Zenn believes your breasts should look as beautiful in clothes as they do out of clothes. 

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A Calm And Supportive Environment

Dr. Zenn brings a “zen-like” bedside manner and a high degree of authenticity and transparency to every conversation he has with patients. Dr. Zenn takes care to answer any and all questions a patient may have because he wants you to be comfortable with your choice to have breast reduction surgery and feel very confident with your choice of surgeon.

Pregnant Or Planning To Become Pregnant?

Women who are planning future pregnancies may want to hold off on a reduction mammaplasty surgery for a few reasons. Breast reduction can impact the ability to breastfeed because the procedure often removes much of the breast gland and can affect nipple sensitivity. 

More importantly, the changes to the breast with pregnancy and breastfeeding can significantly change the size and shape of the breast, altering the results of your breast reduction surgery and possibly necessitating more surgery after to reshape your breasts. 

Recovery After A Breast Reduction

Most of Dr. Zenn’s patients are able to return to work or normal daily activities within one week of surgery. There will be swelling and bruising, but nothing visible in clothes. Patients will wear a sports bra 24/7 for the first 2 weeks to encourage a healthy recovery. Exercise and more intensive activities should be avoided until Dr. Zenn gives the approval, which typically comes during your one-week follow-up appointment.  All patients are encouraged to shower the first day after surgery and every day thereafter. Scar gel is provided and should be applied consistently for the first two months in order to minimize the appearance of scars long-term. Once you have fully healed,  you will undoubtedly enjoy a more comfortable and attractive new figure.

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Your Experience

Zenn Plastic Surgery patients will experience their procedure in a beautiful, state-of-the-art operating theatre at The Plastic Surgery Center (TPSC). Moreover, a board-certified anesthesiologist helps patients sleep safely and comfortably throughout the surgery. 

Most patients go home an hour after the completion of surgery. Pain medicine is an option, but most patients are surprised that they are actually very comfortable managing pain with over-the-counter painkillers such as Tylenol, Motrin, or Aleve.

Dr. Zenn's Breast Reduction Patient Reviews


It has been 8 years now since my breast reduction. Dr. Zenn was very patient and compassionate. He was thorough and sensitive. The cost was reasonable.


Dr. Zenn is an excellent surgeon. I had a bilateral breast reduction and this was by far the best medical care I have ever received. He is caring, explained the procedure in depth, and answered all my questions.


I cannot begin to explain what a compassionate and talented surgeon Dr Zenn is. Mine was not a cosmetic surgery. Dr Zenn had to complete a breast reduction procedure before I could begin my treatment for breast cancer.


From the first consultation through my recovery I was confident in the quality of care and skill of Dr. Zenn and his entire team. The surgery was very sensitive and personal and I can not say enough about the professionalism and genuine compassion I ...


I had the best experience with Dr Zenn and his Nurse, Jo Ann, makes it all the better. I had a breast reduction in 2013 when I was 20 years old. He wanted me to understand the whole process and made sure that I was comfortable with my decision to go ...

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Breast Reduction FAQs

What is the difference between a breast lift and a breast reduction?

Will breast reduction improve my neck and back pain?

Does insurance cover breast reduction surgery?

What is the difference between a breast lift and a breast reduction?

You should not be able to tell if someone had a breast lift or a breast reduction after surgery. Both should result in beautiful breasts, in both shape and size. The difference between the two procedures is the amount of tissue removed. A breast reduction removes 200 grams or more of tissue, including excess skin. A breast lift does not remove very much breast tissue, only skin.

Will breast reduction improve my neck and back pain?

While most patients feel relief from neck and back pain with a breast reduction, the cause of the pain and how long it has been present are huge factors. Some pain is related to changes in the spine and neck, and is unfortunately permanent due to years of stress or perhaps other medical underlying conditions. Thankfully even in those cases, some degree of relief can be expected because smaller, lighter breasts will not continually pull and aggravate the condition. If a breast reduction is performed young enough, many chronic conditions can be avoided.

Does insurance cover breast reduction surgery?

While insurance did cover breast reduction surgery in the past, it has become quite difficult to get insurance to cover a straightforward breast reduction today. The best way to determine your coverage is to contact your provider and see if you meet their criteria, which usually involve measurable weight loss and prolonged and documented physical therapy. And even when patients meet those standards, approval is not a guarantee.

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Schedule Your Consultation Today

If you’ve suffered from pain or low self-esteem because of large breasts, you deserve to have relief. Dr. Zenn is among the top most experienced plastic surgeons in the Raleigh area when it comes to breast procedures. He has performed countless breast reductions on a variety of patients. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Zenn, contact Zenn Plastic Surgery today.

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