Also known as reduction mammaplasty, a breast reduction removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts. The procedure is usually outpatient, lasts 2-3 hours, and is performed under general anesthesia. Side effects may include temporary bruising, swelling, numbness, soreness, and/or a burning sensation. Risks of surgery can include infection, bleeding, fluid collections, asymmetry, and/or excessive scarring. Patients are usually able to return to work after 2-3 weeks, but should refrain from strenuous activity for 4-6 weeks. Reduction mammaplasty is occasionally covered by insurance if the procedure is deemed to be medically necessary. Learn more about breast reductions.