Many women in San Francisco, Novato, and Santa Rosa have benefited from breast reduction with Dr. Delgado. With large breasts, a variety of medical conditions can result, including:

-“Shoulder grooving” due to excessive weight on bra straps
-Back and neck pain
-Slumped shoulders and other postural changes
-Difficulty with physical activities
-Irritation to the skin in the crease underneath the breasts
-Feelings of self-consciousness


Women with disproportionately large breasts are good candidates for breast reduction. This is done for both cosmetic improvement and symptomatic relief. In general, women with size DD or greater are the most frequent candidates. However, even size C or D can be too large for a petite woman. While women of any age can benefit from the procedure, it is usually performed after the breasts are fully developed.

Procedure What It Does Surgery Recovery Results
Breast Reduction Reduces the size of the breasts Yes 2 weeks, no strenuous exercise for 6 weeks Long-lasting (results may vary)
Short Scar Breast Reduction Reduces and reshapes breast using shorter incisions Yes 1-2 weeks, avoid strenuous exercise for 3-4 weeks Long-lasting (results may vary)


View More


Dr. Miguel Delgado—a board-certified plastic surgeon in San Francisco—can perform breast reduction surgery using several different techniques, each of which is highlighted below. The most appropriate option will depend on the unique needs and goals of the patient and can be discussed in full detail at the time of the consultation.


The inverted T (or anchor-shaped) technique is a time-tested gold standard. This procedure can be used for breast reductions of virtually all sizes (excluding extra-large reductions, which generally require the free nipple graft technique). The skin incision is made like the lollipop incision, but an additional horizontal incision is made along the crease. This can tighten the skin to a great extent but at the expense of a slightly larger incision. The shape of the breasts relies largely on the skin-tightening component.


Liposuction breast reduction can often be an excellent option for patients with good skin quality who have minimal to moderate breast enlargement and sagging caused by excess fatty tissue. The procedure involves strategic lipo-sculpting of the breasts, which creates a smaller, improved breast shape with minimal scarring and potentially no sensory changes to the nipple-areolar complexes. Unfortunately, not every woman seeking breast reduction is a candidate for this technique, making patient selection critical. For more information, please visit our page devoted to liposuction breast reduction.

Building Facade


The short scar breast reduction technique is also termed “vertical” breast reduction or “lollipop” breast reduction. The term “lollipop” is used because the resulting scar is in the shape of a lollipop. This short scar breast reduction was popularized in Europe and quickly spread to the United States due to its advantages. This technique avoids the incision that goes across the inferior breast crease and is a great option for those who have moderate-sized breasts. 

The advantage of this technique, other than the shorter incision, is that the breast is reduced and reconfigured in a conical shape, then it is sewn so that the shape of the breast is maintained by its new construction and not the skin envelope. Therefore, the breast shape is better maintained long term with less bottoming out.

The disadvantage of this technique is that more skin tension is created in the shorter scar, and skin breakdown is possible, which can prolong healing. Alternative short scar breast reduction procedures are performed like the medial pedicle technique, but the short scar breast reduction is the most popular.


Silicone or normal saline breast implants are sometimes used in breast reduction in Sonoma County. This is not a common procedure but occasionally has an application for women who desire a youthful appearance of their breasts, including superior fullness. Breast reduction surgery attempts to create this—and some techniques work better than others (like the short scar breast reduction)—but over time, the breast tissue settles downward with gravity and creates more bottom fullness and less upper fullness. For women who desire lasting upper fullness, this can be accomplished with the placement of breast implants at the time of the breast reduction.

Other circumstances for the use of breast implants may include: women who have had over-resection of the breast tissue and desire to be larger, as well as women who have had a breast reduction and, over time, desire an increase in size and fullness to the surrounding skin envelope to correct volume loss resulting from weight fluctuations and aging.

Comfortable chairs


The free nipple graft technique is used for very large-breasted women, in which the anchor type of procedure is not safe. The free-nipple technique excises the nipple off of the underlying blood supply. 

The skin and breast are then reconstructed much like the inverted-T technique, and the nipple is replaced and sewn intact as a full-thickness skin graft. The resulting scars are similar to that of the inverted T approach.

While the nipple-areolar area usually loses sensation, Dr. Delgado has observed some women gain significant sensation after a free nipple graft.

Schedule A Consultation

Contact Us
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Delgado


Patients considering a breast reduction in San Francisco first need to have a personal consultation with Dr. Delgado. This can be scheduled at either our Marin County or San Francisco office. During the consultation, Dr. Delgado will want to know how having large breasts harms the patient’s life and her concerns about her appearance. During the consultation, Dr. Delgado will also conduct a routine breast exam.

The following issues will be discussed:

  • Explanation of the different types of reduction:
  • Short scar (or lollipop) reduction
  • Inverted T (or anchor) reduction
  • Liposuction breast reduction
  • Breast reduction with implants
  • Free nipple graft breast reduction
  • Revised nipple-areolar position
  • Incision locations
  • The patient’s desired new size

Patients will also receive a booklet that supplies detailed information on guidelines for before and after surgery, including instructions on medications.

Anti-inflammatory products, including aspirin, must be discontinued for two weeks before and two weeks after surgery as they interfere with the blood’s ability to clot.

The instruction booklet will contain a complete list of medications that the patient must avoid, but any medications that the patient takes should be brought to Dr. Delgado’s attention. Tylenol (or acetaminophen) is safe to take, but the patient must not take more than one gram over four hours or four grams per day, as this may cause liver damage.

Homeopathic preparations and a list of vitamins will be included in the booklet, which the patient can use to promote healing and limit bruising—both before and after surgery.


Dr. Delgado performs breast reduction surgery at Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center (MCSC). His private, fully accredited outpatient surgery center is situated on the campus of Sutter Marin County Community Hospital. Being located next to the hospital allows Dr. Delgado’s patients to have the utmost medical care at his surgery center, with an extra measure of safety and privacy.

The surgery is done under general anesthesia. At Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center, only a physician who is board-certified in anesthesia administers anesthesia. The anesthesiologist calls the patient the evening before surgery to review her medical history, confirm last-minute instructions, and answer any questions she may have regarding the anesthesia.

Before treatment, a surgical marking pen is used to draw a detailed map on the breasts and chest before anesthesia is given. Dr. Delgado needs an architectural plan to enable him to make adjustments that will accommodate the body’s changes as it moves from a prone position to an upright position. Whatever technique is used, the skin will need to be tightened as the nipple-areolar complex is moved up. Excess tissue will be removed, and the remaining tissue will be contoured and reshaped. Liposuction is used in many cases to remove excess fat that may be on the sides of the chest.

Once the incisions are made, and the breast tissue is reduced, the skin is meticulously closed in several layers. Steri-Strips™ are placed over the sutured incision lines, gauze pads are placed over each breast, and a soft compression bra with a front hook closure is put on the patient.



After breast reduction surgery in Marin County, the patient will be kept in the recovery room for a few hours. She will be allowed to go home with the help of a family member or friend once she is fully awake. Dr. Delgado may determine that a patient should be kept overnight to keep her comfortable in the early postoperative period. Keeping the head and back elevated while sleeping is vital to control swelling.

In three to five days, the dressings will be replaced, and if drains are used, they will be removed. Approximately 24 hours after the drains have been removed, the tiny incisions will close, making them waterproof—and then it is safe for the patient to shower. Until the drains are removed, the patient may only take sponge baths, as the incision sites are vulnerable to infection and therefore must be kept dry. The surgery booklet has detailed instructions for wound care. 

Generally, the sutures will be removed in 10 days. Suture and drain removal can be scheduled at either Dr. Delgado’s Marin or San Francisco office.

For the first couple of days after surgery, the pain should not be too severe, but the breasts will be uncomfortable. Therefore, pain medication is prescribed to keep the patient more comfortable and aid in sleeping. Except for women with a low pain threshold, most can discontinue the pain medication by the third day.

After the first week, most of the swelling and bruising will be resolved, but women should allow themselves two full weeks for recovery. Patients will be able to return to normal activities after the bruising and tenderness have resolved. Driving a car, returning to work, and resuming social activities is generally possible after the first week. However, patients need to wait about six weeks after surgery before attempting strenuous exercise, or swelling may recur. Typically, patients should also wait a week after surgery before resuming sexual activity, as it could cause swelling and discomfort.




I’m Not Happy With My Breast Augmentation. What Are My Options?

You’ve gotten breast implants, your breasts have fully healed, but unfortunately, you’re not happy with the results.  Women who find themselves dissatisfied with their breast…

Read More

Dr. Delgado Named Top Plastic Surgeon in Modern Luxury

Dr. Delgado was voted a Top Plastic Surgeon for the last five years in San Francisco Magazine and was recently featured in Modern Luxury’s spotlight on excellence in…

Read More

Do I Need To Lose Weight Before My Tummy Tuck Surgery?

A tummy tuck is a strategic body sculpting surgery performed to remove excess skin, trim fat, and tighten weakened or separated abdominal muscles. It is not…

Read More


The risks and complications of breast reduction are minimized at Marin Cosmetic Surgery Center due to our highly trained team. Still, all surgeries carry the potential for infection, bleeding, and anesthesia complications. Reduction mammoplasty will leave scars from the incision around the nipple-areolar complex continuing to the base of the breast (and along the breast fold when using the inverted-T technique). There might be a reduction in the sensation of the nipple and breast area. It may take up to six months for the feeling to return. Breastfeeding usually remains an option for women that have had breast reductions, but there may be a small minority that will lose the ability to nurse. In rare instances, one breast may be a slightly different size. There may be some slight differences with the nipple-areolar complexes.



After surgery, you will immediately notice a decrease in the volume and weight of your breasts. If you have reduction mammoplasty surgery to alleviate back pain, relief will be evident right away.

The final aesthetic results take longer. The breasts will settle into place, and the incisions will smooth out and eventually fade. This takes almost a year to complete the maturation process.

Women can enjoy immediate results of their breast reduction but need to plan on at least a couple of months for their breasts to settle into their new position and shape. Right away, women will notice that their balance is better. Shopping and trying on clothes will be a great experience. Improved posture and reduction in back and neck pain will be realized as the body enjoys a lighter gravitational pull. Even though there are scars that result from this surgery, breast reduction patients are some of the happiest plastic surgery patients, often stating that the enhancements the surgery has made are life-changing.


If you are considering surgery in the San Francisco, Napa Valley, and Sonoma County areas, contact us to schedule a consultation. Dr. Delgado, an experienced breast reduction surgeon, will discuss your goals with you and explain how we can help.

Breast Reduction FAQS

How much does a reduction mammoplasty cost?

Is reduction mammoplasty permanent?

Where are the incisions made?

Is there bruising after surgery?

How long will I be out of work after surgery?

How much does a reduction mammoplasty cost?

The cost of breast reduction surgery varies with the surgical time needed, which is dependent on the techniques used and the complexity of the case. In general, approximately $9000-12,000 will cover Dr. Delgado’s fees, the board-certified anesthesiologist’s fee, the surgery center, and all postoperative care.

Is reduction mammoplasty permanent?

Yes. Your breasts will always be smaller than they would have been without surgery. However, the remaining fat cells will swell and enlarge if you gain weight or become pregnant.

Where are the incisions made?

The size of the breasts determines the technique used and the amount of tissue to be removed. The most common incisions are the short scar (lollipop) technique or inverted-T incision. Both of these incisions circle the border of the areola—where the pigmented skin of the areola meets the lighter skin of the breast—and extend from the inferior edge of the areola down to the breast crease. If the incision is an inverted T, an incision runs under the breast, hidden in the crease where the breast meets the chest.

Is there bruising after surgery?

The moderate swelling and bruising from breast reduction surgery usually resolves in seven to ten days.

How long will I be out of work after surgery?

Most patients can return to work within seven to ten days. Some patients will return to work in as little as five days. The exact amount of time will depend on the extent of your surgery, your pain tolerance, and the physical demands of your work.

As a center of fine arts and academics, San Francisco contains many different recognizable locations dedicated to history and art. Originally constructed in 1915 and reconstructed in 1964, the Palace of Fine Arts is the only remaining original structure from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco after the turn of the century. Located only three miles from the office of Dr. Miguel Delgado and 24 miles from Dr. Delgado’s Novato practice in Marin County, it features an open rotunda, colonnades, and lagoons.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can breast grow back after reduction?

Breast tissue can grow back after reduction but this is a rare occurrence.

Does breast size affect weight?

The breasts are made up of glandular breast tissue and fat so they do affect your weight slightly.

Can you drink alcohol after breast reduction?

You should avoid drinking alcohol for a few days after your breast reduction or while you are taking pain medication. Alcohol dilates the blood vessels and can cause excessive bleeding that is worsened when mixed with pain medication.

Does insurance pay for breast reduction?

Health insurance might pay for breast reduction depending on whether the surgery is considered medically necessary. Overly large breasts can cause back and shoulder pain as well as rashes under the breast folds. If you have previously received medical treatment such as physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, or a dermatology exam, the procedure might be considered reconstructive rather than cosmetic.

Do you lose feeling in your nipples after breast reduction?

Loss of nipple sensation can occur which is why it is important to find an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Delgado. This is not an overly common side effect and most patients who do lose sensitivity immediately after surgery will regain feeling.

Does weight gain increase breast size?

Weight gain can increase breast size slightly since the breasts are largely made up of fatty tissue.

Do you lose weight after breast reduction?

Since breast reduction removes fatty tissue from the body, you will lose a little weight but this is not a significant amount. At most, the breasts only weigh a few pounds each.

Has anyone had a second breast reduction?

A second breast reduction may be necessary if a patient had surgery had a younger age before their breasts finished developing. Patients may also consider a second reduction if they are unhappy with the size of their breasts after surgery or now have asymmetrical breasts.

How can I reduce my cup size?

Cardio and high-intensity exercises may help you lose fat on your chest and strengthen the muscles beneath your chest, resulting in a smaller cup size. If you are not seeing the results you desire, a breast reduction can help.

How do you know when you need a breast reduction?

The decision to have a breast reduction is ultimately up to each patient. Patients choose to have breast reductions simply because they do not like the look of their large breasts. Others have been experiencing pain in their back and shoulders from the weight of their large breasts. All are great reasons to consider breast reduction.

How dangerous is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is safe when performed by a trained plastic surgeon. The most common possible complications are infections, loss of nipple sensitivity, and scarring. Dr. Delgado takes care to prevent these problems and ensure great results.

How is the recovery from breast reduction?

Most patients will feel mild to moderate soreness that gradually improves over 2-3 weeks. Pain medication will be prescribed to alleviate discomfort. During your recovery, you may also feel more tired than usual. Exercise and strenuous activity such as lifting or pulling have to be avoided for about 6 weeks so take the time to relax while your incisions heal.

How do breast reductions work?

A breast reduction is performed with an incision around the nipple and areola, extending down to the bottom breast fold. Excess tissue, fat, and skin will be removed, and then the remaining tissue is shaped for a symmetrical, rounded appearance. The nipple-areolar complex will be repositioned and the areola might be made smaller.

How long do stitches stay in after breast reduction?

If your incisions were closed with non-dissolvable sutures, they will be removed after 1-2 weeks.

How do I know if I need a breast reduction?

If you are experiencing chronic pain in your neck, shoulders, and back or skin irritation under the breasts, you may want to consider a breast reduction to resolve these symptoms.

How long does it take breast reduction to heal?

Full recovery from a breast reduction takes about 3-6 months but the first couple weeks are the main healing period when you will experience the most soreness. Your incisions will heal after a couple of weeks and you can gradually start getting back to all your normal activities.

How long does it take for swelling to go down after breast reduction?

Most patients notice that their swelling goes down after 3-4 months but it can take a little longer for some women.

How much is 500 grams breast reduction?

500 grams of breast reduction is equivalent to 2.2 lbs of weight removed from the breasts. You can expect to go down about 2 cup sizes after removing 500 grams of breast tissue.

How long does it take to recover from a breast reduction?

During the first week after a breast reduction, you will feel moderately sore so it is important to take your prescribed pain medication and rest. After one week, more energy will start to come back and you will continue to heal for an additional few weeks. You can start to resume some of your normal activities after about one month. Strenuous activity and exercise should be avoided for 6 weeks.

How painful is a breast reduction?

The first few days after a breast reduction is the most painful and it is common to have moderate soreness that requires prescription pain medication. Ice packs can also help with the pain and swelling. Soreness will persist but gradually improve during the first few weeks of recovery.

How many cup sizes can you go down with breast reduction?

Most women will choose to go down at least 1-2 cup sizes but the amount of breast tissue that is removed is up to the patient and the breasts can be reduced as small as you like.

Is it OK to wear a sports bra after breast reduction?

You will be given a compression bra after surgery that will help reduce swelling and give your healing breasts support. Sports bras may be painful to wear after a breast reduction.

How much do breast reductions cost?

The cost of a breast reduction varies depending on how long each procedure takes. The cost of your breast reduction can be discussed at your consultation with Dr. Delgado.

Is it worth getting a breast reduction?

Many women who are experiencing pain from their large breasts find that breast reduction is incredibly beneficial.

What causes breast reduction?

The removal of glandular tissue and fat in the breasts is the main component of breast reduction.

Why do breasts grow back after a reduction?

Breasts might grow back due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause. Weight gain, aging, and certain medications could also cause the breast tissue to grow back.

What happens after breast reduction?

After breast reduction, the incisions will be sutured and bandaged and then a soft compression bra will be placed around the patients chest.

Why do my breasts hurt and feel heavy?

Large breasts carry weight that feels painful and places pressure on the neck and shoulder. Hormonal changes are also a possible cause of your breast pain. Estrogen and progesterone fluctuations could increase the size of the glands in your breasts or cause them to retain water, making the breasts feel heavy and painful.

When can I sleep without a bra after breast reduction?

Your post-surgical compression bra should be worn for six weeks after breast reduction, even while you are sleeping.

When can I wear a normal bra after breast reduction?

You should wait until the swelling has reduced (3-4 months) before you start shopping for new, normal bras.

Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 415.898.4161.