Tyson’s Corner: 703-448-3800

Annapolis: 410-224-2395

Overly large, female breasts can lead to physical and emotional distress. Chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain is often associated with excessively heavy breasts. Extremely large breasts can also attract unwanted attention and be embarrassing for some women. These issues can take a toll on a woman’s body and mental health, as well as restrict her from participating in certain activities. The ideal solution for women who experience these problems is breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction surgery can remove excess breast tissue to correct overly large, pendulous breasts. Breast asymmetry may also be addressed with this procedure. Breast reduction can help the breasts gain better proportion with the rest of the body.

Breast Reduction Surgery Can Correct:

  • Large, pendulous breasts
  • Nipples and areolas that point downward
  • Asymmetrical breasts
  • Chronic pain in the neck, back, and shoulders
  • Chafing and irritation beneath the breasts

Candidates and Insurance Coverage

The best candidates for breast reduction surgery are in good health and have pain associated with large breasts. Ideal candidates may be able to have the cost of their breast reduction surgery covered by their health insurance plan (varies from plan to plan). Women interested in this procedure can check with their provider to find out if their individual situation is considered a medical necessity that qualifies for coverage.

Breast Reduction Procedure

To provide comfort during breast reduction surgery, medication will be administered. General anesthesia is most often used.


One of the following three incision options will be utilized. During your consultation, Dr. Barlow will help determine which technique is best for you.
  • Areola: Along the outer edge of the areola in a circular pattern
  • Keyhole shaped: Around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease
  • Inverted-T or anchor shaped: Around the areola, vertically down the breast, and horizontally along the natural curvature of the breast fold
Once the incisions are made, the nipple-areola complexes are repositioned. Excess fat, glandular tissue and skin are removed, and the remaining tissues are lifted and reshaped. The skin around the perimeter of the areolas can be excised to reduce the size of the areolas, if necessary. Incisions are then closed to produce smaller, more shapely breasts.


For several weeks after surgery, there will be minor swelling and bruising. The majority of patients return to work within two weeks after the procedure and resume their normal routine and start exercising after four weeks. Within six weeks, most swelling will subside. Although permanent, incision lines will fade over time and become less noticeable.


Patients will notice immediate results after their surgery. They can expect to have significantly less back pain and have breasts that naturally fit with their body. The majority of breast reduction patients experience a boost in confidence and quality of life. Many women who have undergone a breast reduction have said their life has changed for the better. They claim they feel more relaxed, liberated, pain-free, and happy. Dr. Haven Barlow is an experienced plastic surgeon and can help breast reduction patients meet their specific goals. During a one-on-one consultation, Dr. Barlow will answer all questions and go over the procedure. To learn more and to make an appointment, contact his office in Annapolis at 410-224-2395 or Tyson’s Corner at 703-448-3800 or by filling out our online contact form.

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"The best thing about the surgery for me was how comforting Dr. Barlow was. Getting any surgery is always nerve wracking, but anytime Dr. Barlow came in the room and would begin talking ”all of my fears would go away."

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