Breast Reduction FAQs or Reduction Mammaplasty FAQs

A breast reduction surgery or a reduction mammaplasty is a surgical procedure that reduces your breasts to a more appropriate size and lifts them to a higher position. Dr Craig Rubinstein, Dr Rebecca Wyten, and Dr Patrick Briggs are all certified plastic surgeons with ample experience in breast plastic surgery. These seasoned professionals can help you reshape your breasts into the size that suits you and your body the best. Below we have some of the most commonly asked breast reduction FAQs, read on to have your questions answered.

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Breast Reduction FAQs

Will I look thinner after breast reduction?

  • A breast reduction surgery may help you look thinner.
  • By removing part of the breast tissue or the glandular tissue, you will lose some weight and volume of the breasts.
  • In women with a smaller body and torso, breast reduction may make them seem thinner and taller.
  • Your figure will be elongated and recontoured.

How small can you go with breast reduction?

You can go as small as you want with breast reduction. The main restriction is ensuring there is enough breast tissue to retain blood supply to the nipple.

Any reduction in breast size below this point can result in not enough blood being delivered to the nipple. This can cause areola/nipple necrosis or loss of the areola/nipple itself. Your surgeon will help guide you with this.

Do breasts grow back after reduction?

No, breasts do not grow back after reduction. However, since some fat tissue remains even after a breast reduction surgery, if you gain weight, your breasts will enlarge.

Similarly, some glandular tissue will also remain, meaning with hormonal changes such as menopause and pregnancy your breasts will increase and decrease as they did pre-operatively.

Can you have a breast reduction without removing nipples?

  • Yes, it is very rare for a surgeon to remove your nipple during a Breast Reduction.
  • Your surgeon will carefully relocate the nipple areola complex to a higher position without ‘cutting it off’.
  • In some cases, such as a breast mastectomy, complete removal of the nipple may be necessary.

Can I get a breast reduction twice?

Yes, you can get a breast reduction twice. As you age, have pregnancies or breastfeed, your breasts will generally experience some level of breast laxity.

In this case, although you’ve already had a breast reduction, you may require a further reduction or lift. Again, your specialised plastic surgeon will be able to tell you whether there would be enough breast tissue left to supply the nipple with sufficient blood and keep it vital.

What are the disadvantages of breast reduction?

The most prominent disadvantages of Breast reduction Surgery include;

  • Scars
  • A temporary loss of nipple sensitivity
  • A reduced likelihood of being able to breastfeed

Scars appear after every breast reduction surgery. However, they can be significantly faded by proper post-operative care and scar reduction treatments such as laser therapy.

Temporary nipple sensitivity loss is a normal occurrence after any breast surgery. Nipple sensation should return to normal within 12 months, though sometimes it is permanent.

Will it help my neck pain?

  • Overly large breasts can cause neck pain.
  • Heavy, large breasts pull down on your neck, shoulders and upper back and can result in chronic pain and migraines.
  • Removing part of the breast tissue will help to reduce this strain and should in turn reduce your neck pain.

Will it improve my shoulder pain?

  • As above, the answer is yes reducing your breasts can help you reduce pain.
  • Large, heavy breasts cause your skin to sag. This puts an increased weight on your shoulders and often leads to women slouching their shoulders.
  • By reducing the weight of your breasts, it is common to feel relief of shoulder pain.

Can large breasts cause migraines?

Yes, large breasts can cause migraines. Overly saggy, large and heavy breasts put excess pressure on the neck, shoulders and upper back, effectively causing migraines.

Can large breasts cause lower back pain?

  • Yes, large breasts can cause lower back pain.
  • Although it may not be easy to connect the two, large breasts may cause you to slouch forward due to the increased weight.
  • Younger women may slouch to hide the breasts that may be too large or asymmetrical (one breast is larger than the other). In these cases, the unnatural position of the upper back causes pain in the lower back as well.

What is the perfect boob size?

  • The ideal boob size depends on several factors including your; Torso width, Height and Weight
  • Several personal factors can also impact this. For example, what you think the ideal boob size is and how comfortable you are with smaller or larger breasts.
  • In any case, what you feel comfortable with is the perfect breast size for you.

Am I The Right Candidate / Reduction Mammaplasty Prerequisites FAQs

Is 60 too old for breast reduction?

  • No, 60 is not too old for a breast reduction.
  • As long as you are healthy age is not a factor you need to worry about.
  • Of course this relies on you being fit enough to undergo surgery and take any medication you may be given during or after the surgery.
  • It’s also important that you have no pre-existing conditions or regular therapy that may interfere with your breast reduction scars healing.

Can I have a breast reduction if I’m overweight?

  • Whilst it is always recommended to be at your ideal weight before undergoing any surgery, a Breast Reduction can still be performed if you are overweight.
  • Ideally speaking, your BMI should be 30 or lower for a successful breast reduction mammaplasty.
  • This way, the specialised plastic surgeon can better assess your situation and better guess how much breast tissue they should remove.
  • They can also perform breast reduction with fewer complications and risks.
  • A lower BMI also means a faster recovery in many cases. However, many women with overly large breasts find it difficult to exercise and perform regular daily activities, and for this reason you can still undergo a Breast Reduction if your BMI is greater than this.
  • Your specialist Plastic Surgeon will discuss the increased risks of complications with you should this be the case.

Do I have to lose weight before a breast reduction?

A BMI of 30 or lower will significantly reduce any possible risks and complications of your reduction mammaplasty. The lower BMI also speeds up the recovery.

The problem with breast reduction, if you are overweight, is that your breasts may get even smaller after a breast reduction procedure as you lose weight. In this case, you may not be completely happy with the results.

What are the requirements for breast reduction?

If the below apply to you then you could be a breast reduction candidate;

  • Are you unhappy with the size and shape of your breasts?
  • Do you feel your overly large breasts impact your life?
  • Are your expectations on what surgery can achieve realistic?
  • Are you in good health?
  • Ideally your BMI should be below 30
  • Its also important that you do not smoke, drink excessive amounts of alcohol or take any medications that can interfere with your surgery, the outcome or recovery.

Reduction Mammaplasty Preparation FAQs

How do I ask for a Breast Reduction?

  • The first step in asking for a breast reduction is finding the right surgeon.
  • Your surgeon should be a board-certified plastic surgeon who has ample experience in the field of breast plastic surgery.
  • Next, you should schedule the initial consultation.
  • During the consultation with your specialised plastic surgeon, you may share any concerns about your breast size as well as any hopes of what can be achieved by a breast reduction surgery.

What questions should I ask at my consultation?

There are many questions that you may want to ask your specialised plastic surgeon about breast reduction surgery. You may ask questions about;

  • The length of breast reduction
  • Scarring
  • The recovery period.
  • Safety concerns
  • Breast reduction recovery timeline
  • As well as, any specific questions you have relating to returning to work, caring for your kids, returning to the gym etc.

What should I buy before my surgery?

  • Before a breast reduction, you should have ice packs, a comfortable resting place and plenty of fresh food at home.
  • Ensure you have any additional items that your surgeon has asked you to purchase before your surgery such as antibacterial soap, bandages etc.
  • You should also take care of all your errands before the surgery.

What is the Breast Reduction checklist?

  • This is an example of a breast reduction checklist. You may expand it with your experienced plastic surgeon if it is necessary:
    • Consultation preparation,
      • Prepare your medical history,
      • Prepare your family medical history,
      • Think about your body and the results you want to achieve,
      • Write down any concerns you may have,
      • Think about possibly coupling the breast reduction procedure with another procedure. This way, you can recover from two surgical procedures at the same time.
    • Questions to ask your surgeon,
      • Who is the ideal patient?
      • What results can I expect?
      • Any questions relating to your health
      • Is there anything I need to do to prepare for my surgery?
    • Pre-op shopping list,
      • compression garment (if your surgeon does not supply this)
      • Ice packs
      • Any other additional items your surgeon has asked you to purchase.
    • Home prep
      • Moving essentials to the room you will spend the most time in,
      • Thoroughly cleaning the space you will be in and the bathroom you will be using
      • Clean sheets on the bed,
      • Empty some space in the freezer for ice packs
      • Pre-prepare some meals if you do not have anyone to help you.
    • Surgery day prep,
      • Pack your essentials to take with you such as your regular medications, loose and comfortable clothes, smartphone (including charger), paperwork if required and toiletries.
      • Wear comfortable, loose clothes
      • Leave your house early enough – think of the traffic,
      • Show up at the hospital at the prearranged time – ideally 15 minutes early.
      • Fast from the time you have been asked to. This means no food, water, chewing gum etc.
      • Brush your teeth before you leave the house.

What should you not do before breast reduction surgery?

  • Before a breast reduction surgery, you should not smoke, eat fast food, drink excess alcohol, use any drugs, be under a lot of stress or have significant weight oscillations.
  • You should be healthy and fit to be able to undergo surgery of this scope.

Breast Reduction Procedure FAQs

Do breasts sag after breast reduction?

  • Your breasts are less likely to sag because your specialist plastic surgeon will remove some of the loose, saggy skin together with the breast tissue.
  • However, you cannot avoid the influence of ageing and gravity completely: if you are not careful and do not take good care of your body, breast sagginess will return especially in patients with skin laxity or poor quality skin. Wearing a good bra forever is essential to reduce the chances of further sagging.

Does a breast reduction include a lift?

Yes, most surgeons perform a breast lift with breast reduction. Just removing the breast tissue, such as the glandular tissue, does not yield good results since your breasts may look misshapen or deflated. For this reason, most surgeons remove excess skin after they remove excess breast tissue. This is a breast lift.

How much weight is removed in breast reduction?

  • How much weight is removed in a breast reduction depends on the initial size of your breasts and the results you want to achieve. Your surgeon can remove no minimum or maximum amounts, although most breast reduction surgeries remove between 1 to 5 kilos of breast tissue.
  • In unilateral breast reduction, the surgeon may remove tissue from one breast only to correct breast asymmetry.

How long is the breast reduction surgery procedure?

A reduction mammaplasty procedure takes anywhere between 2-5 hours depending on;

  • The method of breast reduction (breast tissue excision or breast liposuction)
  • Size of your breasts
  • The results you want to achieve.

Your specialised plastic surgeon should know how long the surgery will take by the end of your first screening. Any complications during the procedure can make it somewhat longer.

How long do you sleep after breast reduction?

  • You can expect to be fully awake within an hour after general anaesthesia.
  • You may be given some sedatives to keep you asleep for a longer time so that your body could rest and start the recovery process.
  • In the initial few days after the reduction mammaplasty surgery, it is normal to sleep longer as this helps your body heal faster.

Where are incisions made in breast reduction?

  • During most breast reduction procedures, a ‘lollipop’ or ‘anchor’ shaped incision is made (Depending on your surgeon).
  • The anchor breast reduction technique starts with an incision around your areola, continues vertically down to the crease where your breast meets the chest wall (IMF) and continues along the crease in both directions.
  • A Lollipop technique has an incision shaped like a lollipop – a circle around the areola and a vertical line down to the crease (IMF).
  • Depending on the size of your breasts and the position of the glandular tissue your surgeon wants to remove, they may use different, less invasive incisions.

Are breast reduction incisions visible?

Yes, breast reduction incisions are visible. You can make the incisions less visible by taking good care of them, taking precautions to avoid complications and avoiding certain behaviours, such as suntanning in the first few months post-op, avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol drinking. Once the incisions are fully healed, you may opt for a scar revision procedure.

Reduction Mammaplasty Recovery FAQs

How painful is breast reduction surgery?

  • The pain after breast reduction is at its strongest in the days after the surgery.
  • During this time, you can manage the pain and discomfort using pain relievers.
  • Most pain and swelling should be gone by the end of the second week, with a gradual decline in pain intensity as your breast reduction recovery progresses.

How swollen Are breasts after reduction?

Breasts will be swollen after a breast reduction. The swelling is usually at the highest point for the first week after the breast reduction surgery. From then on, it will gradually decline, although some minor swelling may persist for months to come. Swelling is a normal part of breast plastic surgery.

How long is bed rest after breast reduction?

Bedrest after a breast reduction surgery does not mean that you should be in bed all the time. On the contrary, you should take short but frequent walks around your room and the house to promote blood flow and speed up the recovery process.

How do you get out of bed after a breast reduction?

You may experience some difficulties getting out of bed after a breast reduction. Most women find it very comfortable to slide down the bed until their feet can touch the floor and their behind is on the edge of the bed. Using their abdominal muscles, they sit up and use their legs to get up finally.

If this is your prefered way of getting out of bed, please do not use your arms to prop yourself.

Can you sleep on your side after breast reduction?

  • No, you should not sleep on your side after a breast reduction surgery.
  • You should sleep exclusively on your back for several weeks after the reduction mammaplasty since sleeping on your side can compromise the results and cause discomfort for you.
  • Some women choose to sleep alone after a breast reduction to avoid any risks of accidental injury while sleeping with their partner.

Can I move my arms after breast reduction?

  • You will be able to move your arms after a breast reduction but only to a certain extent.
  • You should avoid moving your arms too much since arm movement involves the chest muscles, and this may cause significant discomfort for you.
  • Within a week or two post-op, you will be able to lift your arms to your shoulder height, after this period even above.
  • Always listen to your body and do not put it under too much strain.

When can I lift my arms above my head after breast reduction?

You should not lift your arms above your head immediately after a breast reduction. You should start lifting your arms slowly and work your way through to higher and higher positions.

Please be mindful that you may need several weeks to lift your arms above your head again, and do not push your body during the recovery period.

How long do breasts stay swollen after reduction?

  • Your breasts will stay swollen for one to two weeks after a breast reduction surgery.
  • Swelling will not be present at first but will start appearing hours after the surgery.
  • Swelling will reach its peak some two days after the surgery and will slowly subside over several days.
  • Most of the swelling after your breast reduction procedure will be gone after a two-week mark.
  • Some minor swelling may persist for several months, but this is in no way swelling that will interfere with your look or daily activities.

How do you wash your hair after a breast reduction?

  • You should not wash your hair for the first 48 hours after a breast reduction surgery. This is done to avoid getting your incision wet.
  • After this period, it is OK to take quick showers and wash your hair, although you should not use water that is too hot or shampoos that are too strong or heavily perfumed.
  • If a friend or a family member can help you, they absolutely should.
  • Just remember that you should not bend over the bathtub, rather sit on a chair and tilt your head back over the bathtub.

Can I wear deodorant after breast reduction?

  • You should not wear deodorant for the first few days or even weeks after a breast reduction surgery.
  • You should avoid deodorants or perfumes since you should not apply chemicals close to the incision.
  • Your surgeon will track your recovery and inform you when the time is right to resume using deodorant.

What happens at 1 month post-op breast reduction?

  • At one-month post-op breast reduction, you will:
    • Have lost most of the swelling,
    • Have recovered from the breast reduction to a significant extent,
    • Be able to undertake some more strenuous activities, such as going out (please refrain from excess alcohol usage and smoking),
    • Have returned to work,
    • Have a good idea of what your breasts will look like once fully healed.

You should wait for at least two more weeks before you hit the gym or partake in very strenuous activities and at least two more months before swimming.

What is the fastest way to recover from a breast reduction?

  • The fastest way to recover from a breast reduction includes taking good care of the incision and your breasts, taking plenty of rest and enjoying a healthy diet.
  • Taking good care of the incisions will reduce any chances of infection or prolong incision healing.
  • A lot of rest will give your body all the energy it needs to recover quickly, and a healthy diet rich in fibers, vitamins, and zinc will boost your immune system so that it can take good care of the incision site.

Do you regret your breast reduction?

  • The majority of women are very satisfied with their breast reduction. This is a life-changing procedure that increases the quality of life by making your breasts smaller, more symmetrical, less saggy and droopy, as well as making neck and shoulder pain go away.
  • If you have any doubts or concerns about the benefits that a breast reduction can bring to you, contact your experienced specialised plastic surgeon and schedule a consultation.

Is it worth getting a breast reduction?

  • Yes, around 98% of women operated by CocoRuby Plastic Surgery Surgeons say that they are very satisfied with the results and that breast reduction is worth it.
  • Many women report an increase in their daily comfort, easier shopping experience and less slouching over.
  • If you are still in doubt, schedule an appointment with your plastic surgeon and discuss the advantages of smaller breasts.

Breast Reduction Longer-Term Results FAQs

What happens if you gain weight after a breast reduction?

If you gain weight after breast reduction surgery, your breasts may become large again. As you lose weight, their size will also reduce. If you gain and drop massive weight, your breasts may become saggy as the skin stretches in weight gain to hold more voluminous breasts. In this case, you may consider breast lift surgery after your breast reduction.

Can I sleep without a bra after breast reduction?

How to help with scarring after breast reduction surgery?

Speeding up the recovery process can significantly help with scarring since most scar maturation will happen in a short period. A healthy diet, plenty of rest and sleep, and avoiding both physical and mental stressors can improve your incision healing. Faster recovery also means fewer chances for scar widening and keloid formation after a breast reduction.

How to prevent my breasts from sagging again?

  • The best way to prevent breasts from sagging again is by giving them proper support.
  • Always wear your sports bra
  • Avoid stressors
  • Have a healthy diet
  • And mild but regular physical activity.
  • Avoid significant weight gain and loss since this may make your boobs saggy again.
  • You should consult your specialised plastic surgeon to find out more about stressors and lifestyle choices that can make your breasts droopy after a breast reduction surgery.

How to minimise scarring after breast reduction?

Scars are best minimised by proper care after a breast reduction. Ensure you understand breast reduction scar do’s:


  • Help them heal,
  • Apply a silicone-based cream regularly as instructed,
  • Apply generous amounts of SPF when heading out,
  • Follow your surgeon’s advice,
  • Take up mild but regular physical activity to promote blood flow.

You should also understand a few breast reduction scar don’ts:


  • Strain your body after a breast reduction,
  • Suntan or use tanning beds,
  • Smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol,
  • Use deodorants or perfumes until cleared to do so,
  • Swim, take a bath, or have long showers with hot water,
  • Make your incisions wet for the first 48 hours,
  • Push your body into making arm movements you’re not comfortable with.

Breast Reduction Risks And Complications FAQs

What are common breast reduction healing problems?

  • Some healing problems, such as infection, skin loss and wound separation, may occur after a breast reduction. These problems can be resolved with proper care:
  1. For infection, your specialised plastic surgeon will prescribe antibiotics and give you professional advice on how to take care of your wounds best.
  2. When it comes to skin loss, this is a severe complication, but proper care and strictly following ALL advice of your surgeon will minimise any such risks. Always make sure that your surgeon is a certified, specialised plastic surgeon and stay away from cheap or even discounted plastic surgery offers. Lower price comes at the cost of significantly reduced standards in surgery.
  3. Wound separation can occur as a result of infection or overt swelling. Keep your swelling at bay by always wearing your compression garment, avoiding strenuous activities and inflammatory foods. Fatty, salty, sugary foods will do you no good after a breast reduction.

What are common problems after breast reduction surgery?

  • Some complications after a breast reduction include seroma, haematoma, asymmetrical breasts and dissatisfaction with results.
  • These complications can happen, but you should always choose a certified surgeon with ample experience in breast reduction to minimise the risks.
  • The surgeon should have the proper equipment, a great support team and proper conditions to operate on you.
  • Stay away from any backroom clinics and suspiciously cheap deals,these can compromise both your safety and long-term results.

Is swelling after breast reduction serious?

  • Swelling is a normal but unwanted part of breast reduction surgery. Swelling after a reduction mammaplasty can be kept at bay using compression garments, proper bras and medication.
  • Always ensure that you follow your surgeon’s advice on fast recovery and swelling mitigation.

What does haematoma after breast reduction look like?

  • Hematoma or blood build-up after a reduction mammaplasty may be felt as a liquidy bump under the skin.
  • In some cases, you may notice significant bruising in the breasts.
  • Haematomas usually develop some 7-10 days after a breast reduction surgery and may pose a health risk if not properly cared for.

What to do if pain is too strong after breast reduction?

  • Severe pain can appear after a breast reduction.
  • To control the pain, you should take the pain relievers your specialised plastic surgeon has prescribed to you.
  • If you feel that these medicines are not strong enough or that your pain after a breast reduction does not go away, you may ask your surgeon for a new prescription of stronger pain relievers.

Will I lose my nipples after breast reduction?

No, you should not lose your nipples after a breast reduction. A certified, experienced plastic surgeon will know how much breast and skin tissue to leave in place to guarantee that the nipple has a good blood supply.

However, repeated post-op infections, prolonged recovery time, neglect of your health and smoking can contribute to a higher risk of breast reduction nipple loss. 

What is areola necrosis?

  • Areola necrosis is a loss of areola.
  • This may happen after a breast reduction surgery if the surgeon is not experienced enough and cannot ensure that your areola has a good blood supply post-op.
  • In areola necrosis, the areola turns black, and there is a complete loss of sensitivity.
  • In the case of complete areola necrosis, the areola has to be surgically removed.

What is nipple necrosis?

Nipple necrosis is the loss of the nipple. Suppose your breast reduction surgery is performed by an inexperienced cosmetic surgeon or an uncertified ‘surgeon’. In that case, you may be at risk of losing the nipple due to a severed blood supply. Always choose the best surgeons to operate on you.

Will I lose feeling in my nipples after breast reduction?

  • You may temporarily lose the feeling in your nipples after breast reduction surgery.
  • The loss in sensitivity is a normal occurrence during recovery.
  • Several weeks after a breast reduction surgery, you will gradually gain the feeling back.
  • In some rare cases, it may take several months for the nipple sensitivity to return.

Reduction Mammaplasty Financing FAQs

How much does breast reduction surgery cost?

Breast reduction cost in Australia varies depending on the surgeon you choose and the conditions that the surgery will be performed in.

The breast reduction prices in Melbourne vary between AUD 12.000 to AUD 25.000 or more. Please avoid surgeries that are too cheap, as the price reduction may come at compromised standards and risking your safety. Always choose the best surgeon since breast reduction is regarded as irreversible.

How to get a breast reduction covered by insurance?

  • You may have a part of your breast reduction covered by medicare and insurance if it is a medically necessary surgery.
  • In pronounced breast asymmetry, which impacts the quality of your life, a unilateral breast reduction may also be partly covered.
  • In the case that both your breasts are too big, droopy, hanging significantly below the inframammary fold and that you are prone to skin infections, shoulder, neck and upper back pain, you may apply for coverage.

What size breasts are a medical necessity for breast reduction?

  • There are no strict guidelines on the exact size of the breasts considered a medical necessity and could be covered for a breast reduction.
  • If you experience chronic pain and discomfort, are prone to infections and have tried giving your breasts proper support as well as some non-surgical methods for pain and discomfort relief, you may consult your specialised plastic surgeon and see if you qualify for coverage or rebate. delivery

Further Reading about Breast Reduction Surgery

Last updated: 18/05/2022
Author profile image
Dr Craig Rubinstein - MBBS, FRACS (Plast)
Dr Craig Rubinstein MBBS, FRACS (Plast), a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, is one of Australia's most respected Melbourne Surgeons for Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift (Mastopexy), Breast Reduction surgery and Abdominoplasty procedures. Using advanced surgical techniques to gain better body contouring and natural-looking surgical results, Dr Rubinstein is highly regarded by peers and patients for best-practice Clinic Patient-care and patient education strategies. He published a chapter on corrective surgery for Breast Asymmetry. Qualifications/Training Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The Australian Medical Association (AMA) American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) Founder: Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery previously Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men Bio Page:

Coco Ruby’s Specialist Plastic and ENT Surgeons

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic Surgeons are dedicated to best practice patient care and education, customising Breast Enlargement Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

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What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 264 811, Email us: or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Virtual Consultation with a Surgeon.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.