Breast reduction surgery consistently has the highest satisfaction rates of all breast surgery and can truly be life changing for women who have very large breasts and have difficulty exercising or finding clothes to wear. A breast reduction can help alleviate back or neck pain, strap marks from bras, skin changes under the breasts and improve self-confidence.
There are many different options for breast reduction depending on nipple position, amount of breast tissue to be removed, skin quality and patient preference.
Who is suitable for breast reduction?
A breast reduction is similar but distinct from a breast lift or mastopexy in that much more tissue is removed. Typically women who have always had large breasts or women whose breasts have increased in size following childbirth will request breast reduction. There is no minimum amount of tissue to be removed nor are there breasts too large to be reduced.
What does the operation involve?
There are many surgical options for breast reduction but all involve making an incision around the nipple, isolating the nipple on a segment of breast tissue to preserve it’s blood supply, removing excess breast tissue, reshaping the remaining breast tissue, removing any excess skin then carefully closing the wounds to create an aesthetically pleasing breast shape.
Depending how far the nipple needs to be lifted and how much tissue needs to be removed, the final scar will be vertically downwards from the nipple to the crease under the breast with or without a horizontal scar extending into this crease. I use dissolving stitches placed under skin to minimize scarring.
I do not routinely use drains (tubes coming out of the wounds to drain blood and fluid) unless it is necessary.
What happens after the operation?
I will see you when you wake up from the anaesthetic to check you are comfortable and that there are no signs of bleeding. Most patients stay in the hospital overnight and go home the next day. After discharge you will need to rest at home and avoid strenuous activity. You can shower from 24 hours after surgery. Dressings are changed 1 week later. You will need to have 2 weeks off work and can return to light exercise at 6 weeks.
How long do the results last?
Breast reduction has an immediate and permanent effect however breast shape and size can change throughout your lifetime with the influence of ageing and fluctuations in body weight.
What are the risks of a breast reduction?
Breast reduction is fairly low risk surgery. Possible complications include bleeding, delayed wound healing, fat necrosis (hard lumps under the skin that gradually fade), changes in sensation of the nipple and prominent scarring. All women have asymmetrical breasts to varying degrees and sometimes the asymmetry can be perceived after surgery too.
Breast reduction using ‘Wise pattern’ of skin reshaping with removal of 1 kilogram of tissue from each breast
To view full images please click on the thumbnails below (gallery will open in a pop-up window).