Breast Reduction surgery involves the removal of breast tissue and skin so as to to reduce the overall size of the breast, resulting in a more comfortable and youthful breast contour.
Reasons to seek breast reduction
Possessing large pendulous breasts is of great embarrassment to most women. Besides the obvious aesthetic issues, they also tend to make it difficult to wear fashionable clothes, and can interfere with social and sporting activities. In some women, such breasts can also cause back or neck ache, and can predispose them to arthritis in these areas. In addition, many women with large breasts suffer with recurrent skin infections in the crease below the breast.
What to consider at this stage
Before meeting with your surgeon it is important to consider what you would like to achieve from your breast surgery. In particular, you should think about what size breasts you would like to have. In general, the more breast tissue that is removed, the less aesthetically pleasing will be the final result.
You must also understand that Breast Reduction is a major procedure.
The procedure for breast reduction surgery
- The operation is carried out under a general anaesthetic
- The operation lasts about 2 hours
- An overnight hospital stay is required
- If your work is not physical, you can typically return to work after 1 to 2 weeks
- You can expect a return to normal physical exercise within 6 to 8 weeks
As with the majority of surgical procedures, many options can be considered. These depend upon the wishes of the patient, technical considerations and preferences of the surgeon.
At your consultation, your surgeon will provide you with advice upon the best options for you, taking all known factors into account.
Essentially, the incision and thus scars run around the areola, then vertically down from the areola to the crease under the breast. In some cases, it continues horizontally along that crease.
There exists however an alternative suitable for some younger women who only require a moderate reduction in breast size. This is to remove the breasts’ fatty tissue employing a modification of the liposculpture technique. This avoids any of the significant scarring often associated with a breast reduction operation. Your suitability for this new highly specialized technique can only be fully assessed by your surgeon during consultation.
Following the operation
As with all types of surgery, you should expect to feel bruised and sore following your operation. Your breasts are also likely to be swollen. You might also be requested to sleep on your back and to avoid strenuous activities and bending for a few weeks. You will also have to wear a support bra. Most patients can return to normal activity within 4 to 6 weeks.
Any sutures are removed after 10 to 14 days.
As is normal with all scars, they will fade over a period of time. They will typically heal to form very faint white lines. However, it is important to remember that no surgical scar will ever disappear in its entirety. Most women consider that scarring resultant from a breast reduction operation to be a more than acceptable trade-off for the significant advantages of not having their former large heavy breasts.
Risks & Complications
Cosmetic surgery is amongst the safest of all medical procedures. However, it should be understood and accepted by all patients that no surgical procedure is totally risk-free. In particular, it is important for women requesting breast reduction to understand that, because the milk ducts are separated from the breast tissue during the operation, very few women are able to breast feed following this surgery.
For additional information concerning the risks and complications related to Breast Reduction, please refer to Risks and Complications of Breast Reduction.
At your Consultation, your surgeon will discuss these risks with you.
How long will the results of your breast reduction surgery last?
Unless this operation is performed at a young age, it is highly unlikely that your breasts will re-grow. However, as for all women, excessive weight gain or pregnancy will alter the breast shape. Furthermore, with age, your breasts are likely to sag as is normally the case.