Breast Reduction Surgery
What is it?
This is a functional and aesthetic procedure whereby volume and weight of breast tissue is removed. Usually, the position of the nipple is raised to a more ‘youthful’ position.
What are the benefits?
Breast reduction surgery consistently ranks near the top of procedures that improve quality of life. Macromastia (large breast) can have significant physical and psychosocial effects including:
back / shoulder pain
Recurrent infection (intertrigo) usually under the breast
‘Digging’ in of bra strap
Improve self image
Improve physical well being
What does it involve?
The initial phase is ensuring there are no relevant medical problems of other abnormalities within the breast. Women aged 40 and over will be advised to have a mammogram (Breast x-ray) to ensure there are no pre-existing problems.
The most important part of the pre-operative phase is to understand what impact this is having on one’s life so that expectations from surgery can be appropriately managed.
What are the risks of breast reduction surgery?
Pain, infection and bleeding – are risks in any form of surgery
Wound breakdown (T-junction)
Prominent scars (hypertrophic or keloid scar)
Nipple – change in sensation, reduced erectile function, difficulties breastfeeding
Nipple loss – a rare complication due to reduced blood supply
Breast asymmetry –“Breast are sisters, not twins” – there will always be an element of difference between the two sides
Clots in the legs and lungs = uncommon complication
Stretched scars over time
Interference with future mammograms
Lumpy feeling areas (fat necrosis)
What does the surgery involve?
The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic with usually an overnight stay. You will wake up in a supportive post-surgical bra. The use of surgical tape on the wounds is usual that stay one for a period of up to 3 weeks. It is pretty usual to be quite swollen for a period of time following surgery.
Recovery can take a number of weeks. You will be advised to continue to wear a post-surgical bra for 6-12 weeks.