At a Glance
Do you feel like your breasts are too large for your body and out of proportion? Do your breasts cause problems such as neck pain, backaches, skin irritation or numbness? A breast reduction is a way to ensure you appear more in-proportion and have smaller, lighter breasts.
A breast reduction can often be considered to be a life-changing procedure. There are numerous benefits to a breast reduction, including:
An increase of self-esteem
Reducing any pain experienced
Improvement of posture
Benefits of Breast Reductions
After the procedure, you will have smaller, lighter breasts. This will help to alleviate any discomfort you were feeling before, such as neck or a backache. You can also expect to have an increase in self-esteem and confidence.
Risks of Breast Reduction
As with any surgical procedure, breast reduction has potential risks. These include:
- Nipples that lose sensation
- Breastfeeding difficulties
Appropriate candidates for breast reduction surgery include those who:
- Experience pain in the neck and back, which can also result in posture problems
- Have lower self-esteem or confidence
- Find themselves restricted in the physical activities they can partake in
- Have breast asymmetry
- Experience skin irritations
It is recommended that you do not undertake this procedure until you are at least 20 years old, as your breasts will still be developing prior to this age.
Before undergoing a breast reduction, you will need to have a consultation with one of our surgeons. They will be able to assess your eligibility for this procedure, and which surgical method is the best for you.
A breast reduction surgeon can be either from a plastic surgery or general surgery background (a declared specialist interest in breast surgery). Both specialities are fully trained to perform a breast reduction.
How To Prepare For The Surgery
Before the surgery, you will need to:
- Stop smoking a few weeks before your breast reduction surgery
- Avoid taking blood-thinning medication, aspirin and herbal supplements
- Undergo a medical evaluation
- Have a baseline mammogram to detect any future changes in breast tissue
How The Surgery Is Performed
The breast reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. At Centre for Surgery, this is known as ClearSleep™. This anaesthetic is used exclusively by Centre for Surgery. It avoids the use of any breathing tubes and machines, which reduces the risk of damage to your throat and mouth. It also allows the surgery to be performed as an outpatient procedure, meaning you will be able to return home the same day as the procedure, once the effects of the anaesthetic have worn off.
The surgery involves making an incision, after which the glandular tissue, fat and skin will be removed from the breasts. This will help to reshape the breasts, as well as reduce volume.
During this procedure, the nipples may also be repositioned, however, the nipples and areola will remain attached to nerves and blood vessels.
There are numerous techniques for performing a breast reduction. These include:
- Classic breast reduction: this method will involve an incision around the areola and vertically down to the crease in the breasts, which allows for excess skin to be removed and the lift to occur. This is the most commonly performed method
- Periareolar breast reduction: this is suitable for those who only require a slight reduction. The benefit of this method is the scar will only be around the areola. This method involves making an incision around the areola, and another ovular incision further out. This excess skin is then removed, and the incision is then pulled shut. This causes the breast to lift and the skin will tighten.
- Structural breast reduction: this method involves the restructuring of the breast to give the upper portion of the breasts more volume. Deep structural anchorage will also take place to tighten the base of the breasts.
Following the procedure, you will notice a reduction in breast size and volume. Over time, this will help to alleviate any issues you were experiencing prior to the procedure.
You may choose to combine breast reduction with an uplift surgery, which will raise breasts that are sagging. Breast liposuction may also be necessary to ensure there is no excess fat surrounding the breasts.
Men who suffer from gynecomastia may also be interested in breast reduction surgery.
Breast reduction is a day surgery, so you will be able to return home after the effects of the anaesthetic has worn off.
Following the breast reduction, you will have to avoid undertaking any strenuous physical activity, including heavy lifting, for at least six weeks.
You will notice bruising and swelling, which will last around four weeks. You will be able to reduce this by using a cold compress, particularly during the first two days. You will also be provided with painkillers to alleviate any discomfort.
You will need to take at least one week off work.
Am I a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?If you have large and heavy breasts that cause back or shoulder pain with changes in posture then the surgery could be a good choice for you.
Patients must also be in good health with realistic expectations about what the procedure can achieve.
How should I prepare for surgery?Before undergoing a breast reduction, you should:
Stop smoking two weeks prior to surgery
Avoid medications which increase the risk of bleeding
Use an antiseptic wash to reduce the risk of infection
How is breast reduction surgery performed?The procedure involves making one or more incisions on the breasts to remove a significant amount of glandular tissue and also involves the repositioning of the nipple to an aesthetic position.
It is often combines with uplift surgery or liposuction for an overall enhanced appearance.
How long does breast reduction surgery take?Breast reduction surgery takes about two hours to perform.
Will I be in pain after the procedure?Breast reduction surgery is particularly painful when compared with breast augmentation surgery.
The following can help reduce any pain and discomfort experienced throughout the recovery period:
Cold compresses help with the swelling and discomfort, and
Sleeping in an upright position with pillows for one week, which will help to reduce any swelling
Can I breastfeed after breast reduction surgery?It depends on the actual technique used. Please consult with one of our surgeons to find out more.
How long before I can return to my normal activities?You can return to normal activities after one week.
Avoid strenuous activities for four weeks after surgery.
What are the risks following breast reduction surgery?The risks following breast reduction surgery include bleeding, infection, swelling, prominent scars and DVT.
The surgeon will take special precautions to prevent any complications from developing following your procedure.
Will I have scars after the surgery?Scarring is inevitable after a breast reduction surgery, however, the incision can be made within the natural folds of the breasts and sometimes on the crease of the areola, which means the incision scars are hidden.