This is a procedure to reduce the size and enhance the shape of large and often drooping breasts.
Following a breast reduction procedure you can expect smaller, shapelier breasts. Symptoms associated with large breasts including back, neck and shoulder pain, bra strap grooving, difficulty exercising and difficulty finding clothes to fit are commonly alleviated. Scars on the breasts are inevitable however the advantages afforded by a breast reduction make this one of the most successful and rewarding procedures.
A breast reduction is an operation that removes both excess skin and breast tissue, mostly from the lower half of the breasts and elevates the nipple-areolar complex to a higher position on the new, reshaped breast mound. The technique and resultant scars will be determined by the extent of the reduction. The larger your breasts the more likely it is that you will need longer incisions to achieve a pleasing result. Breast reduction techniques I commonly perform include 'vertical scar', inverted 't' and wise keyhole.
Vertical Breast Reduction
The incision is made around the areola and then down the centre of the breast to the inframammary fold.This technique is used for small breast reductions.
'Inverted T' Reduction:
The incisions are made around the areola, down the centre of the lower portion of the breast and then transversely in the infra-mammary fold. The length of the transverse incision in the infra-mammary fold is determined by the amount of skin and breast tissue to be removed. The transverse scar remains completely hidden below the lower half of the breast in the fold. The technique is suitable for small to moderate sized breast reductions.
'Anchor' Breast reduction:
This is really an extension of the inverted 'T' breast reduction - the length of the transverse scar is longer and extends towards the mid-line of the chest in the breast fold and outwards curving up the outer breast fold towards the armpit. This extension is to accommodate reductions in large breasts With all these techniques the areola can and usually is reduced to create the desired proportions.
If you are older than 40 or if you have a family history of breast cancer a pre- operative mammogram is essential. Pre-operative photographs are taken routinely.
Duration of surgery:
Approximately two hours.
The procedure is usually performed under deep intravenous sedation with local anaesthetic. This ensures complete comfort without awareness during the procedure, rapid recovery and good post-operative analgesia. Alternatively general anaesthesia may be used.
Discomfort during the first 2-3 days is controlled with pain medications. Drains will be removed on the 2nd or 3rd day. Patients can usually return to work between 10 days and 2 weeks. Strenuous activities may be recommenced after 6 weeks. A custom fitted bra will be supplied to support your newly shaped breasts. Scars are taped and topical vitamin A applied to optimize healing and prevent stretching. The fading of scars may take between 6 months and 2 years.
Outcome varies from patient-to-patient.
Patients with symptoms relating to large breasts can expect a marked improvement. Breast pain (mastalgia) is generally not improved by a breast reduction. Weight fluctuations after surgery will alter the size and shape of your breasts. With advancing age and the continued effects of gravity some sagging is to be expected.
Recovery following a breast reduction is generally quick however temporary bruising, swelling and discomfort is inevitable. Temporary numbness of either the breast skin or nipple may occur.
In general, patients with medical illnesses or who smoke have an increased risk of complications.
- Delayed wound healing.
- Unfavorable scarring with keloid formation.
- Asymmetric nipple position or breast shape
- Permanent loss of feeling in the nipples and/or the breast skin.
- Nipple necrosis.