Breast Reduction is a surgical procedure that removes fat, glandular tissue and skin from the breast, therefore reducing the size and improving the shape of the breasts. The surgeon makes an incision around the areola, vertically down the breast and then along the natural crease beneath the breast. They then remove the excess tissue and skin and move the nipple and areola into their new positions. Skin from both sides of the breast is then pulled down and around the areola, thus forming the new shape of the breast. Any excess fat can then be removed. In the majority of cases, the nipples remain attached to their blood vessels and nerves as they are being moved, however if the breasts are very large, the nipples and areola may have to be completely removed and grafted into a higher position. This may result in a loss of sensation in the areola and nipples.
How long does the Procedure take?
Breast Reduction surgery normally lasts between 2 to 4 hours.
What Anaesthetic is available?
A Breast Reduction can be performed either under General Anaesthetic or Local Anaesthetic with IV Sedation. You can discuss which Anaesthetic options are most suitable for you at your initial consultation with the surgeon.
Following a Breast Reduction, the breasts will appear smaller. The results are usually permanent, however your breasts may increase in size if you gain weight or there are any hormone changes in your body.
Factors to Consider
It might be that your breasts are large due to fatty deposits within them. By reducing your overall weight through healthy eating and regular exercise, you could also reduce the size of your breasts. As with all surgery, breast reduction leaves permanent scars which initially may be red and lumpy, but fade close to your natural skin colour over several months. These scars may be more noticeable e.g. wider and more prominent, if you smoke and may leave a puckered edge on the outside of the scar. Breast reduction may also leave you with breasts that are not the same size as each other, asymmetrical nipples, or a permanent nipple loss, or loss of feeling in your nipples or breasts. You may also be unable to breast feed in the future. Please discuss these and any other concerns you may have with the surgeon, at your initial consultation.
What is the Recovery Period?
It is recommended that you take 2 weeks off work to rest, but please discuss this with your surgeon at your initial consultation. You should avoid lifting and physical exercise for approximately 6 weeks after your surgery. It is very important that the breasts are well supported by a firm dressing initially and then a supportive bra e.g. a sports bra. Your sutures are removed between 7 and 14 days following your surgery and it is important to keep the incision wounds out of the sun for a minimum of 1 year.