Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that reduces the size and volume of the breasts. It involves removing excess breast tissue, fat, and skin. The procedure can also address physical discomfort and pain associated with increased breast size.

Do you need Breast Reduction Surgery?

A breast reduction surgery can help address the following:

  • Neck, shoulder, back, and breast pain that is related to the weight and traction effect of the breasts
  • Irritation or infection in the breast crease due to increased breast size
  • Difficulty with exercise or any physical activity due to current breast size

Suitable Candidates for Breast Reduction

Good candidates for breast reduction surgery are those close to their ideal weight, in good health, and non-smokers. Moreover, patients experiencing physical discomfort, pain, recurrent infections, or irritation due to increased breast size are also potential candidates for breast reduction.

Please note: Dr Turner does not perform breast reduction surgery on current smokers – it is important that all patients undergoing breast reduction agree to cease smoking or nicotine intake (including patches/gums) for at least 6 weeks pre- & post-surgery.

About Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthesia in an accredited hospital with the assistance of a qualified anaesthetist. Depending on the extent of the surgery, the procedure can take 2-3 hours to perform. You may be allowed to go home the same day or you may need to stay overnight depending on your health condition.

The full results of breast reduction surgery can take up to six months. Breast reduction scars will be noticeable at first, but they will undergo a maturation process over time. This makes the scars less noticeable.

You will likely experience discomfort and swelling of the breasts for several weeks. After 2 weeks, you can return to your normal routine. However, you should avoid activities that require raising the arms above the chest for 10 days after surgery. You can usually return to work within 1-2 weeks post-surgery.

The breast reduction technique used will vary depending on your anatomy and individual choice. There are two common incision patterns for breast reduction:

  • Short scar Vertical incision or Lollipop pattern incision
  • Inverted T Shape or Anchor pattern incision

Recovery After Breast Reduction Surgery

After the surgery, Dr Turner will apply a dressing to the incision sites. You will be placed into a surgical garment in the recovery room when you are fully awake. It is important to wear the garment full-time for the first six weeks to assist in wound healing and settling of the new breast shape. In some cases, Dr Turner may require a drain to be placed in each breast to drain off excess blood and fluids for the first day or two.

You can take the garment off for short periods while at home and shower over the dressings the very next day. Make sure to follow your surgeon’s postoperative instructions regarding wound care to prevent infection.

You will be given a prescription for pain medications and antibiotics. Have someone fill the prescription, drive you home, and take care of you as you recover during the first few days after the surgery.

You can return to your normal activities at a slow and gradual pace. You may be back to work as soon as one week after breast reduction surgery and may begin light exercise at two weeks. Most activities can be resumed fully six weeks following the procedure but this will depend on the recommendation of the surgeon.

You will have an appointment to see Dr Turner within the first week after surgery to monitor your healing progress. Dr Turner will give you advice on scar management, proper use of garments, and resuming normal activities.

Different Types of Breast Reduction Incisions & Scars

The incision type to be used depends on:

  1. The amount of skin that needs to be removed
  2. The distance the nipple needs to be lifted
  3. The amount of breast tissue that needs to be removed

There are two common incision patterns for breast reduction:

Short Scar – Vertical (Lollipop) Incision – Preferred Technique

Breast Reduction Surgery Sydney Vertical Scar Incision Dr Scott Turner

  • Incision around the nipple-areola complex and vertically down to the breast crease
  • This is Dr Turner’s preferred technique to minimise the amount of scarring around the breast. It is used in patients who require less extensive breast reduction and have good skin quality.

Inverted T (Anchor) Incision – used for Larger Reductions or Breast Ptosis

Breast Reduction Surgery Sydney Anchor Scar Incision Dr Turner Sydney

  • Incision around the nipple-areola complex, vertically down to the breast crease and horizontally along the breast fold
  • This approach is used for larger reductions or cases of breast ptosis as it provides greater access to the excess skin and tissue.

Types of Breast Reduction Glandular Pedicle – 3 Different Approaches to Surgery

The tissue that maintains the blood supply and innervation to the nipple after resection of the excessive breast tissue is commonly referred to as a pedicle; this pedicle can come superiorly, inferiorly, centrally, medially, or laterally. The three most common pedicle designs used in modern breast reductions are:

1. Inferior Pedicle

The inferior pedicle is the most popular technique used worldwide due to its versatility in maintaining nipple blood supply and sensation, as well as the post-operative ability to breastfeed. The inferior pedicle technique is frequently combined with an inverted T-shaped incision for larger breast reductions.

2. Superior Pedicle

The superior pedicle is ideal for those patients who need only a small amount of nipple elevation with tightening of the inferior breast skin. This is an excellent approach in breast lift and small breast reduction procedures with a short scar technique.

3. Medical Pedicle

The development of the medial pedicle technique has allowed the maintenance of superior and medial fullness of the breast to change breast cleavage, which has been a problem with other techniques. The ability to combine the medial pedicle with either a short scar or an inverted T-shaped incision gives it versatility for small to very large breast reduction procedures.

Risks Associated with Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery has risks and complications, such as:

  • Anaesthesia risks (allergic reactions to the anaesthetic)
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots
  • Changes in breast sensation
  • Haematoma (collection of blood around the surgical site)
  • Infection
  • Poor wound healing
  • Scar formation

Dr Scott J Turner – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Turner FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons – Plastic Surgery) is a Sydney Plastic Surgeon with clinics in the Eastern Suburbs at Bondi Junction and Northern Beaches at Manly. Dr Turner has over a decade of experience in private practice solely focused on performing cosmetic surgery.