Breast reduction surgery is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed worldwide that addresses the physical aspects of heavy and pendulous breasts.
Do you need Breast Reduction Surgery?
A Breast Reduction Surgery can help resolve these problems
- Neck, should, back and breast pain that is related to the weight and traction effect of the breasts
- Sagging or Drooping after breastfeeding – known Post lactation Ptosis
- Irritation or infection in the breast crease
- Difficulty with exercise or any physical activity due to heavy breasts
Benefits of a Breast Reduction – What Can a Reduction Do For Me?
The impact on women with exceptionally large, disproportionate breast size can affect the physical and emotional well-being of women. Research shows that larger breast sizes are associated with a greater likelihood of upper back pain and a negative relationship with breast-related physical wellbeing, and body and breast satisfaction.1 Breast satisfaction has also been associated with improved quality of life, and time spent participating in physical activity.2
Some of the many benefits of breast reduction surgery include:
- Reduce the size of the breasts
- Improve neck, back and shoulder discomfort
- Elevate the nipple and reshape the areola
- Ability to fit into normal clothes
- Correct fitting of bras that are comfortable to wear
- Reduce irritation, chafing and infections under the breast
- Improve exercise tolerance and assist with weight loss activities
Am I Suitable for Breast Reduction?
The best candidates for breast reduction surgery are those close to their ideal weight, in good health, non-smokers and whose oversized breasts cause health problems, interfere with routine activities, self-conscious, or even disrupt sleep.
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 a fully accredited hospital with the assistance of a qualified anaesthetist. The operation takes between two and three hours to perform and generally, you stay overnight at the hospital, occasionally patients may be discharged the same day.
There have been significant advances in breast reduction techniques over the past few years making it more reliable than ever. The breast reduction technique used will vary depending on the patient’s anatomy and individual desires. Of the many techniques available to reduce the size of the breasts, the techniques vary largely based on the incision used to reduce the skin envelope and the glandular resection or pedicle type utilized.
Breast reduction surgery can take up to six months to reach its final shape. Breast reduction scars will be noticeable at first, but they will fade over time. Patients should expect discomfort and swelling of the breasts for several weeks, although patients usually return to almost normal activity within two weeks. Patients should plan to avoid activities that require raising the arms above the chest for 10 days after surgery. Patients 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 Your Reduction Surgery
At the completion of your surgery, Dr Turner will apply a specialized dressing to aid wound healing and this remains on for the first 3 weeks after surgery. You will be placed into a surgical garment in the recovery room when you are fully awake and comfortable. 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. Very infrequently we may require a drain to be placed in each breast to drain off excess blood and fluids for the first day or two.
The majority of breast reduction patients stay in the hospital overnight and go home the next morning. You are able to take the garment off for short periods of time while at home and shower over the dressings the very next day.
Patients report minor post-operative pain, which is treated with oral medication. You will be given a prescription for pain management and antibiotics. Have someone fill the prescription, drive you home and take care of you as you recover during the first few days after your 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 at six weeks following your procedure.
You will have an appointment to see Dr Turner within the first week after surgery to check that your wounds are healing as expected and to review your new breast shape. Dr Turner will see you frequently over the first year to monitor your progress and will give you advice on scar management, wearing garments and resuming normal activities.
It is extremely important to your final result that you follow all post-operative instructions given to you by Dr Turner.
Breast reduction surgery can take up to one year to reach its final shape, which is when you can fully appreciate the permanent change in your appearance.
Different Types of Breast Reduction Incisions & Scars
The incision type 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 skin design patterns for breast reduction:
Short Scar – Vertical (Lollipop) Incision – Preferred Technique
• Incision around the nipple-areola complex and vertically down to the breast crease
• This is Dr Turner’s preferred technique to minimize the amount of scarring around the breast and is used in patients who require smaller breast reductions and have good skin quality
Inverted T (Anchor) Incision – used for Larger Reductions or Breast Ptosis
• Incision around the nipple-areola complex, vertically down to the breast crease and horizontally along the breast fold
• In larger breast reductions or significant breast ptosis the additional scar is often required
While incision lines are permanent, they are concealed within the bra and in most cases these will fade over time. Dr Turner takes great care to leave the smallest scar possible by using an advanced surgical technique aimed at reducing scar 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 and safety 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 enhance breast cleavage, which has been a problem with other techniques. The ability to combine the medial pedicle with either a short scar or inverted T-shaped incision gives it versatility for small to very large breast reduction procedures.
Combining Liposuction with Breast Reduction Surgery
Liposuction is often added to a breast reduction to further contour the outer portion of the breast, lateral chest and back regions.
Risks Associated with Breast Reduction Surgery
As with any surgery, it is important that you are fully informed of the potential risks of surgery and specific risks associated with breast reduction surgery. While all care is taken to minimize these complications, they may and do occur despite the best medical care.
It is important that you carefully read and understand the potential risks and they will be discussed in further detail when you have your consultation with Dr Turner.