What is a breast reduction?

Also known as a reduction mammoplasty, a breast reduction is a procedure which aims to reduce breast size and create a more ideal breast shape for the woman.

Who does this procedure suit?

Women with large or droopy breasts may be experiencing severe back and neck pain, shoulder soreness from tight bra straps, skin irritation or skeletal deformities.

What results will I expect?

A breast reduction creates smaller and more shapely breasts therefore will help alleviate any uncomfortable symptoms mentioned above, as well as giving you more confidence and freedom to wear fitted clothing you prefer and do activities such as running and exercise. You will benefit from the changes of a breast reduction forever, however gravity and aging may still affect the breast shape, and this varies between patients. Some patients may require small adjustments or revision surgery to maintain desired breast shape.

What’s the first step to take?

Prior to your first consultation, our specialized photographer will show you the Vectra 3D system and explain how it works. A high-resolution 3D image of you will be taken so that your surgeon can then digitally alter this image to simulate the results of your surgery. This will give you a real sense of your body after surgery.

During your first consultation your surgeon will discuss what you’d like to achieve, any expectations you have and various options available. Information about your breast history, mammograms, ultrasounds or biopsies, questions about the procedure, medical history and current medication will also be discussed. Please bring any relevant information to this consultation. We will provide as much information as possible so that you feel comfortable and informed, and if you feel overwhelmed in any way we encourage you to make a second consultation so that you feel confident with your decision.

How do I prepare for surgery?

Please ensure you have arranged someone to drive you home after your surgery and to help you out at home for a few days. To reduce risk of bleeding and bruising please make sure to:

  • Avoid pain relievers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Voltaren and Nurofen) and Vitamin E two weeks before surgery. Panadol, and vitamins B and C are safe to use. Alcohol is best kept to a minimum also.
  • Inform your surgeon if you take any herbal medicines that may affect clotting and the anesthetic.
  • Avoid smoking 6 weeks before and after surgery so as not to restrict circulation to the area and delay healing. Giving up altogether is best.
  • Inform us immediately if you’ve had any infection (cold or flu) the week before your surgery.

What happens on the day of my surgery?

We will guide you to prepare for surgery so that your procedure and recovery go smoothly. On the day bring your toiletries, any medication needed and loose clothing.

  • If your procedure is in the morning – do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before.
  • If your procedure is in the afternoon – do not eat or drink anything after 8.00am.

What should I expect during surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthetic so that you will be completely unaware of the surgery or any pain, and sleep comfortably through the procedure.

Before the procedure, your surgeon will place some markings on your skin to determine the exact position and size of your new breasts. During the procedure, any excess breast tissue, fat and skin are removed and the nipples and remaining breast tissues are re-shaped. As much of the nerve supply to the nipple is preserved in order to provide some sensation to this area. The suture line will be situated around the nipple in its new position, and extends downward to the crease under the breast. The scar may end here, or alternatively may extend into the crease under the breast towards either side. This procedure usually takes 2-3 hours.

What should I expect after surgery?

  • There will be some soreness experienced for a few days. To ease discomfort, our staff may prescribe pain relief and/or antibiotics.
  • You may have drain tubes in the breast area, which allow removal of any fluid that has formed. These are removed in the first few days.
  • A follow up appointment will be made after one week and you will be fitted into a support bra and tapes reapplied over the incisions. Apart from bathing, staying in your bra day and night for 6 weeks will help to support the breasts achieve their final shape.
  • At least 2 weeks off work to recover is needed and no heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for 6 weeks.
  • Scars are expected and vary between patients. They can take up to 12 months to fade or become pale and flat. Our nurses will show you ways to improve the scars during your recovery.

What are the risks and complications with this procedure?

  • Excessive accumulation of blood within the newly shaped breast may occur. This requires removal of stitches and washing out the bruising beneath the skin.
  • Increased or decreased nipple sensation may occur, and can persist for 2-3 months. Loss of the nipple blood supply is rare however modern techniques, quitting smoking and controlling diabetes help to minimize risk.
  • Keloid or unsightly thick scars – some people have a tendency to form poor scars which is sometimes unpredictable. Poor long-term healing may require additional scar treatment.
  • Infection is rare however antibiotics help to minimize risk.
  • Loss of blood supply to the breast can lead to temporary or permanent hardening of parts of the breast, however is rare.
  • Blood clots in the body are extremely rare but can be life-threatening. Inform staff immediately if you experience any leg pain, swelling or chest pain after surgery.

Please call our office if you experience any of the following: excessive pain or bleeding, abnormal swelling or fever during the first 24 hours.