‘Mammaplasty’ decreases breast size. Large, heavy breasts cause back pain, poor posture and associated medical problems. Conspicuous, disproportionately sized breasts can also draw unwanted attention (ranging from childhood teasing to sexual harassment as an adult). Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast tissue and repositions the nipples, if necessary for smaller, shapelier breasts.
Similar to a breast lift, breast reduction surgery involves making anchor-shaped incisions in the breasts. Circular incisions are made around each nipple, at which point, large areolas can be decreased, if desired. A vertical incision is made from the bottom of the areola to the fold underneath the breast. A semicircular incision is then made in the fold around the underside of the breast. The surgeon then removes a predetermined amount of fat and glandular tissue, excess skin is trimmed and the nipple is repositioned. Sutures are used to stitch the incisions closed and gauze dressings are applied to aid in the healing process. A surgical bra will need to be worn for several weeks in order to hold the breasts in place and allow for proper healing.
Risks and Complications
Although rare, surgical procedures can encounter complications. Patients may lose sensation in the nipples and areolas following breast reduction surgery, especially in cases involving dramatic reduction and repositioning. Bleeding, infection or excessive scarring is also possible. Breast reduction surgery may not always meet expectations, so it is best to be realistic before undergoing such a procedure.
Standard hospital procedure requires that your surgeon perform laboratory investigations and/or diagnostic examinations to ensure that you are fit for surgery, prior to hospital admission and surgery.
Time required: Two to four hours
Anaesthesia: General anaesthesia
- Permanent scarring
- Slightly mismatched breasts
- Unevenly positioned nipples
Back to work: Within three to four weeks
More strenuous activity: Allow approximately six weeks
Scars will fade: Within several months to a year (possibly longer).
Note: This information acts as a guide to your possible treatment. Your individual concerns and specific medical history will need to be shared and discussed with your surgeon during your initial consultation.