Breast Reduction Surgery
The purpose of breast reduction surgery is to help reduce the size of your breasts if you feel as though they’re too large or they’ve grown larger due to recent weight gain.
To obtain the results you wish, during your breast reduction consultation you need to be as honest and open as possible about your concerns and expectations. This enables us to ensure that we create the best surgery plan for you. We’ll also ask a series of questions about your lifestyle and health.
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If required, operations can be completed in a way to suit your own needs and we’ll be happy to discuss this with you so you’re aware of how we can achieve this. One of the considerations that we’ll be likely to discuss with you will be scar placement. There’s also the possible option of liposuction to combine with the procedure depending on how much skin tissue will need to be removed. You may also be asked to lose weight to ensure that you’re in a stable state before the procedure. This is because your weight can have a major impact on the eventual results of your breast reduction surgery.
Risks and complications will also be discussed to help decide which procedure you feel is the best for you.
How To Prepare Before Your Surgery
To ensure that you’re in good health for the surgery, if you have any complications with your health prior to the procedure you will need to inform us so that we can delay and rearrange if required. There may also be preoperative tests required before the surgery but we will arrange this if necessary and inform you of what the tests will be.
The procedure will be performed under a general anaesthetic so we ask you to take the following steps before the surgery:
– Stop smoking 6 weeks prior
– Stop taking aspirin
– Don’t intake any herbal supplements or anti-inflammatory drugs
After the surgery, you will witness some discomfort so prepare to take time off work if necessary.
What Happens During Breast Reduction Surgery?
We should expect the surgery to take between 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours. It involves a vertical incision being made towards the crease of the breast. The size of this incision will depend on how much tissue requires to be removed.
The tissue is then removed from where the incision has been made and the breast is shaped accordingly. The excess skin is then stretched over the breasts and they are stitched up with dissolvable stitches. If required, liposuction can also be combined with the procedure to improve the appearance and contour of the breast. This will also be discussed during your consultation.
What Happens After The Surgery?
After the surgery has taken place, you’ll be escorted back to the ward where you will have the opportunity to mobilise. Expect to feel some signs of swelling and discomfort. If it becomes extremely uncomfortable then we can treat this easily with analgesia.
To ensure the best possible results from your breast reduction surgery, you should wear a support bra around 4 weeks after the procedure has taken place and this should be worn both day and night. There is potential to stay in the ward for longer than a day depending on the results of the surgery.
As you’ll feel discomfort, arrange for someone to pick you up from the surgery. You’ll also require someone to look after you whilst you’re at home for around 2 weeks. Strenuous exercise should be avoided for at least the first couple of weeks. You can then resume light exercises before gradually exercising normally around 3-4 weeks after. Lastly, try to keep the wounds dry for at least a week.
Are There Any Complications Or Risks Involved?
For the large majority of patients, they are extremely happy with the results that we offer, but there can be occasions when patients experience some side-effects. Common complaints include:
– Changes in Sensation
These are expected considering the operation that’s been conducted. Complications that are uncommon can be the following:
– Delayed Healing
– Seroma Formation
– Thickened Scar
– Nipple Loss
– Respiratory Issues
– Deep Vein Thrombosis
You must be made aware that breastfeeding can be affected by the procedure so if you haven’t completed your family as of yet, it may be worth considering this before going through it.
The breast tissue can also age through childbirth which would require further surgery to tighten the skin. This can also happen through weight fluctuations where the breasts may decrease or increase in size. It is, however, rare for breasts to increase to a size where further breast reductions surgery is required, although this can’t be guaranteed.
Scars will be relatively raw and have a red colour to it for the initial first few weeks. Over time they will begin to change colour from red, to pink, to purple. This will then eventually fade to a white line. Scar revision due to irregularities or abnormal looking scars is rare but if required, this should only be done after a year.
How Will I Know It’s Successful?
Improvements to the breasts will be relatively obvious once they have settled. You will find a noticeable difference in the appearance of your breasts, providing a fuller and perkier look to them.
Are There Any Implications With Mammograms/Screening?
It’s important that if you are screened for breast cancer that you make the service provider aware that you’ve had breast reduction surgery.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Breast liposuction is an alternative procedure. However, liposuction wouldn’t provide a lift for the breasts or give them the required shape so it’s rare that patients would use this method to reduce their breast size.
Can My Breasts Grow Back After Breast Reduction Surgery?
It is rather unusual for breasts to grow back after breast reduction surgery or for patients to have another breast reduction surgery. The only time this may occur is from weight gain or pregnancy. There are also medications that can affect the size of breasts as they can increase the amount of breast tissue produced.
During your breast reduction surgery, a pedicle is used which means that breasts can be reduced further if required. If possible, patients should be at an ideal weight that is stable prior to surgery.