Overly large breasts can cause physical and emotional distress, so you may be considering breast reduction surgery. Also called reduction mammoplasty, your surgeon removes excess fat, glandular tissue and skin to make the size of your breasts better suit the size of your body.
Women with large breasts may suffer with chronic back, shoulder and neck pain, and irritated skin under the breasts. This can make it difficult to lead an active life. You may also be self-conscious about your breast size which can affect your self-esteem.
Understanding Breast Reduction
To help you better understand breast reduction surgery, you need to consider:
- It is best to wait until you have fully developed breasts.
- Consider waiting until you do not intend to have any more children as it may affect breastfeeding.
- Getting pregnant after the procedure can have a negative effect on your breast reduction due to changes in your weight and breast size.
- You may be able to claim your breast construction on your medical insurance if you have the procedure for medical reasons. Ask your surgeon for further information.
Importance of Choosing a Qualified and Experienced Surgeon
If you live in New South Wales, we encourage readers to schedule consultations with qualified breast reduction surgeons in Sydney. Why? Any doctor with a medical degree can perform cosmetic surgery without specialist training so it is important to choose a specialist plastic surgeon with the qualifications and experience.
When looking for a specialist plastic surgeon, ask your GP for recommendations, check out online reviews and ask friends and family.
During your first consultation, ask the surgeon about their training and experience, and to see before and after photos of previous surgeries. Also ask to see their certificates to make sure they have the specialist training they need in this area.
The Surgical Process
Breast reduction surgery is usually done as a one night hospital saty, but can be done on an “outpatient” (day surgery) basis for smaller breasts. Breast reduction surgery takes two and a half to four hours, depending on the size of your breasts,
The surgery is performed under general anaesthetic, so you are asleep.
During breast reduction surgery:
- Your specialist plastic surgeon cuts around the nipple and vertically down to the breast crease. They may also make a cut in the crease under the breast.
- The surgeon leaves the nipple attached to the nerve and blood supply. On occasion, where the breast is extremely large, they may do a free nipple graft. This is where they remove the nipple and attach it again higher up on the breast for a natural look.
- You surgeon will remove excess glandular tissue, fat and skin and may use liposuction to remove any excess fat on the side of the cheat and in the area in front of the armpits.
- To support the breast tissue, the surgeon will put stitches deep within the breast.
- Finally, the surgeon uses internal, dissolving sutures to close the wounds.
Recovery and Aftercare
How long it takes to recover is different for everyone. It can take between three to six weeks before you can return to normal activities.
During the first few days after surgery, you will have some swelling, pain and soreness. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications to help you get relief.
If you do not have drains from the wounds, you can take a shower the day after surgery. Where there are drains to prevent fluid build-up, follow your surgeon’s instructions to wait until they remove them. This can take between one and five days.
It is a good idea to organise a support person to help you around the house, shopping and with the kids in the first few days after surgery. Avoid lifting heavy objects for the first month and high intensity exercise for up to three months.
Your surgeon may recommend sleeping on your back or sides for the first three weeks. Do not drive until it is comfortable to wear a seatbelt and limit your activities to what you can comfortably do. You can return to work after your surgeon’s clearance which is usually a week but it maybe longer depending on your job.
Potential Risks and Benefits of a Breast Reduction
While a breast reduction has benefits, there are also potential risks.
Any type of surgery has potential risks and complications. For a breast reduction these can include:
- Nerve, muscle or blood vessel damage
- Death of fatty tissue deep beneath the skin
- Death of skin or the areolae/nipples
- Uneven breasts
- Bleeding or infection
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Retention of fluid around the wound site/s
- Bruising, swelling, changes in pigmentation or skin colouration
- Lumpy scar tissue
- Permanent or temporary numbness
- Changes in the nipple and breast sensations
- An allergic reaction to the anaesthetic or other medical materials, difficulty breathing caused by the anaesthetic
- The potential need for further surgery to treat complications.
Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery
The benefits of a breast reduction are psychological as well as physical. How it impacts you depends on the difficulties large breasts cause. Some of the benefits include:
- Reducing stress on your body.Large breasts can cause chronic pain, especially if you are a smaller built woman or have weak core muscles. The extra weight on the front of your body can cause poor posture over time. Reducing your breast size can relieve the pain as there is less strain on your body.
- Improving self-esteem.If overly large breasts is embarrassing and you try to hide them, a breast reduction may improve your self-esteem.
- Physical activity is easier.Anyone with big breasts knows they can hamper you exercising or playing sport. A breast reduction will make physical activities easier.
It is important to encourage readers to schedule consultations with qualified breast reduction surgeons in Sydney. Dr Steve Merten at Pure Aesthetics is a qualified, experienced surgeon performing breast reduction surgery in Sydney. Contact us today to book a consultation with Dr Merten for specialist advice on breast reduction surgery.