What is breast reduction surgery?
Large breasts can cause a number of problems including neck, shoulder and back pain as well as psychological distress. Occassionally there can be soreness under the breasts and the size of the breasts often interferes with sports. A breast reduction operation reduces the breast by lifting the nipples to a more normal and elevated position while at the same time reshaping and reducing the size of the breast.
What happens during the operation?
A breast reduction is carried out under general anaesthesia and takes approximately 2 and a half hours. A one night stay in hospital is necessary.
Before surgery Mr Chana will draw markings on your breasts which determine the degree of nipple lift and degree of breast tissue removal.
During the surgery excess breast tissue is removed from above, below and around the nipple and areola. The pattern of scarring will be discussed prior to surgery. In all procedures there is a scar around the nipple and a further scar which runs vertically down from the nipple to the crease under the breast. In most situations a further scar is also required running horizontally in the crease under the breast. However, in smaller breast reductions this horizontal scar can be avoided. The exact procedure will be discussed prior to surgery.
A supportive dressing is applied after the surgery.
What is the recovery?
There may be discomfort or possibly mild pain after this operation but this is easily relieved by mild analgesic tablets which will be prescribed. Aspirin or aspirin like medication (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory tablets) must not be taken.
After surgery you should avoid stooping or vigorous activity for a few days to reduce the swelling. It is also important to sleep upright at night to reduce the swelling. You should be aware that bruising of the skin of your ‘new’ breast may occur but will disappear in 2-3 weeks. Immediately after surgery, the skin adjacent to the incision can sometimes appear slightly ‘pleated’ but this will flatten out over a period of several months. The scars can often take 12 to 18 months to fully mature.
Immediately after surgery your new breast size will be apparent but you must understand the final shape may take around six months to emerge.
What are the risks?
Serious complications of breast reduction are rare. Infection and bleeding are risks of any surgery. Alteration in nipple sensation may occur. Delayed would healing is a risk especially in smokers and therefore it is important to stop smoking prior to surgery. Occasionally there may be loss of some skin of the nipple or of the breast skin adjacent to scars. However, this is rare and again more common in smokers.
Mr Chana will provide you with a detailed information leaflet prior to surgery.
Mr Chana will provide you with a comprehensive information leaflet following consultation.