Breast Reduction

What is Breast Reduction?

Also known as reduction mammoplasty, breast reduction removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts.

What You Should Know Before Breast Reduction Surgery

The success and safety of your breast reduction procedure depends very much on your being completely candid during your consultation. By being actively involved your consultation about breast reduction, problems, concerns and questions you may have can be addressed by your Surgeon. You'll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

Be prepared to discuss:
  • · Why you want breast reduction surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
  • · Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • · Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • · Previous surgeries
  • · Family history of breast cancer and results of any mammograms or previous biopsies
Your surgeon may also:
  • · Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • · Examine your breasts, and may take detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality, placement of your nipples
  • · Take photographs for your medical record
  • · Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • · Discuss likely outcomes of breast reduction surgery and any risks or potential complications
  • · Discuss the use of anaesthesia during your breast reduction procedure
Preparing for Breast reduction Surgery

After researching the basics about breast enhancement or breast lifts, many patients want to know what to expect before breast reduction surgery.

Prior to breast surgery, your Surgeon may ask you to:
  • · Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
  • · Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • · Get a baseline mammogram before surgery and another one after surgery to help detect any future changes in your breast tissue
  • · Stop smoking well in advance of your breast augmentation surgery
  • · Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding
Special instructions you receive will cover:
  • · What to do on the day of surgery
  • · Post-operative care and follow-up
  • · Breast implant registry documents (when necessary)

Important facts about the safety and risks of breast reduction

The decision to have breast reduction surgery is extremely personal and you’ll have to decide if the benefits will achieve your goals and if the risks and potential complications are acceptable.

Your plastic surgeon and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure you will undergo and any risks or potential complications.

The risks include:
  • · Unfavourable scarring
  • · Infection
  • · Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
  • · Anaesthesia risks
  • · Bleeding (hematoma)
  • · Blood clots
  • · Poor wound healing
  • · Breast contour and shape irregularities
  • · Skin discoloration, permanent pigmentation changes, swelling and bruising
  • · Damage to deeper structures - such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and lungs - can occur and may be temporary or permanent
  • · Breast asymmetry
  • · Fluid accumulation
  • · Excessive firmness of the breast
  • · Potential inability to breastfeed
  • · Potential loss of skin/tissue of breast where incisions meet each other
  • · Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
  • · Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • · Pain, which may persist
  • · Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injectable agents.
  • · Fatty tissue deep in the skin could die (fat necrosis)
  • · Possibility of revision surgery
Other Important Considerations
  • · Breast reduction surgery can interfere with certain diagnostic procedures
  • · Breast and nipple piercing can cause an infection
  • · Your ability to breastfeed following reduction mammaplasty may be limited; talk to your doctor if you are planning to nurse a baby
  • · The procedure can be performed at any age, but is best done when your breasts are fully developed
  • · Changes in the breasts during pregnancy can alter the outcomes of previous breast reduction surgery, as can significant weight fluctuations
When you go home

If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heart beats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you may require hospitalization and additional treatment.

The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedures and another surgery may be necessary.

Be careful

Following your physician’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.

Be sure to ask questions:

It’s very important to address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon. It is natural to feel some anxiety, whether excitement for the anticipated outcome or preoperative stress. Discuss these feelings with your plastic surgeon.