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

Breast reduction surgery due to cancer or emotional and physical discomfort is only a good option if you:

  • · Are physically healthy
  • · Have realistic expectations
  • · Don’t smoke
  • · Are bothered by feeling that your breasts are too large
  • · Have breasts that limit your physical activity
  • · Experience back, neck, and shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts
  • · Have shoulder indentations from bra straps
  • · Have skin irritation beneath the breast crease

You should also know that:

  • · Breast reduction surgery can interfere with certain diagnostic procedures
  • · Breast and nipple piercing can cause an infection
  • · Your ability to breastfeed following reduction mammoplasty 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
Be prepared to discuss:
  • · Why you want the 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
  • · The options available in breast reduction surgery
  • · The likely outcomes of breast reduction and any risks or potential complications
  • · The course of treatment recommended by your plastic surgeon, including procedures to achieve breast symmetry
Your surgeon may also:
  • · Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • · Examine your breasts, and take detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality, and placement of nipples and areolae
  • · Take photographs for your medical record
  • · Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • · Discuss likely outcomes of breast reduction and any risks or potential complications

Important facts about the safety and risks of breast reconstruction

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
  • · Skin discoloration, permanent pigmentation changes, swelling and bruising
  • · Excessive firmness of the breast
  • · Potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
  • · Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injectable agents.
  • · Bleeding (hematoma)
  • · Blood clots
  • · Poor wound healing
  • · Breast contour and shape irregularities
  • · Potential inability to breastfeed
  • · Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • · Fatty tissue deep in the skin could die (fat necrosis)
  • · Anaesthesia risks
  • · Damage to deeper structures - suchas nerves, blood vessels, muscles,and lungs - can occur and may be temporary or permanent
  • · Breast asymmetry
  • · Fluid accumulation
  • ·Potential loss of skin/tissue of breast where incisions meet each other
  • ·Pain, which may persist
  • ·Possibility of revision surgery
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.