A breast reduction can be a relief for many women who have suffered from large, heavy breasts their whole life, after pregnancy, or after weight gain. The aim of breast reduction surgery is to leave the breasts smaller, lighter, and possibly firmer.
In addition to being uncomfortable and inconvenient when wearing clothes, large breasts can cause several health problems such as neck pain, back pain and breathing problems.
A breast reduction (or reduction mammoplasty) can be a welcome relief for many women who have suffered from large, heavy breasts their whole life, after pregnancy, or after weight gain.
The aim of breast reduction surgery is to leave the breasts smaller, lighter, and possibly firmer, consequently sitting higher on the chest. This serves to improve everyday comfort, self-confidence, and ability to exercise, while arriving at a more balanced silhouette.
Dr Avery has over a decade of experience in plastic surgery and has been performing breast reductions in Newcastle since 2013.
Breast Reduction Consultation
During an initial consultation, Dr Avery will assess your relevant medical history and before going any further, ensure that a breast reduction procedure is a safe and appropriate choice for you.
After discussing your individual issues relating to breast size and shape, Dr Avery will explain the various options so together you can decide on the best course of action. During a second consultation before the surgery you will be able to further discuss your procedure including recovery time, advice on returning to work, driving and exercise.
Breast Reduction Procedure
A breast reduction procedure removes fat, glandular tissue and excess skin from the breasts. It may also involve relocating and reducing the size of the areola, and reshaping the remaining breast tissue.
There are several techniques used in breast reduction surgery depending on the existing breast tissue, the need for future breastfeeding and the desired aesthetic outcome.
Common surgical techniques for a breast reduction include:
This is the most commonly used technique, where incisions are made extending around the areola, down the midline of the breast, and across the lower crease of the breast.
This incision extends around the areola and down the midline of the breast, without the incision underneath.
Free Nipple Graft
A free nipple graft incision removes the nipple and relocates it higher up on the breast. Scarring in this case may be similar to an anchor incision.
A breast reduction surgery can take anywhere between 2-4 hours, depending on the amount of breast tissue being removed and the amount of breast reshaping needed.
All of our breast reduction procedures take place in an accredited hospital, with appropriately trained support staff and anaesthetist.
Breast Reduction Recovery
One or two overnight stays are generally required post-surgery to aid with recovery. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, up to two weeks off work may also be recommended.
If a patient has undergone another procedure in addition to the breast reduction, a longer stay in hospital might also be necessary for recovery. As with any operation, the patient will need to organise somebody to drive them home and it is recommended that they have another adult stay with them during the first night after surgery.
There will be some bruising and swelling, which generally subsides about 2 weeks after the surgery. Patients recovering from a breast reduction will be required to wear a compression garment for 4–6 weeks to provide support and reduce post-operative pain or swelling.
A customised pain relief program will be created for each patient and issued before leaving the hospital. If circumstances change at any stage during the recovery period, then the pain medication can certainly be adjusted accordingly.
Breast Reduction Scars
Scarring from a breast reduction will depend on the surgical technique used and any additional procedures performed, such as a breast lift. Most scars will generally fade to thin white lines in a matter of months, depending on the patient’s skin type.
Breast Reduction FAQ's
What do the scars look like after breast reduction?
Breast reduction scars consist of one around the outside of the areola, a vertical scar from the lower part of the areola to the natural fold of the breast, and then one that sits in this natural breast fold for a variable distance depending on the size of the breast reduction. They will not be visible in clothing and will gradually fade.
Will my nipples retain their sensitivity after the surgery?
Most women retain normal nipple sensation after surgery. Some women will have reduced sensation in their nipples following surgery, which may be temporary or permanent. Generally the chance that there will be a change in nipple sensation increases with the extensiveness of the surgery. Many women will also find their nipples hypersensitive for a short time after surgery.
Will my nipples be removed during breast reduction surgery?
Despite the appearance of the scars around the entire areola, the nipple and areola remain attached to the breast at all times. The size of the areola is usually reduced. Occasionally the nipples are removed and replaced on the breast but this is uncommon and would be discussed with you prior to the surgery.
Will breastfeeding be affected by a breast reduction?
It is generally possible for most women to breastfeed following breast reduction surgery. Despite the appearance of the scars around the entire areola, the nipple and areola remain attached to the breast tissue, which maintains the pathway from the milk producing part of the gland to the milk ducts in the nipple.
Is there an age restriction for breast reduction?
Breast reduction surgery is generally performed after 18 years of age up to any age depending on individual symptoms. In some cases, if the severity of symptoms warrants surgery and if the breast growth has stabilised, surgery can be considered around 16 years of age.
How long will it take for the swelling to go down after surgery?
Most of the swelling from surgery will be gone by about 6 weeks post-surgery. Beyond this time there can still be some changes in the breast size but they will generally be less obvious. The breasts continue to remain responsive to weight fluctuations, as they did prior to surgery.