Breast reduction surgery involves a combination of skin and breast tissue removal and reshaping. The surgery aims to reduce the size and weight of large breasts by lifting the breasts off the lower chest and upper abdomen. The objective is to leave the breasts smaller and lighter, sitting higher on the chest and closer to the body.
Large breasts may produce a number of physical, psychological, and functional or practical problems, and impinge on everyday tasks and activities. Physical symptoms impacting on health and wellbeing can include breast pain, shoulder, neck and upper back pain, breathing difficulties, exercise limitations, skin irritation and possible infections. Women who have disproportionately large breasts may also experience psychological distress, and this can significantly impact on daily functioning.
With age, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight fluctuations, breasts may continue to enlarge, progressively sitting below the breast fold and resting on the lower chest and upper abdomen. Consequently, the breasts become longer and sit further away from the body making exercise and sometimes sleeping difficult without a supportive bra.
Breast reduction surgery can help you to address physical limitations and discomfort
Breast reduction surgery addresses the size and heaviness of the breasts as well as their shape and position, creating or restoring breasts that sit higher on the chest. The goal of breast reduction surgery is to have the breasts sitting above the inframammary fold, close to the chest, correcting the tendency of the breast to elongate, and creating a breast size that is in proportion to the rest of the chest and body.
During breast reduction surgery, the nipple and areola generally remain attached to the breast despite the appearance of the scar around the areola (appearing as though it has been removed and replaced higher up on the breast). The areola itself is often reduced, as it tends to enlarge as breast size increases. Reducing the areola brings it back into proportion with the new smaller breasts.
Breast reduction surgery may be suitable for any woman with symptoms related to large breasts, with a wide age range for women typically seeking this procedure.
After breast reduction surgery, women may notice improvements in their posture, ability to exercise, and have a wider range of clothing options than before.
At Avery, we welcome the opportunity to have an open conversation with you to understand the changes you are looking for with surgery. Our patients’ stories matter a great deal to us. You can discover some of our wonderful patients journeys here.
Wherever you are on your personal journey, we would like to assist you. Dr Avery will listen to your concerns and what you want to achieve with surgery. Dr Avery will assess your health and medical history to ensure any surgical procedure you are considering is a safe and appropriate choice for you.
These are some of the common surgical techniques used for breast reduction:
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.
The scars from the incisions made during breast reduction surgery are placed around the newly sized areola, and continue from the lower part of the areola, down the front of the breast to the breast fold and then possibly along the breast fold for a variable distance.
This surgery can take anywhere between 2-4 hours, depending on the amount of breast tissue being removed and the amount of breast reshaping needed. Your individual anatomy and expectations will determine the best surgical technique for you and will be discussed at your consultation with Dr Avery.
Plastic surgery is a varied specialty with a number of surgeries to treat a variety of conditions or concerns. A unique feature of plastic surgery is the ability of the surgical procedures to produce physical changes that can also impact psychological functioning in a positive way.
The purpose of your initial consultation with Dr Avery is to discuss both your concerns and your goals. It is an opportunity to openly communicate what you want to change, alleviate, improve, restore, enhance, or remove. We will discuss any concerns you may have about your potential surgery and its outcome. We will also collect information that is specific and tailored to you, to add to the knowledge you acquired through your research outside of the consultation process.
When you arrive at Avery, you will check in with our front-desk team and complete a medical history form, if not already completed. We encourage you to bring a supportive family member or friend who can remain with you throughout the consultation if you like, and be a sounding board during your decision-making process following the consultation process.
The consultation with Dr Avery will include an examination of the area of your body that you are concerned with and considering changing. Our aim will be to determine if plastic surgery can achieve what you hope it will, and if so, what specific plastic surgery procedures will address your concerns and meet your expectations in a realistic way.
We will discuss what the surgery involves, how it relates to you specifically given your uniqueness and current state of health, what the possible risks of the surgery are and then decide if having the surgery is a safe and appropriate choice for you as an individual.
After your consultation, our support team will be there to talk through any further questions you have including the cost of the surgery.
Plastic surgery procedures generally impact both physical appearance and your psychological response to the new changes in your body. Besides all the advantages to having plastic surgery, it is important to be fully aware of any potential limitations of the operation and how they apply to your unique situation. This includes possible complications and what can be done if these occur. Dr Avery and the Avery team will be available to answer all of your questions.
If you have undergone another surgery in addition to the breast reduction, a longer stay in hospital might also be necessary for recovery. As with any operation, you will need to organise somebody to drive you home. We encourage our patients to have another adult stay with them during the first night after surgery.
After breast reduction surgery, you will be required to wear a compression garment for 4–6 weeks to provide support and reduce post-operative pain or swelling, which generally subsides about two weeks after the surgery.
A customised pain relief program will be created for you and issued before you leave the hospital. If circumstances change at any stage during the recovery period, we can adjust the pain medication accordingly.
Breast Reduction FAQs
As the scars heal, they will flatten and eventually fade and they will not be visible in clothing.
Some women may experience a reduced sensation in the nipples that can be temporary or permanent. They may also find their nipples hypersensitive for a short time after surgery.