Breast reduction can afford women amazing freedom in terms of living their daily life without debilitating pain, being more confident and often even sleeping better.
Of course, it is not the answer for everyone, and careful patient selection and candid discussion with a breast reduction Melbourne surgeon of what can be achieved is vital in delivering results. Factors such as weight stability, family planning and breastfeeding need to be considered. The risk of breast cancer and screening mammography needs to be discussed. Subsequent breast growth or changes in size with weight gain or loss also need to be considered. As such, it is important that every patient is treated individually and that frank discussion is facilitated between patient and surgeon.
The operation takes about 3 hours depending on the size and shape of the breast. It is performed under general anaesthesia in an accredited hospital facility. Most patients stay in hospital for 2-3 days for care of drain tubes and pain relief requirements. While the operation is significant, the pain is surprisingly minimal.
Recovery is arbitrarily said to be around 6 weeks. This allows adequate time for the wounds to heal and any swelling and bruising to subside. You will need to wear a post-surgical bra to help reduce swelling. You will be able to get all wounds wet after 48 hours. It is recommended that you avoid strenuous exercise for the 6 weeks, however, walking is encouraged.
As with any surgery, there are always risks of complications with breast reduction Melbourne patients should be aware of. These include bleeding, infection, wound healing issues, seroma (fluid collections) and asymmetries. There is also a small risk of a change in nipple sensation or even loss of the nipple entirely. General anaesthesia itself also carries a risk.
There is also a risk of clots in the legs (DVT) and subsequently pulmonary emboli (PE). While these are rare, they are potentially life-threatening. As such, routine precautions are used for prevention, including careful positioning, calf compressors and anticoagulant medication. You will be encouraged to walk early on in your recovery while in the hospital.
Breast reduction surgery is about removing excess breast tissue as well as excess skin. There are many techniques of breast reduction surgery, however, in principle, they can be divided into two main groups:
1. Dealing with the skin, which is what produces the scar.
2. Preserving the sensation and circulation to the nipple and areola or creating a pedicle.
Generally, the excess skin is removed to leave a vertical scar extended to encircle the nipple and areola. This may be extended to a more traditional anchor shape with a further horizontal scar in the fold beneath the breast (Wise pattern).
Sensation and circulation to the nipple and areola are preserved by maintaining a “pedicle” of tissue attached beneath the nipple. Inferior and supero-medial pedicles are the most common methods used and this tissue forms a large part of the final breast volume.
The best technique varies from patient to patient and depends on the size and shape of the breast. The final size is intended to be proportional to your overall body shape rather than a specific cup size and the merits of this will be discussed prior to your surgery along with the planned technique.
In deciding to have a breast reduction, patients are encouraged to see a qualified specialist plastic surgeon such as Canvas Plastic Surgery to discuss options and suitability. We look forward to meeting you to do this and answering any questions you may have.