Large pendulous breasts can cause great discomfort to a woman. Typical symptoms include back and neck pain, digging in from the bra strap at the shoulders, skin irritation and extreme self consciousness. Breast reduction is an operation designed to significantly decrease the size of the breasts and yet maintain a good overall shape.
The scars that result from the surgery are around the nipple, a vertical scar to the crease under the breast and a horizontal scar under the breast. Breast tissue and skin are removed. This operation can be performed on women of all ages. It is a commonly performed operation with high satisfaction rate among patients.
Breast reduction is performed under general anesthetic. The operation removes excess breast tissue, fat and skin. Detailed pre-operative markings are performed to determine the new position of the nipple and the amount of skin that will be removed. The amount of breast tissue removed is tailored according to how much reduction the patient requests. The nipple with its blood supply attached is moved upwards whilst the remaining breast tissue is reshaped.
The suture line is positioned around the nipple and extends as a vertical scar to the inframammary crease with a horizontal scar in the crease. In the majority of patients the scars heal extremely well leaving fine faded scars which are only visible on close inspection. This could take up to a year. In a very small number of patients scars can become ‘hypertrophic’. This means the scar is a little red and raised. This can be treated to improve their appearance.
Breast reduction invariably affects nipple sensation as many of the small nerves to the nipple are transected in the surgery, however this varies from one individual to another as the nerve supply and nerve regrowth is variable between patients.
A significant percentage of the milk ducts will be transected during the surgery. Therefore, although there will be some milk produced, it is unlikely that it will be sufficient to breast feed.
- General Anaesthetic (3-4 hours)
- Hospital stay: 1-2 nights
- Home with water proof dressing
- Time off work: 2-3 weeks
- Return to normal activities (sport, gym) 4-6 weeks
- Support bra for 6 weeks