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What you should know about breast reduction

Dr Hanikeri offers a range of surgical procedures for the breasts, body and face.

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It is important to understand the effects of breast reduction prior to your surgery.

Most women with large breasts endure significant discomfort from the weight of their breasts. Breast reduction surgery aims to reduce the pain and symptoms of large breasts and enhance the appearance of the breasts. The procedure reduces excess breast tissue and skin, resulting in smaller and firmer breasts in line with the patient’s preference and lifestyle demands.

How does breast reduction surgery work?

Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast tissue and skin, while the remaining breast tissue is reshaped to create a smaller, firmer, and more elevated breast. The surgical method varies, according to the patient’s breast size, preference and lifestyle. There are several surgical methods for breast reduction which can be performed through two main types of scar.  The traditional ‘anchor’ scar is the most used.  Some patients are suitable for a circumventricular scar (lollipop scar) though this leaves more skin in the lower pole of the reduced breast and so some patients are not good candidates for this technique. You should consult your surgeon prior to surgery regarding what incision technique will suit your needs. Click here to find out more regarding the different surgical methods.

Who are candidates for breast reduction?

Breast reduction surgery is suitable for those experiencing pain or discomfort from the weight of their breasts. These symptoms typically include neck ache, backache, shoulder pain and rash or skin irritation underneath the breasts (intertrigo). Additionally, there may be difficulty purchasing clothes that fit correctly, indents in the shoulders from bra straps and discomfort with exercising.  These symptoms will all be improved with breast reduction surgery.

Although breast reduction surgery will usually resolve all these symptoms, the procedure is riskier for patients who are smokers, who are extremely overweight (BMI over around 31-32) or who suffer from underlying conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Scarring from breast reduction surgery

Breast reduction surgery will result in scarring. However, the extent and form of the scars will depend on the surgical method chosen and the quality of healing. In most cases, the long-term scarring is not easily visible if the appropriate aftercare is adopted. This includes the use of topical silicone in the form of gel or sheets.

The final appearance of scars may take around 18 months to achieve, with most patients exhibiting minimal scarring in the long term.

Pregnancy after breast reduction surgery

Breast reduction surgery removes some glandular tissue together with some of the milk ducts.  This can impact the ability to produce and express milk from the breast. However, with most techniques surgeons can protect some parts of the breast that produce milk.

Patients trying to get pregnant should wait at least three months following their surgery to ensure sufficient healing of internal and external incisions before experiencing the changes in their breasts which occur with pregnancy.

Most patients are still able to breast feed after breast reduction surgery.  They may also maintain the positive results from breast reduction surgery after they have finished breast feeding, though their breasts may change and appear more deflated.

What happens after breast reduction surgery?

Patients should follow their surgeon’s post operation instructions to ensure they receive the best results following your breast reduction surgery. Over time, swelling from the surgery will reduce, the shape will soften and change (By 3-6 months) and the scars will fade into faint lines (around 12-18 months).

After surgery the reduced breast size should relieve any physical pain and discomfort. The results from the procedure should be permanent. However, over time the breasts may change, especially with ageing, weight fluctuations and hormonal changes.

How can we help?

Dr Mark Hanikeri offers a range of breast procedures, including breast reduction surgery. If you are experiencing any discomfort from the weight of your breasts or want to enhance the appearance of large breasts, you should consider breast reduction surgery.

To find out more about breast reduction and what to consider before surgery, please click here.

To arrange a consultation with Dr Mark Hanikeri, please do not hesitate to contact us here or give us a call on (08) 9380 0311. We look forward to helping you achieve your desired results.