Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures, as well as the one producing probably the happiest patients post-operatively. The procedure involves not only reducing the volume of the breasts, but lifting the breasts up into a more youthful position. This combination makes patients with large breasts much more comfortable on a day-to-day basis. Dr. Darrell Perkins is an experienced Plastic Surgeon who uses the latest breast reduction surgery techniques at his practice in Sydney, which also serves Wollongong, Sutherland Shire, and nearby areas. Dr. Perkins is dedicated to helping patients look and feel naturally beautiful.
Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery
Patients with large or sagging breasts are afflicted with a great number of problems, including back, neck, and shoulder pain, as well as discomfort from bra straps that dig in to the skin. Women with very large breasts find it very difficult to exercise due to their large breasts. They also find it is difficult to get bras that support them adequately. Women with large breasts frequently express great frustration at not being able to find clothes that fit properly, and having to buy specially made or sized garments. They also suffer some degree of embarrassment.
Many patients who undergo breast reduction surgery at our practice experience a decrease in the incidence and severity of pain and discomfort. They are also able to effectively exercise, which greatly assists in achieving weight loss, with the addition of a sensible diet. Patients who undergo breast reduction surgery are also able to wear a more standard size in clothing. Many women also report a much improved posture following a reduction mammaplasty, as well as less embarrassment.
Recovery from Breast Reduction Surgery
Just like any other operation, recovery after undergoing breast reduction surgery is very individual. Although some patients can undergo breast reduction as a day-only procedure, most patients will stay in the hospital for one or two nights. In general terms, all of the drains will be removed and dressings changed prior to the patient leaving the hospital.
Patients will be able to carry out most normal non-strenuous activities around the house in two to four days, and many patients will return to work, if they have a sedentary job, after one or two weeks. Patients are usually able to drive a car five to seven days after their breast reduction surgery.
It is important that patients avoid activities that involve bouncing the breasts, such as jogging and aerobics, for about five to six weeks following breast reduction surgery. At this time, patients will begin wearing a proper bra that can provide the proper support needed. In the majority of cases, patients must work their way back to their normal activity level, but in most circumstances it is a matter of being sensible in what activities one undertakes.
Breast Reduction Scars
Scars are inevitable, as incisions are required to effectively perform a breast reduction, where both the glandular breast tissue and excess skin is removed. However, scars are usually extremely well tolerated and they are not a major factor in the satisfaction of the patient with the breast reduction procedure. Generally our patients from Sydney, Wollongong, Sutherland Shire, and all across New South Wales are thrilled with their breast reduction surgery results, and the scars are a minimal factor in governing their satisfaction.
Typically, breast reduction surgery is done with an inverted “T”-shaped scar to produce exceptional results with a very high degree of safety. In some circumstances, a breast reduction that eliminates the horizontal section of the “T” may be appropriate, but requires the individual assessment of the needs and goals of the patient.
The scars resulting from breast reduction surgery do fade with time, although there are conservative measures which can be employed during the post-operative period to minimise their appearance.
Breast Reduction Surgery Complications
Breast reduction surgery is not as painful a procedure as patients conceive it might be. This is because it is really a superficial operation involving the skin, fat, and glandular tissue of the breasts only, and does not involve the deep muscles. In general terms, breast reduction surgery performed at our Sydney has a very high safety profile. Most of the complications fall into the nuisance basket rather than becoming a major problem. It is possible to experience a small breakdown of the wound or minor infections, both of which are easily treated with either dressings or antibiotics.
Patients may experience a change in sensation of the skin or even of the nipple after breast reduction surgery; however, these generally resolve with the fullness of time. Some bruising and swelling is possible during the post-operative period, but generally this will resolve in due course without any specific treatment required. Most patients after the first day or two easily have their pain controlled with simple analgesics.
Reduction Mammaplasty and Breast Cancer
All patients will require appropriate screening for breast cancer prior to undergoing breast reduction surgery at our practice. In general terms, usually women over the age of 35 should have a current mammogram prior to the procedure. Younger patients may require investigations dependent upon their family history and risk factors.
During a reduction mammaplasty, all of the removed tissue is sent off for histopathological examination to exclude any cancer or precancerous changes in the breast tissue that has been removed.
Following a breast reduction, patients enter a screening mammography program as appropriate for their age and risk factors. Patient should normally have a mammogram about a year after the procedure as a baseline for comparison to other scans in the future.
Mammography after surgery is still as effective as before the procedure for the detection of breast cancer in these patients. We commonly perform breast reduction surgery on the opposite breast for those women who have had a mastectomy for breast cancer.
Breastfeeding after Breast Reduction
In general terms, large breasts do not equal good breastfeeding. During a breast reduction, a significant proportion of the glandular breast tissue is left attached to the nipple/areola, and this in ordinary circumstances may provide enough milk to allow the mother to breastfeed. Approximately two-thirds of mothers can breastfeed to a greater or lesser degree following a breast reduction, although generally 20 percent of women with breasts of a size requiring a reduction will be unsuccessful with breastfeeding without an operation. Thus, there is a slight reduction in the ability to breastfeed post-operatively, but most women still are able to.
Cost of Breast Reduction Surgery
There are Medicare item numbers which cover breast reduction surgery because of the recognised great functional disability that large hanging breasts can cause to a woman. As such, if the patient is in a Health Fund, a proportion of the costs will be rebated by Medicare and the Health Fund.
An estimate of fees will be given to the patient so that their exact out of pocket expenses can be ascertained. However, with operations such as breast reduction surgery that have item numbers, many patients are pleasantly surprised at how affordable the operation proves to be.
Experience the Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery
Our practice has helped many breast reduction patients from throughout Sydney, Wollongong, Kogarah, Sutherland Shire, and the South Coast. Breast reduction is an effective surgical option for women who wish to find relief from pain associated with oversized breasts. Dr. Perkins can help assess your individual needs and goals during an initial reduction mammaplasty consultation at our practice. Please contact our plastic surgery practice today to schedule an appointment. We also offer breast lift, abdominoplasty, liposuction, and a variety of other procedures that can become part of a complete makeover.