Why consider breast reduction
Some women have great difficulty with their large breasts, especially if they are out of
proportion to their overall figure. The symptoms and problems women may suffer from include:
‣ Pain in the back, neck, shoulder and breast
‣ Grooving of the shoulders caused by bra straps
‣ Inflamed reddened skin under the breast
‣ Difficulty finding a suitable bra that fits and supports the breast correctly
‣ Difficulty finding clothes that fit – often needing much larger size tops compared to bottoms
‣ Difficulty undertaking exercise owing to pain and discomfort caused by the movement of their heavy breasts
‣ A loss of confidence in their appearance and feeling people are staring at their bust.
Breast reduction surgery may help control these symptoms, if large breasts are the main cause. For example, back pain may be due to other causes.
The procedure usually takes about two to three hours. Techniques for breast reduction vary, but the most common procedure uses an anchor-shaped incision that circles the areola, extends downwards and follows the natural curve of the crease beneath the breast. The glandular tissue, fat and skin are removed, and the nipple and areola are moved into their new positions. The skin is brought down from both sides of the breast and around the areola, shaping the new curve of the breast. Sutures dissolve under the skin and do not need removing.
Each nipple remains attached to the breast and its blood vessels by a stalk, known as a ‘pedicle’. The direction of the pedicle may vary, such as superior or inferior, but both ways preserve the blood supply to the nipple and areola.
In a small number of patients the nipples and areolas are removed completely and then grafted into a higher position. This is done if the breasts are very droopy with the nipples extremely low. It causes a permanent loss of sensation in the nipple and areola.
In some patients with good quality skin, the horizontal part of the scar may be avoided with a vertical scar breast reduction pattern, but this results in small pleats at the lower end of the vertical scar which may take some months to settle.
What can I expect after the operation?
What should I look out for?
Breast firmness and tenderness before any surgery are common in women, and can relate to your monthly periods. When your breasts have healed after reduction surgery these symptoms may return. It may also take some months for scar tissue in the breasts to settle, and at first the scars may feel lumpy and tender. It is advisable to become ‘breast aware’ – by getting to know what your breasts look and feel like so you know what is normal for you.
If you wish to book a consultation please contact us.