A breast reduction procedure (or Mammoplasty), is a procedure that can improve the shape, appearance, and size of heavy breasts. The area treated is the breast, and can also improve skin ptosis. The aim of breast reduction is to relieve the weight of large, heavy breasts and improve physical discomfort, skin chaffing, and indentations in the skin.
What is a Breast Reduction?
What are the Benefits of a Breast Reduction Procedure?
- Reduce back, neck and shoulder pain
- Improve the position, shape and appearance of the breast mound and areola nipple complex
- Reduce breast volume (weight and size)
- Reshape and reposition the breasts and nipples
Am I a Good Candidate?
- You are unhappy with the size, position or weight of your breasts (they are large, heavy in weight, saggy – or all three)
- Clothing, swimsuits, gym gear and well-fitted bras are nearly impossible to find due to the size of your upper body/breast area
- Your breasts cause physical discomfort, neck or back pain and chronic skin irritations as well as bra strap indentations
- Breasts aren’t symmetric in size
- Your breasts cause you self-consciousness or make you look heavier than you really are (they disguise your rib cage and waist due to where they sit)
- As well as being unhappy with the size, position or weight of your breasts, you are concerned about the positioning of your nipples and would like them to sit at a more central location on your chest
Breast Reduction Before and After Photos
Click the photograph to see more actual patient photos of Breast Reduction Surgery performed at our Melbourne Clinic by all of our Specialist Plastic Surgeons.
What Can I Expect During Surgery?
A breast reduction procedure usually takes between 2-4 hours. The procedure requires an incision to be made on the breast, however the type of incision will be based on your surgeon, and your decisions. Common breast reduction incisions include:
- Anchor Technique – a surgical incision is made under the breasts, up the lower pole, and around the nipple
- Le Jour Method – also known as a lollipop incision that is made around the nipple and down the lower pole
- Peri-Areolar – commonly known as the doughnut incision, this incision is made only around the nipple and is less common due to complications with nipple sensation and nipple functions
Medications and General Anaesthesia are there for your comfort during your breast reduction procedure. After the incisions are made, excess breast tissue, skin and fat will be removed, and your breasts will be lifted and shaped. Liposuction is sometimes used to reduce chest area skin folds and assist in creating a pleasing shape.
Your nipples remain attached but are repositioned. The areola is reduced by excising skin at the perimeter, if necessary. In some cases, for extremely large breasts, the nipple and areola may need to be removed and transplanted to a high position on the breast.
The incisions are then brought together to reshape your reduced, smaller breasts. Dissolvable sutures may be layered within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts. They are also used to close the skin.
The final results may be obscured by swelling. However, swelling will begin to minimise within the first two weeks and will continue to improve throughout recovery. Our surgeons use Healite, Fraxel Laser or Dermapen treatments to assist with healing and minimisation of surgical scars. Be sure to follow your Surgeon’s instructions after surgery to minimise your scars. Don’t do too much too soon!
Risks and Complications
Like all surgical procedures, Breast Reduction surgery has risks and complications. Your Surgeon will make you aware of potential complications during your consultation, including:
- Skin or wound infection
- Changes to nipple sensation including loss of feeling/sensation changes to the breasts
- Potential disruption of nipple functions that may impede breastfeeding
- Breast asymmetry or uneven nipples
- Scars or skin markings, dimples or inverted nipples
- Other risks of surgery in general such as having anaesthesia, circulatory risks and bleeding
- Unfavourable scarring
- Blood clots
- Poor wound healing
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
Download Our 2019 Breast Reduction Guide
This complete guide to Breast Reduction surgery covers everything you need to know about this procedure.
- Breast Reduction surgery explained
- How to assess if you are a good candidate
- The surgical procedure
- Answers to some of our most frequently asked questions
- Before and after gallery
- Information about our surgeons
Download Our 2019 Breast Reduction Guide
Recovery from Breast Reduction
The length of your recovery period will depend on your procedure and other health and lifestyle factors. Recovery times can vary from person to person.
The general rule, however, is that you should allow 10-14 days for initial recovery following your Breast Reduction surgery. Scar maturation often takes longer, up to a year or more. You will be required to wear a firmly-fitted support garment after surgery for the period of time a surgeon advises.
Longer periods are often required before resuming certain lifting or exercising activities – ask your Surgeon how long before you can start exercising, lifting children or grandchildren, and other heavy lifting or strenuous activities.
Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men will provide you with after garments. Good results depend on a collaborative approach and a healthy lifestyle. Follow instructions given to you by your Surgeon, and attend all post-operative appointments. Remember to follow post-op instructions precisely for a faster recovery.
Light office duties or other tasks may be resumed in about 2 weeks for most patients, however this can this can vary. No heavy lifting for several weeks to a few months.
In general, gentle walking is typically able to be resumed in a few days after surgery. Your Surgeon will advise you, depending on which type of exercise you’re wanting to perform. Running, high impact or strenuous exercises need to be avoided until the time your surgeon says it’s okay.
Costs – How much is a Breast Reduction?
All Surgery is customised and your surgeon will give you a price for surgery depending on the type of procedure you are having, the hospital you attend and the length of your stay.
At your initial consultation, you are given a detailed quote. This will include the surgeon’s fee, Anaesthetist fee, Surgical Assistant fee and the hospital fees.
Why Choose Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men?
Not all Surgeons have the same experience or intensive training and testing qualifications. Be sure you learn the differences between a Plastic Surgeon, a General Surgeon, Cosmetic Surgeon or other types of Surgeon.
Choosing a Specialist Plastic Surgeon means you are choosing an accredited recognised plastic surgeon that performs surgery in an accredited hospital. Look for members of FRACS, ASPS, ASAPS or ISAPS as some of the Qualifications of your Plastic Surgeon.
About our Surgeons
It is important to research a Surgeon’s qualifications and experience before deciding on the Surgeon. You can check your surgeons’ credentials at AHRPA. Our Breast Reduction Surgeons, Dr Craig Rubinstein, Dr Rebecca Wyten, Dr Geoff Barnett, and Dr Sackelariou, are all highly experienced, fully qualified specialist plastic surgeons with current FRACS memberships.