Breast reduction


The Surgery

For many women suffering the effects of overly large breasts a breast reduction can offer relief, a new shape and reinvigorated confidence. Physical problems such as back and neck pain and bad posture can be significantly improved through this procedure.

Breast reduction surgery involves making incisions under each breasts to remove excess skin and tissue. The breasts are then re-shaped and re-positioned to lift the breasts to give a new breast shape and size and create a natural result.

Breast reduction surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic and normally involves an overnight stay in hospital.

Patients are recommended to have one or two weeks off work to ensure time to rest and recover at home. Any strenuous work or activity should be avoided for four to six weeks.

Patients may experience some pain and initial discomfort following the operation and are prescribed painkillers for a few days following the operation, which will ease the discomfort.

Preparing for Surgery

Smoking can increase the likelihood of wound problems in this type of surgery and abstaining from smoking for at least two weeks preoperatively and postoperatively is a sensible precaution.

Hospital Stay

The patient is admitted to hospital on the day of surgery and Miss Patel will run through the procedure with the patient and plan and mark the exact extent of the surgery. The patient will be seen by a Consultant Anaesthetist who will discuss the anaesthetic with the patient and will answer any questions the patient may have.

How long does a breast reduction operation take?

The length of the procedure depends on the extent of correction required. Generally the surgery takes about two to three hours.

Recovery after breast reduction operation surgery

Patients normally return home after a two night stay in hospital. Where drains are used, these are removed prior to discharge. It is recommended that a sports bra be used after surgery to provide extra support and comfort. Sports bras are usually used for four to six weeks.

Miss Patel will usually see the patient seven to ten days after surgery to ensure that all is well and to reduce the dressing. Generally the patient will be seen again a week later at which point dressings are usually dispensed with. A further follow up visit is planned approximately three months after surgery.

Is the procedure painful?

Breast reduction surgery does cause a degree of discomfort but this is usually well controlled with the use of painkillers. The majority of patients find they are able to resume normal activities over a one to two week period.

What is the normal recovery time?

The majority of patients find they are able to resume normal activities over a one to two week period and are able to return to work within two to three weeks. Sporting activities can be resumed after four to six weeks following this surgery.

Potential risks of breast reduction surgery

The majority of patients undergoing breast reduction surgery performed by an experienced surgeon achieve good results with a rapid recovery and high patient satisfaction. In a small proportion of patients complications can occur as listed below:

  • Scars – Scars usually heal nicely in a thin white line however, in some patients, they can be thicker than expected and may require scar management therapy.
  • Infection – Infection is rare in this type of surgery and the risk is minimised by careful surgical technique and the use of a dose of antibiotic during surgery.
  • Nipple sensation – There can be some reduction in nipple sensation after breast reduction, though this tends to improve with time. In some cases there is a permanent loss of sensation particularly where there is a very large reduction is performed.
  • Partial areola or nipple loss – Repositioning the nipple and removing breast tissue inevitably interrupts some of the blood supply to the nipple and surrounding areola. There is therefore a risk of some of this tissue not surviving.
  • Haematoma – In a limited number of cases small blood vessels in the wound may bleed after the surgery which leads to blood collecting under the wound. This is known as a haematoma which needs to be released and washed out before re-suturing the wound. Should this problem arise, it is typically on the day of surgery and does not affect the final result.

This is not a definitive list and symptoms will vary with each patient. Please ask Miss Patel for more information.

Next Steps

For further information please contact Miss Patel to arrange a consultation.

To arrange for a Consultation with Miss Patel please click here