What is a breast reduction?
Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure our Specialist Plastic Surgeons perform in Perth aimed at reducing the breast size in a woman whose breasts are overly large for their body frame to a more comfortable shape and size.
This procedure can be performed for aesthetic (cosmetic) purposes or for medical/functional reasons, the latter being dependent on strict Medicare eligibility criteria.
What factors may influence the decision to have a breast reduction?
This procedure is indicated if you feel uncomfortable with your large breasts. You may suffer pain in the breasts, shoulders, lower neck or back. You may also have discomfort during physical activity.
It is important to note that both breasts, nipples and areolas are never exactly the same size and shape.
If you are contemplating a breast reduction procedure, we advise you to consider the potential impact of pregnancy and breastfeeding on the size and shape of your breasts. Therefore, if you are planning to become pregnant, you may wish to consider delaying the surgery, as the results may be compromised or lost as a result.
Is a breast reduction right for me?
A consultation with your Specialist Plastic Surgeon is the first step in considering a breast reduction. You should frankly discuss your goals and expectations, and your plastic surgeon will explain to you whether this procedure is right for you. Special examination techniques like mammography (x-rays) may be required before the final decision.
How is a breast reduction performed?
There are currently several techniques for breast reduction surgery. They all aim to remove excess breast tissue, fat and skin, and reposition the nipples in order to achieve a breast size in proportion with your body. Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will take your physical condition and requirements into consideration, and will determine which technique would be best for you.
Breast reduction surgery is performed in Perth in a fully-accredited hospital under general anaesthesia. Although the average length of stay is one to two nights, you should discuss the details of your recovery period with your surgeon.
Current techniques of breast reduction may preserve the ability to breast feed but you should discuss this with your surgeon.
Are there any risks and complications of breast reduction surgery?
All plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgical procedures come with risks and potential complications. To ensure successful surgery, it is crucial to understand and minimise these risks. Whilst all measures are taken to mitigate risks, some risks are unavoidable.
All information on this page is general in nature – your Specialist Plastic Surgeon will discuss the specific risks and complications pertinent to your individual surgical procedure during your consultation. General risks for surgery are listed here.
Specific risks related to breast reduction surgery include, but are not limited to:
- Fluid accumulation: After the surgery, there is a possibility of fluid accumulating around the breast. This condition, known as seroma, may require additional procedures to drain the fluid. To prevent any fluid or blood accumulation, thin tubes called a drains may be temporarily placed under the skin while you’re in hospital.
- Fat necrosis: This is a rare complication that can occur when fatty tissue dies. It can cause hard lumps under the skin, but it is usually not a serious problem.
- Changes in breast and nipple sensation: Breast reduction surgery may lead to temporary or permanent changes in breast and nipple sensation. Some individuals may experience increased sensitivity, while others may notice reduced sensation.
- Asymmetry (unevenness) of the breasts: This is a rare complication of breast reduction surgery. It can be caused by a number of factors, including differences in the size or shape of the breasts before surgery, or problems with healing.
- Excessive firmness of the breast: This is a rare complication of breast reduction surgery that can be caused by the formation of scar tissue.
- Potential partial or total loss of the nipple and areola: This is a very rare complication of breast reduction surgery. It is usually caused by damage to the blood supply to the nipple and areola.
- Requirement for further surgery to address complications: This is a rare complication of breast reduction surgery. It may be necessary to correct problems such as asymmetry, excessive firmness, or loss of the nipple and areola.
Will the breast reduction procedure leave any scars?
Although your surgeon will make every effort to keep them as inconspicuous as possible, scars are the inevitable result of any surgery. The scars are situated around the areolae of the nipple and under the breasts. They usually fade over 6-12 months. Some patients have a tendency to develop keloid or hypertrophic scars and you should advise your surgeon if you are aware of this tendency in yourself.
What results can I expect from a breast reduction?
The primary objective of your surgery is to reduce your breasts to a size that is in better proportion with your physique and makes you feel more comfortable. Your surgeon is the best person to determine whether your expectations are achievable.
When can I resume normal activities following a breast reduction?
Most patients are back to their regular routine in about three weeks. To permit proper healing, you should avoid excessive exercise for the first six weeks. Returning to work or your normal activities is an individual matter, and your surgeon will advise you. You will have to wear post-surgical compression garments for up to six weeks to reduce swelling and assist with the healing process.
It is important to note however, that each patient requires adequate time, support, and proper postoperative care to facilitate their recovery process. Due to individual variations in healing abilities and pain tolerance, the duration of recovery and ability to engage in various activities may differ among patients.
How much does this procedure cost?
Please contact us online or call us on (08) 9380 0333 and one of our medical secretaries can provide you with more information. Please note that pricing does vary from case to case.
Where can I find more information?
The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) website is a helpful and reliable source of information online. Their website is an excellent place to research a range of surgical procedures and non-surgical treatments, and view video animations.