Breast Reduction

This operation is regarded by many as “cosmetic” but in reality has a huge functional benefit.   Most women with oversize breasts complain of:

  • neck and upper back ache
  • shoulder grooves
  • rashes beneath the breasts
  • difficulty with bra fitting
  • inhibition from sporting activities
  • embarrassment

Breast reduction is appropriate for all ages and I have performed this operation for 500+ women from late teens to mid 70s.  It is so common to hear a woman in her 40s or older say at the final postoperative check, “if only I had had this done years ago”.

At the consultation we will discuss:

The practicalities of the operation:

  • There are numerous different versions of this operation.  Since the nipple always has to be re-sited higher up, all methods result in a scar right around the junction of the areola with the normal skin and a scar vertically down from there to the inframammary fold (groove beneath the breast).   Usually there is also a curved transverse scar running the length of the inframammary fold.   There are “vertical scar” techniques which seek to avoid this transverse scar and this is sometimes appropriate.  Very rarely for very large breasts where the nipple has descended a long way it may be necessary to remove the nipple and replace it as a free skin graft
  • Size of reduction: you can expect to be reduced to a C or D cup size.  It is difficult to make a smaller breast than this because of the need to retain blood circulation to the nipple.
  • The operation generally takes about 2.5 hours

Risks:

  • Loss of nipple sensation is not uncommon. Numbness of some skin beneath the nipple is usual.
  • You may not be able to breast feed should you have a pregnancy after breast reduction.  It is surprising that women with small breasts before pregnancy usually can breast feed normally while older women who request breast reduction will often say that their large breasts did not function well for breast feeding.
  • The  nipple has to move up and retain its blood supply.  it is possible for this blood supply to be inadequate and to lose part or all of a nipple but this is an exceedingly rare complication.
  • Symmetry should be very good but may not  be perfect.
  • see risks common to all operations

Post-operatively:

  • I am always surprised and how little pain there seems to be after this operation – at least not enough to stop you being fully mobile the next day.  Some discomfort at the outsides of the breasts is common for 2 to 4 weeks.
  • I usually insert a drain (soft plastic tube) in each breast.  These are routinely removed next morning and it is rare to stay more than one night in hospital.
  • The cuts are simply taped with paper tape which survives wetting so you can shower the next morning.
  • A stretch bra can be worn from day 2.

 

Contact Details

Christchurch

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5 Naseby St

Merivale

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FaxF: 03 355 9249


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