Things you should know about Breast Reduction surgery with Mr Alan J Park, Consultant Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon
Many women with a smaller chest can be quite envious of their larger breasted counterparts but for some women having large breasts can be uncomfortable, even painful and they can affect self-confidence.
Large breasts can typically cause strain on a womans’ back, her shoulders and affect posture, it can also make finding comfortable fitting clothes difficult to find so many women choose to wear looser fitting items of clothing in a bid to conceal their size, which can actually have the opposite effect to that desired.
What is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Typically women who are unhappy with the shape, size and appearance of their larger breasts undergo Breast Reduction surgery and in doing so can reduce the associated complications such as back and shoulder pain in the process.
A Breast Reduction is major surgery, it is carried out under a general anaesthetic and typically involves the removal of between 200g and 1000g of breast tissue, fat and skin per breast. Incisions are usually made around the nipple which is then relocated to a more aesthetically pleasing position and the excess tissue, fat and skin is removed.
The scars from a Breast Reduction are commonly described as anchors in that they are located around the nipple and then extend vertically down the centre of the breast and into the natural crease. During surgery drains are inserted to help remove any unwanted build ups of fluid which can lead to infection, these are nearly always removed prior to discharge although your surgeons advice should be followed on this, as they may need to stay in situ for longer.
Following surgery the breasts can be quite bruised, swollen and tender and patients should aim to rest at home for a period of around 1 week-2weeks depending on the nature of the job before returning to work and avoid any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for several weeks following surgery. The pain will subside over the coming weeks however you will be given pain relief to manage this once discharged from the hospital. It is crucial to follow any post-operative instructions as these are designed to help patients recover safely.
Frequently asked questions about Breast Reduction surgery
(Q) How old must I be to have a Breast Reduction?
(A) It is important to wait until reaching adulthood to ensure the breasts have stopped growing, this is usually around 21 years of age.
(Q) Will I be able to breast-feed following a Breast Reduction?
(A) Yes in most cases women do go on to successfully breast feed their babies
(Q) Will I experience nipple sensation following Breast Reduction Surgery?
(A) Reduced nipple sensation is a common side effect associated with Breast Reduction surgery although in most cases this is temporary and will return in the coming weeks/months
(Q) Are there any complications or side effects associated with a Breast Reduction?
(A) No surgical procedure is without risk, general anaesthetic can carry its own complications which can include common side effects such as nausea and vomiting, confusion, shivering and in extremely rare cases serious allergic reaction and waking during the procedure. The Breast Reduction surgery itself carries risks such as haematoma (which may require a return to theatre), infection, bruising, swelling, mild pain, tenderness, fat necrosis, altered nipple sensation and breast asymmetry. Following your post-operative instructions correctly is paramount in order to manage and/or avoid any potential complications.
If patients have any concerns following surgery, they should contact the telephone number detailed on their discharge information for further advice.
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