• Dr Gary Avery | FRACS (Plast Surg) Plastic and

Dr Avery Answers Your Questions About BREAST REDUCTION Surgery

Thank you for emailing your questions about Breast Reduction surgery, also known as a Reduction Mammoplasty. This operation can be a welcome relief for many women who have suffered from health problems related to having large breasts, including neck and back pain, and skin irritation.

What is involved? The aim of Breast Reduction surgery is to leave the breasts smaller, lighter, and consequently sitting higher on the chest. This serves to improve everyday comfort, self-confidence, and the ability to exercise, while also arriving at a more balanced silhouette.

A Breast Reduction procedure removes fat, glandular tissue, and excess skin from the breasts. It may also involve relocating and reducing the size of the areola (nipple), and reshaping the remaining breast tissue. The surgery can take anywhere between 2-4 hours, depending on the amount of breast tissue being removed and the amount of breast reshaping needed.

There are several techniques used in Breast Reduction surgery depending on the existing breast tissue, the need for future breastfeeding, and the desired aesthetic outcome. Incisions are most commonly made around the areola, down the midline of the breast, and across the lower crease of the breast. Other techniques do not make the incision underneath the crease of the breast or involve removing the areola and relocating it higher on the breast.

Breast Reduction procedures are generally not performed in public hospitals. Most private health funds will cover the procedure performed in private hospitals.

What are the risks? All of our Breast Reduction procedures take place in an accredited hospital, with appropriately trained support staff and anaesthetist. As with any surgery, there are the risks of wound healing problems and infection. However, generally the number of people who go on to have complications from Breast Reduction surgery is low.

What is the recovery like? One or two nights in the hospital are generally required post-surgery. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, up to two weeks off work may also be recommended. There will be some bruising and swelling, which subsides about two weeks after the surgery. Wearing a compression garment for 4–6 weeks will provide support for the breasts and reduce post-operative pain and swelling. A customised pain relief program will be created for each patient and issued before leaving the hospital, which can be adjusted over time.

How bad will the scarring be? Scarring from a Breast Reduction will depend on the surgical technique used and any additional procedures performed. Most scars will generally fade to thin white lines in a matter of months, depending on the patient’s skin type.

Is it possible to have a second Breast Reduction? Yes, it is possible and is often chosen by women who have had an initial reduction early in life. The same benefits and risks apply to the second reduction, although the risk of wound healing problems is increased because of altered blood supply from the initial operation, particularly in regards to the nipple.

Breast Reduction surgery is a life changing procedure for many women. If you would like to know more, call the Avery Plastic Surgery team on 4002 4150.

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