Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure used to reduce the weight and volume of the breasts, and also to alter to shape. Genes, hormones and weight are the determinants of breast size. Breast reduction surgery can help women who are dissatisfied with their breast shape, weight or droop.
Reduction mammoplasty is usually performed under general anaesthetic (you are put to sleep) and takes between two to four hours. Most surgeries begin by making cuts on the nipple to shift it to a new position. In some cases the nipple may be removed and rejoined as a skin graft. After repositioning the nipple, excess skin and breast tissue are removed and the breasts are reshaped. There are several breast reduction techniques such as anchor type (inverted T) vertical pattern or circumareolar. Each technique is used under different circumstances and your surgeon will discuss with you the most suitable method.
You will need to take some general health tests before your surgery to check if you are fit to have the operation. Medications like contraceptive pills or anti-inflammatory drugs should also be avoided before the operation. You will be encouraged to stop smoking and lose weight as they slow the healing process. Your surgeon will talk you through the risks and benefits before the operation and ask you to sign a consent form.
You will be asked not to eat or drink for six hours prior to the surgery.
After the surgery, you are required to stay in the hospital for a few nights to allow you to rest and heal. You will also be closely monitored to check the potential development of haematoma (bleeding inside the breast tissue) within the first 24 hours after the operation, in which you will be prompted to have another operation to drain and stop the blood. You will be allowed to go home if there are no noticeable issues after one to two days. At home, you should rest more and avoid strenuous activities or driving for a for weeks. Expect up to few months, although it may vary depending on your age and fitness level, for full recovery. While recovering, look out for signs and symptoms such as swelling and discharge around your breasts or high fever, in which you need to contact your GP immediately.
You should also be aware that all breast reduction surgeries will leave scars at a few places. You may also note asymmetry in the size and shape of your breasts. Other possible problems include wound healing where infections may take place. Some women experience loss of nipple sensation and failure for the nipples to become erect. Loss of the ability to breastfeed is also common side effects of the surgery.
This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. Doctify Limited has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but makes no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. In the event of an emergency, please call 999 for immediate assistance.