What is breast reduction?
Breast reduction is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the breasts. The operation is performed under general anaesthesia by a specialist in plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery.
Why is it done?
Breast reduction may be done for aesthetic reasons, in women who feel that the size of their breasts is not proportional or in harmony with the rest of their body. However, in many women, the procedure also alleviates neck and back pain caused by the excess weight.
What does it involve?
The plastic surgeon will recommend the most suitable breast reduction technique for you. However the operation usually involves making incisions around the areola to remove excess fat, skin and breast tissue and to shape the whole breast to achieve the desired position and size. This results in smaller, firmer breasts that are less prone to sagging. For an optimal outcome, a mastopexy (breast lift) is always performed as part of breast reduction surgery.
How to prepare for breast reduction surgery
Before surgery, a medical examination is necessary to determine whether you can undergo surgery under general anaesthesia. If you are a smoker, you will have to stop smoking from at least 4 weeks before surgery. You may also have to stop taking certain medications.
After the operation, you may have to stay in hospital overnight, possibly longer. Recovery at home can take 1 to 2 weeks, after which you can gradually resume your usual routine. Breast pain during recovery is normal, so painkillers are usually administered. Oedema and mild bleeding may also occur. During recovery, you will have to avoid lifting, driving, exercise and sunbathing. Furthermore, you will have to sleep with your head and back elevated.