Breast reduction

One survey has found that 44% of mature women in the United States wear a size B cup bra. 1% wear a bra size greater than DD.

However, aesthetically it is very difficult to subjectively define what a normal size or shape of a breast really is. In the end, an acceptable breast size is a very personal and perhaps cultural matter. When functional or psychological issues arise because the breasts are disproportionately large, breast reduction (also known as reduction mammoplasty) can be considered. Excessive weight of large breasts can put strain on the back and spine area causing pain or, in extreme cases, scoliosis. Large breasts can also prohibit you from participating in certain sports and contribute to poor body image. In this cohort of women, reduction mammoplasty can be an excellent operation to alleviate or reduce these significant functional and cosmetic problems.

Patients have to be properly assessed. During consultation your specific needs and reason for wanting the procedure will be discussed. There needs to be an open conversation about your plans for having a family as breastfeeding following reduction mammoplasty may not always be possible.

There are several types of mammoplasty and the type chosen depends on the initial size and shape of the breasts. This will also determine the extent of the scarring. The resultant scars will usually go around the nipple (circumareolar scars) and vertically from the nipple to horizontal breast crease line inferiorly (infra-mammary crease). Sometimes, for bigger breast reductions, a scar within the infra-mammary crease may also be necessary. To produce a good aesthetic result requires experience and judgement. The surgery involves the controlled removal of breast tissue and fat so that the breast volume is reduced and any significant ptosis (droopiness) of the breasts is corrected. The nipples are preserved and located to a better position aesthetically. Sometimes, unfortunately, the sensation in the nipples can be lost due to the surgery.

Recovery from mammoplasty is variable and it depends greatly upon how physical you are at work and in life. The procedure is done safely under local anaesthetic with sedation, so you will not stay at The Westbourne Centre overnight. We recommend about two weeks off work for most people although this depends on the type of work you do. There is no heavy lifting for several weeks, and I advise not starting back to the gym or running until 6 weeks have passed.

You will see and feel the results of breast reduction surgery immediately, but remember there will be some swelling that needs to go down and your breasts will naturally “settle” over the next 3-6 months. During this time, wearing a sports bra for comfortable support is recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) View all

Is there any deformity to breasts when having implants removed?

There can be some changes in the breast shape and/or size due to excess skin. This can improve with time and skin shrinkage but there is always the risk of breast ptosis (drooping) and wrinkling after implant removal.

What happens if I gain weight after breast reduction surgery?

The breasts can still enlarge again with weight gain following breast reduction surgery, usually in the same proportions to your body as it happened pre-surgery.

What if my nipples look too big with my new breast size after (breast reduction) surgery?

The nipple size can be adjusted so that they look in proportion to the new reduced size of the breast.

Will I still have nipples after breast reduction surgery?

Yes - during breast reduction surgery the nipples are preserved and located to a better position aesthetically.

Can I have liposuction done at the same time as breast reduction?

Yes. There are several procedures that are able to be done safely together; liposuction and breast reduction are two of those.

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