Breast reduction is a procedure used to remove excess fat, tissue and skin from the breasts with the aim to achieve a breast size proportionate to your body. It is also known as reduction mammaplasty and aims to alleviate discomfort associated with large breasts (macromastia).
Macromastia may cause both physical and emotional distress for women. Patients with disproportionately large breasts may experience pain or discomfort, making it a challenge in everyday life and to perform physical activities. Significant mental health issues or distress can also result from excessively large breasts.
The aim of breast reduction is to address this symptomatology, but patients who do not have the above symptoms of macromastia but are generally uncomfortable with the size of their breasts may still opt for breast reduction.
Patients who are not candidates for breast reduction are those who -
Have significant medical conditions
Are very obese
Do not want scars on their breasts
Breast reduction surgery may be performed at a younger but this might mean a second surgery later in life.
Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and usually requires an overnight stay in hospital. The procedure will take about two to four hours, sometimes longer. Dr Sofianos meticulously marks the proposed operation pre-operatively. He then performs a cut around your areola then down onto the breast in the form of a keyhole, and most time extending in the fold beneath the breast (inframammary fold). The operating team removes extra skin, glandular breast tissue, and fat and reposition the nipple to an aesthetically-pleasing position. Drainage tubes are inserted in each breast and they are wrapped in a special gauze. A post-operative surgical bra (without an underwire) is necessary.
Dr Sofianos will aim to acquire symmetry between the left and right breast, but variation in breast size and shape might occur. The size of the areola will also be reduced and the incision scars fade over time but never completely disappear.
Patients require at least one week off from work or school after the procedure. Some individuals require two weeks, but each situation varies. Dr Sofianos will instruct you on postoperative care, follow-ups and time off work or school. During the recovery there should be no strenuous physical activity or lifting (including sport) for 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Breast pain is normal, and pain medication will be prescribed by Dr Sofianos.
Over time, swelling will resolve and incision lines will begin to fade.