Breast appearance is a valued feature of femininity. However, the changes in its size and shape can affect you. For example, heavy breasts may lead to neck and upper back pain, bent over posture, difficulty exercising, or difficulty finding suitable clothing. In addition, natural breast droop (called breast ptosis) occurs with age and may be exacerbated by breast size change during breastfeeding.
Breast reduction, otherwise known as a reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that will reduce your breast size by removing excess glandular tissue, skin and fat. Almost always this incorporates a breast lift in conjunction with this surgery, and resizing and repositioning the nipples. Many women use this surgery as an option to create a breast size that is in better proportion to their body and reduce the discomfort that can come with having large breasts.
Your plastic surgeon will talk to you about your options during the initial consultation.
Breast reduction and breast lift (mastopexy) surgery effectively improve the breasts’ size, shape, and appearance. In both procedures, the breasts are positioned in a higher position on the chest, and the skin is tightened – in breast reduction surgery, additional tissue is removed to relieve breast heaviness.
Women who have been troubled by heavy breasts find the results of breast reduction surgery to be life-changing – they can walk upright, have a choice in clothes and exercise options, and have relief of related upper back and neck discomfort.
Breast reduction may be suitable for you if you struggle with the following:
If you suffer from the challenges described above and impact the way you live day to day, breast reduction surgery may help you.
Modern breast reduction surgery uses techniques to minimise scarring and optimise shape. The specifics of your situation will be discussed with you when you have your first consultation with your plastic surgeon.
Usually, for best results, a breast reduction is to be performed in conjunction with a breast lift (mastopexy) to reposition the breast tissue in a more comfortable position higher on the chest and ensure the nipple appearance suits. This is often the case for women with considerably large and low positioned breasts.
During the initial consultation, our plastic surgeons’ assess each patient uniquely, discussing surgery options that will provide patients with the safest and best outcome.
If you are concerned about the appearance of your breasts, and this bothers you and affects your self-esteem regularly, a breast lift may be able to help.
Modern breast lift surgery (mastopexy) uses techniques to minimise scarring and optimise shape. The specifics of your situation will be discussed with you when you have your first consultation with your plastic surgeon.
A consultation with your plastic surgeon will enable personalisation of the procedure and care to your unique situation. We ask that you bring all relevant medical documentation with you on the day. This includes any referral letters (if applicable), your Medicare and/or private health insurance details.
Please allow at least half an hour for your initial consultation. You will be allowed to discuss your desired results in-depth with your plastic surgeon during this time.
Your surgeon will also assess your circumstance and provide tailored information for your breast reduction or breast lift surgery. This is also the time to discuss any questions or concerns with your surgeon. It is so important that you are confident and comfortable moving forward.
Suppose you have heavy breasts and discomfort in the neck or shoulder region. In that case, the procedure may be partly relatable through Medicare or your private health insurance– you will require a referral from your family doctor to support this.
To help ensure a smooth procedure and a quick and comfortable recovery, we have listed some important things that you should do:
Surgery is usually booked under general anaesthetic with 1-2 nights in hospital to support your recovery. You will need to fast on the day of surgery and organise a support person to take you home and be around to help in the first few days when you head home.
After surgery, it is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the area that will be most evident 1-2 days after surgery and mostly resolve over 2-3 weeks.
Perhaps surprisingly, surgery is not particularly painful (simple pain medications such as paracetamol usually suffice after the first 24-48 hours). However, it is important to rest after surgery to allow your body time to recover. You will need two weeks without driving, two weeks off for administrative jobs and duties and six weeks off physical jobs or activity (including gym or exercise).
You will also need to wear a support bra to aid your recovery.
We will organise a post-operative appointment for you to see your plastic surgeon. That will be one week after surgery to check your wounds (dissolving sutures are used, so there are no stitches to remove) and provide advice to care for your scars as you recover. Often, you will have appointments every week or two for the first month to support your recovery.
Substantial improvement will be noticed straight away, though there will be some early swelling from surgery that settles in 1-2 weeks. It may take up to 6 months for all swelling to settle and scars to mature to see your long term result.
Your breast size should remain stable if your overall body weight does (it is really helpful to get to your ideal body weight before surgery), and you will have a very gradual droop again, though this will take many years to reach similar levels.
All operations have risks, though major complications are rare after breast surgery. However, a small risk of concerns may delay healing and require extra care (e.g. minor bleeding, infection, delayed healing of the fat underneath, a small fluid collection, or overactive scars).
In the longer term, mild asymmetry in size or shape is not uncommon (though your surgeon will do their best to achieve a symmetrical result). Often the nipples may have some sensitivity early on, though long term discomfort or loss of the nipple skin from surgery is very rare. These risks may vary depending on your specific situation and will be discussed at your consultation.
Please feel reassured that your plastic surgeon will only recommend surgery if they feel that the benefit of the procedure substantially outweighs the risks.
When breast reduction surgery is undertaken to improve neck or shoulder back discomfort, most costs are rebatable through Medicare and standard private health insurance. However, this does require a referral from your family doctor.
After your consultation, you will get a detailed quote, including the surgeon fee, anaesthetic fee, hospital fee and breast support bra for your initial recovery.
According to the rules that govern Medicare and private health insurance, breast lift surgery (mastopexy) is generally cosmetic and so not debatable. However, after your consultation, you will get a detailed quote, including the surgeon fee, anaesthetic fee, hospital fee and breast support bra for your initial recovery.
If you’re considering having a breast reduction or breast lift procedure, be sure to book a consultation meeting with one of our highly skilled plastic surgeons today.
Please be aware that all surgical procedures require a consultation with our plastic surgeons to allow a thorough assessment and discussion of your specific needs.