Women with large breasts often suffer from discomfort, including back and neck pain.
Breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) surgery has both functional and cosmetic benefits. Read on to find out what’s involved in the procedure.
What is breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) surgery?
Breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) is an operation that reduces the size, volume and shape of the breast, while also raising the position of the nipple. The procedure is often a great option for women who suffer from some of the uncomfortable symptoms of having large, pendulous breasts, including shoulder pain, neck pain, back pain and headaches. Often, women with large breasts are small framed and find that their breast size is out of proportion with the rest of the body,
Breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) surgery is not technically classed as a cosmetic operation as there is a strong functional component to it. In fact, the functional improvements are considerable. There is, however, an aesthetic component to the procedure because it does raise the position of the breasts and the nipples.
What does the surgery involve?
Breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) surgery can be done as a day procedure and many patients prefer to stay in hospital overnight. The procedure is Medicare rebatable, so if you have a health fund that offers hospital cover, that can help.
During the procedure itself, breast tissue and skin is removed and then the position of the nipples is raised. One of the downsides of the procedure is the scarring on the breasts. While that may sound daunting, anyone who is considering the procedure should chat to their local GP or their plastic surgeon about the nature of those scars. Generally, these scars do heal over time and are very hard to see. For many people who are considering the surgery, however, the prospect of resolving back and neck pain outweighs the risk of scarring.
Who is an ideal candidate?
Because breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty) surgery has two key components—reducing the volume of the breasts and raising the nipple—and someone who has drooping breasts may benefit from the procedure. It does depend on what you’re trying to achieve though. Patients who have been through childbirth and breastfeeding, for example, often benefit from a breast lift or mastopexy, in which case the breasts are moved to a higher position on the chest wall and the breast shape is improved. During a breast reduction (reduction mammaplasty), on the other hand, breast volume is reduced. Women who have had children or who’ve been through significant weight loss typically want to lift the position of the nipple and improve the projection and volume of the breast. These types of patients tend to not need as much breast tissue removed and generally opt for breast augmentation (augmentation mammoplasty) surgery.
Often breast reduction is performed for functional reasons, but the surgery is sometimes combined with other procedures, such as an abdominoplasty. Often, women who have had children experience weakness in their abdominal wall and have excess skin folds that are resistant to diet and exercise, and can benefit from an abdominoplasty. The more procedures that are done in one session, the more convenient is it in terms of cost and downtime, but it does increase the length of time spent on the operating table.
It’s important to remember that surgery comes with risks. And for this reason, you should talk to your plastic surgeon about what the risks and benefits of each procedure are. When you come in for a consultation, Dr Yang will be able to talk through the details of the surgery with you and discuss any factors that may have an impact on the safety of your procedure.
To find out more about breast reduction surgery or to arrange a consultation, please get in touch.