Breast reduction surgery consistently rates highest amongst all cosmetic surgeries in terms of patient satisfaction. A large part of this is because the surgery helps to alleviate symptoms related to the weight of the breasts such as back, neck and shoulder pain. 

A breast lift is always performed with a breast reduction. In breasts that are just droopy, a breast lift(mastopexy) can be performed without removing any underlying breast tissue in order to preserve volume. Alternatively, an implant can also be placed at the same time if a fuller look is desired (augmentation mastopexy).

Am I suitable for a breast reduction?

As a result of the heavy weight of your breasts, you may have troublesome symptoms such as

  • back pain
  • shoulder pain
  • neck pain
  • bra straps digging into skin
  • rashes under the breast fold
  • loss of self esteem, social embarrassment

If so, the surgery may be beneficial for you. It is useful to obtain supportive documentation about your symptoms and its relation to your breast weight from your physiotherapist, chiropracter and GP as you may be eligible to have the surgery rebated through your health insurance/medicare.

How is the surgery performed?

You are admitted on the day of surgery and Dr Teh will do some markings in the preop holding bay. The surgery which is under a full general anaesthetic, can take up to 4 hours to perform. You may wake up with a urinary catheter.

During the surgery, skin is excised. If a reduction is planned, breast tissue is also removed. The nipple is freed from the skin but left attached to the remaining breast tissue. This allows the nipple to be ‘lifted’ to a higher position on the chest wall. During a breast lift, breast tissue from the lower breast can be moved to the upper chest to provide more fullness in the cleavage area (autoaugmentation). If an implant is used, this may be placed either under the breast gland or deeper under the pectoralis muscle.

How long do I have to stay in hospital

There is usually a drain in each breast that is removed just before discharge. Most patients stay 1-2 nights in hospital.

What are the scars like?

In general, the greater the reduction or lift, the longer the scar will be. The scar may be

  1. entirely around the nipple (a periareolar reduction/lift)
  2. around the nipple with a downward extension towards the breast fold (vertical scar)
  3. same as (2) but with an additional horizontal scar along the breast fold (Wise pattern scar)

Discharge instructions can be found here