Breast reduction – a universally satisfying procedure

As plastic surgeons, we often here comments to the effect that the grass is greener on the other side! Women with less developed breasts see us about breast enlargement, whilst women with large breasts come consult about reducing the size of their breasts. Large breasted women will often tell me that they can’t understand why anyone would want to put up with the problems they suffer from as a result of having heavy breasts, including neck and shoulder ache, back ache, sores under the breasts, as well as the social implications of being large breasted.

Large heavy breasts cause functional issues, as well as the cosmetic concerns. This results in breast reduction maintaining its place as one of the most “worth it” procedures we perform as plastic surgeons. The instant relief that women feel on waking up with smaller breasts puts any post-operative discomfort into the shade, as they are overwhelmed with satisfaction!

There are a multiple ways to perform a breast reduction, and the right technique for you should only be determined after a thorough examination. The techniques vary in their scar pattern, their surgical technique and what is done to the nipple position.

Most breast reduction techniques result in a scar around the areola and a scar that goes down from the areola to the breast crease. There can also be a scar that runs along the breast crease. On occasion, I sometimes do a “scarless” breast reduction using liposuction on its own – but this is mainly for post-menopausal women whose breasts are mainly composed of fat.

Contrary to popular belief, most breast reduction techniques do not involve removing the nipple. The nipple is actually kept attached to the breast and repositioned higher up, keeping its original blood supply, and possibly its nerve supply. I say possibly, as whilst modern techniques in breast reduction aim to disrupt the nerves as little as possible, there is always the chance that nipples are numb or reduced in sensitivity after a breast reduction.

The surgery takes a couple of hours and liposuction can be done in selected cases to shape the outer part of the breast, especially if there is a fatty tail to the breast (“side boob”). The operation can be done as day case surgery, or with an overnight stay, and most return to work at around two weeks.

Breast reduction is an incredibly satisfying operation for patient and surgeon alike. There is instant gratification on waking up from the surgery by the patient who immediately notices the weight change. The aesthetics of the breast and the breast proportions are also improved, as there is also a breast lift and reduction in diameter of the areola (which is usually desired) providing a good shape and aesthetic outcome.

Breast reductions continue to be an ever popular operation, and righty so, due to the holistic benefits it can bring. For more information, please get in touch to find out more.

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