Also known as reduction mammaplasty, breast reduction surgery removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to achieve a breast size in proportion with the body and to alleviate the discomfort associated with overly large breasts.
Why you might need breast reduction surgery
This procedure can help relieve the physical symptoms associated with large or heavy breasts such as:
- Breast discomfort
- Neck ache, backache and shoulder pain
- Skin irritations underneath the breast fold
- Problems with clothes
- Indented bra-straps
- Difficulties and discomfort during exercise
On a purely cosmetic level, the operation can help patients who are unhappy with the shape, weight and droop of their breasts, by creating smaller and more uplifted breasts. Many patients with large breasts can be very self-conscious of their appearance and find that they attract unwanted attention.
Assessment for this surgery
If you decide you would like to go ahead with reduction mammaplasty surgery, Mr Sherif Wilson FRCS (Plast) will be pleased to meet with you as many times as you like to ensure you are comfortable with the changes he will make. Surgery is an important decision and Mr Wilson is here to talk you through everything before you make your decision.
What does this procedure involve?
During your consultation(s), Mr Wilson will discuss the different options you have for reduction mammaplasty and the actual size of the reduction will be agreed with you before the surgery takes place.
In the majority of cases this surgery begins with the nipple, which is lifted into a new position. Excess skin and breast tissue is then removed, and the remaining breast tissue is reshaped to create a smaller and more elevated breast.
This surgery is a fairly complex operation that takes between two to three hours to perform. The operation is carried out under general anaesthetic so you will not feel anything during the surgery. Patients are usually required to stay in hospital for one or two nights following a reduction mammaplasty. You will have some dressings on your breasts and often some drains (plastic tubes attached to suction bottles). The drains will usually be removed before you go home.
Before and after gallery
Going home after surgery
Following surgery, you will return home with a supportive dressing which should be kept dry and clean. After a short period – usually around one week – you will return to see Mr Wilson to have the dressing removed.
As with any surgery, you will need to take it easy at home to help speed up your recovery. Although you will be mobile from day one, it is advised to take at least a week off of work to give the body time to recover.
Initially, strenuous exercise should be avoided but after six weeks you should be able to return to regular strenuous exercise. You should also avoid driving if possible until you no longer experience any pain when wearing a seatbelt. You may need to contact your car insurance provider regarding their policy on driving after surgery.
What are the risks of this surgery?
Whilst these operations are generally regarded to be highly successful, there are various negatives and complications that patients need to consider. Most patients are delighted with the physical and cosmetic improvements that surgery brings. However, it is impossible to guarantee that a particular cup size will result. There will be minor asymmetries between your breasts.
Occasionally patients will bleed immediately after the operation and need to go back to the operating room for this to be dealt with. Most wound problems are minor and can be managed with simple dressings. In some cases, the operation can result in the loss of the nipple. Some patients will get alteration in the feeling of the breasts, this will often improve after the operation, but it is possible that you will lose feeling in a nipple. After many breast reduction techniques it will still be possible to breastfeed, but this ability might be lost.
How much does this surgery cost?
Depending on the type of procedure you require, the cost of surgery can vary. These are guide prices and are subject to change following an initial consultation with Mr Wilson, where a bespoke quote will be provided, specific to each patient.
At Spire Bristol Hospital
At BMI Bath Clinic
At Winfield Hospital (Gloucester)
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