Our Process for Breast Reduction Surgery
Your initial consultation visit
When we meet we will discuss your symptoms, how long they have been present, and what difficulties the symptoms present. We will discuss your past medical history, history of breast changes at puberty, pregnancy, during breast feeding and after completing breast feeding as appropriate, including variation in cup size with each of these stages.
What are my options?
No treatment: The decision to proceed to breast reduction is purely elective. You should feel no pressure to decide to have a breast reduction simply because you have consulted a surgeon. Equally, in most cases, the result of surgery will not be significantly altered if you decide to delay your decision (even if you delay many years).
Surgery: Your breast reduction procedure will be individually planned and formulated for you. There are many different techniques available each of which has a place in helping individual women. All techniques remove fat and glandular tissue from your breasts. When a significant amount of tissue is removed or the nipple has to be repositioned skin will also need to be removed. This requires an incisions to be made on your breasts and, therefore, permanent scars will be present.
Liposuction alone can be considered for breast reduction in some cases. The drawback of liposuction as a standalone procedure is that it may not provide the repositioning of the nipple and the reshaping of the breast which is desired.
Limited scar /Vertical breast reduction: Where possible limited incision procedures may be used (this normally still involves an incision around the nipple and a vertical incision). Some women with particularly large breasts also require an incision placed in the fold under the breast to remove the excess, stretched, skin from underneath the breast.
Before your breast reduction?
We will make arrangements for the scheduling of your surgery. You will be given specific instructions and we will confirm these in writing and on the telephone. Where possible we would like you to avoid taking aspirin or any medications containing aspirin for two weeks prior to your surgery (includes most anti-inflammatory medications).
How should I prepare for surgery?
If you are 40 or older, or if you have a history of breast cancer in your family, we will recommend a baseline mammogram before surgery and another mammographic examination 12 months after surgery. This will help to detect any future changes in your breast tissue. Following breast reduction, you will still be able to perform breast self-examination. Breast reduction surgery will not increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
What will the day of surgery be like?
Your breast reduction surgery may be performed in Cabrini Hospital, Malvern or Knox Private Hospital, Wantirna.
Your breast reduction will be performed under general anaesthesia. We will discuss this at your consultation. Your specialist anaesthetist will meet you prior to your procedure and will discuss the specific anaesthetic plan with you at that time. Immediately before your surgery I will measure your breasts and mark your skin with a marking pen.
After your breast reduction?
Breast reduction is not usually a very painful procedure and the local anaesthetic placed into the breast tissue during the operation will keep you comfortable for some hours. After this medications are given to reduce any pain. You will feel tight, perhaps bruised and uncomfortable in your breasts, which you would expect.
Within the first few days you will commence wearing a soft, supportive, "crop top" progressing to a "sports" bra (no underwire). This will increase your comfort and support your new breast shape. You will not need to purchase post op bras prior to the procedure.
You will be discharged from hospital with appropriate prescriptions for antibiotics and pain killers.
Activity levels immediately after surgery
The first three to five days following surgery you will feel drained, swollen and uncomfortable (but not in severe pain). You will be able to supervise around home but will not be feeling up to participating much.
You will not be able to drive your car following surgery until your incisions are healed and you feel comfortable. This takes seven to ten days in most cases. We will give you guidance in this area.
How long it is before you return to work will be very dependent on the type of work you perform. If you are involved in administrative desk bound work you may be able to return to work within 2 weeks.
We will keep in close contact with you following your procedure to reassure you and answer any questions you may have. Your first office visit will typically be two to five days after the procedure. We will see you as frequently as necessary after this.