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Breast Reduction

Breast reduction procedure is used to remove excess fat, breast tissue and skin to reduce the size, reshape the breast and uplift the nipples. Breast reduction surgery can also reduce the size of the breast areolas and help to restore sagging breasts to give them more youthful appearance. 

Breast reduction is often requested by ladies with disproportionately large breasts. Large breasts can cause various physical symptoms  (e.g. rashes, sweating under the breast, grooving in the shoulder or back or neck pain) and have negative psychological impact on quality of life and daily function. Breast reduction can often help to alleviate discomfort associated with heavy breasts. Women with disproportionately large breasts often find it difficult to fit clothes of their own size. As a result, they tend to have to wear larger sizes in order for the chest to fit. 

Evidence shows that effects of surgery can not only improve the physical appearance, but can also improve physical symptoms and enhance self-esteem and quality of life.

Consultation will allow assessment and detailed discussion about what is possible taking under consideration personal circumstances and desires. There will be an opportunity to discuss alternatives, long-term implications and risks of surgery as well. 

Before arranging a consultation, it is important to think carefully about what one would like to achieve to be able to discuss specific concerns and desires in detail. It is expected that breast reduction will make the breast smaller and the nipples will be lifted which would enhance and improve one's own natural appearance of the breast. Breast reduction is not designed to completely change one's own natural breast characteristics in order to perfectly match the ideal. Natural asymmetries should typically improve after surgery, but might not necessarily completely disappear.

What to expect from the consultation

During the consultation, you will be asked about your desired size and anything related to the appearance of the breast that you feel is important to you. This will help the doctor to understand your expectations and determine whether they can realistically be achieved. You will be asked about your medical history, current medications, drug allergies, smoking and history of breast disease including family history. Physical examination will be carried out and factors such as size, shape, nipple position and skin quality will be assessed. Measurements will be taken which are necessary for  planning for the surgery.  It might be possible to create 3D simulations in order to determine the approximate degree of reduction you wish to have. Medical photographs might be taken as well. Explanation will be given as to which techniques would be most appropriate depending on the assessment and desires. You will receive a letter summarizing the consultation along with surgery fees.  

Clinical psychology consultation might be suggested in order to better assess your expectations and the degree the problem is affecting you. Joined effort from multidisciplinary team helps to improve the overall outcome of surgery. If you are are over 40 years old, you would be required to have a screening mammogram before surgery. 

The information below will provide basic explanation about what is involved in surgical procedures used for breast reduction. If you have more questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

What does the surgery entail

Techniques used for breast reduction vary, but the most common ones involve an anchor-shaped or a lollipop-shaped scar that circles the areola, extends vertically downwards and to the breast fold. Ms Majdak-Paredes will utilise latest techniques to minimise the length of the incision necessary for surgery. Sometimes limited liposuction might be required to define the breast footprint. The technique will allow best possible contouring of the breast. Scars usually settle down well over time.

 

Occasionally, if only fat needs to be removed to reduce the size of the breast, liposuction alone might be effective to achieve the desired outcome. 

Breast reduction is usually carried out under general anaesthetic and takes approximately 3 hours. Breast tissue removed during the procedure would always be tested for any possible abnormality.  

Recovery takes 4-6 weeks. Front fastening medical or sports bra is recommended for 4-6 weeks. 

You would require a nurse appointment a week after surgery and a consultant appointments 4-6 weeks after surgery or earlier if required.  You will need a front-fastening surgical bra which will help to support the breast, reduce the swelling and provide comfort. 

Risks and implications will be discussed in detail during your consultation. 

Breast reduction surgery should not affect future breast cancer screening or interpretation of screening mammograms. However, if you have any concerns regarding implications of breast reduction surgery on future breast cancer screening it would be prudent to see a Consultant Breast Surgeon or Clinical Oncology Consultant to discuss this in detail.