The weight of large breasts can cause a variety of medical problems, including back and neck pain, as well as shoulder discomfort from tight bra straps. Breast reduction surgery aims to make the breasts smaller and better supported, decreasing pain and discomfort associated with large breasts. Breast reduction is an extremely successful procedure. From the perspective of patient satisfaction, it is amongst the most reliable of all cosmetic surgical procedures.
During breast reduction surgery, excess fat, tissue and skin are removed from the breast, to achieve a breast size that is proportionate to the body. For many patients with large or disproportionate breast, breast reduction surgery can help to improve their self-image and self-confidence, as well as their ability to participate in physical activities.
Breast reduction resolves issues such as:
- Chronic back, neck and shoulder pain
- Chronic rash or skin irritation under the breasts
- Deep grooves in the shoulders from bra strap pressure
- Restricted activity
- Poor self-image related to large breasts
- Difficulty fitting into bras and clothing
- Difficulty sleeping
Just like any major surgery, breast reduction surgery presents some risks such as bleeding, infections and an adverse reaction to the anaesthesia. Other risks may include:
- Loss of sensation in the nipples and skin surrounding the nipples (areolae)
- Difficulty or inability to breastfeed
- Differences in the size, shape and symmetry of the surgically altered left and right breasts, which might lead to further surgery to improve the appearance
- The risk of poor wound healing increase with the amount of breast tissue removed.
The particular technique used to reduce the size of breasts may vary depending on the patient’s individual need. An incision is made around the areola and down the breast. Excess fat, breast tissue and skin are then removed to reduce the size of each breast. In most cases, the areola remains attached to the breast, however, if the breasts are very large and droopy, the areola might be removed and reattached at a higher position on the breast as a skin graft.