Breast reduction surgery, formally known as a reduction mammoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure where excess fat, tissue and skin are removed to make the breasts smaller. This surgery is generally performed for a combination of physical, aesthetic or psychological reasons such as to re-proportion the bust to improve self image and reduce pain or discomfort.
The cost of your breast reduction treatment depends on where you choose to be treated and your individual needs. The pricing differential depends on many factors, such as cost of living, exchange rates, practicing costs or regulatory conditions, which may differ greatly from country to country. Below are average prices for a breast reduction across various countries.
The first step in accessing a breast reduction is having a thorough consultation with a trusted surgeon.
It is important to discuss together the issues you want to rectify with the procedure and your reasoning behind them in order to guide your treatment and set realistic goals.
Your surgeon will need to know your medical history, your current lifestyle (e.g work and physical activity levels), whether you intend to have children soon or plan to lose a large amount of weight.
Prior to surgery, your doctor will conduct a thorough examination of your breasts, in particular taking measurements to record the exact size, shape and symmetry of your breasts as well as the size and position of your nipples and areolas.
They will also take photos and usually recommend a mammogram to ensure they have accurate pre-surgery documentation of your breasts to make it easier to detect any future changes.
Breast reduction surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic, meaning you will be put to sleep for the duration of the procedure.
The surgery involves four key steps:
Making an incision around the areola and down the breast to the breast crease, followed by an inverted T or anchor shaped incision around the area
2. Repositioning your nipple – usually while it's still attached to the blood supply
3. Removing excess fat, glandular tissue and skin from your breasts
4. Reshaping the remaining breast tissue
Your surgeon will likely make three different incisions per breast to remove excess tissue, fat and skin. The skin located above the nipple will be used to reshape the breast and liposuction may be used to contour the new shape.
Additionally, some plastic surgeons may recommend a breast lift as a procedure to combine with a breast reduction for maximum aesthetic change.
You will likely be sore, swollen and disoriented from the general anesthetic and pain relief. If you are not staying overnight at the hospital, it is recommended that you make arrangements to have someone assist you with getting to your accommodation and to help with basic tasks in the days afterwards.
Immediately after surgery, your breasts will be covered with gauze dressings and/or bandages and a tube will be placed under each arm to drain excess blood and fluid. Additionally, showering and dressing will be painful and difficult at first, so assistance will help to minimise the discomfort and risk of these activities.
For the first week following surgery, you will be taking medication for pain and antibiotics to reduce discomfort and infection risk. Your surgeon will also likely recommend an elastic surgical compression bra to protect the breasts.
After the first week, you will start to see a reduction in bruising and swelling and the surgical scars will be starting to heal.
Your breasts will still feel particularly tender and sensitive, with bruising and swelling as per any other operation. Some patients also report a complete loss of sensation in the areolas, but this will fade over time.
After two weeks, your stitches will be removed or start to dissolve. You should also be able to return to work and resume light physical activity.
By now you should feel relatively “back to normal”, but it is important to still be mindful of the procedure.
Scarring can be made worse if you push yourself too quickly, so for example, underwire bras, lifting heavy objects and extreme physical activity should be avoided until discussed with your surgeon or doctor.
Additionally, this phase is most important in regards to your mental attitude. It is important to be patient as your breasts “fall” after surgery. They will slowly reduce in tightness, the new skin will settle and it can take a few month for your breasts to arrive at their new permanent state.
In the majority of cases, the healing process will be complete after approximately 8 weeks, but the full results can take up to a year to be obvious.