Breast Reduction Surgery
Technically known as ‘Mammoplasty,’ breast reduction is a surgical procedure used to reduce and remove fat, glandular tissue and skin from overly large or drooping breasts. Dr Patrick Briggs is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon (FRCS, FRCSI, FRCSI Plast. Surg) offering breast procedures that will improve the overall appearance of your breasts.
About the Surgery
Large, heavy breasts can often make women physically and psychologically uncomfortable. The excess weight can cause back and neck pain, skin irritations, skeletal deformities and, in some instances, breathing difficulties. These challenges, along with a preference for smaller breasts can lead many teenage girls and women seeking Breast Reduction surgery.
As one of the most successful and immediately satisfying aesthetic procedures, mammoplasty allows patients to enjoy a more active lifestyle, and higher self-esteem as they are left with a more balanced shape and sized breasts that are also aesthetically pleasing.
The procedure removes fat, glandular tissue and skin, creating smaller, better shaped and lifted breasts. If required, the size of the areola (darker skin surrounding the nipple) can also be reduced. The goal is to have breasts proportionate to the rest of your body.
During your consultation, Dr Patrick Briggs will make a record of your medical history and discuss any prior operations. Dr Briggs will ask about your expectations and what you hope to achieve from Breast Reduction surgery. He will examine you and show you what you can expect post-operatively by defining the area of breast to be removed and the new position of the nipple.
In addition, there are several factors you may wish to consider:
- It’s normal for breasts to be asymmetric, and while Dr Briggs will strive to make your breasts as symmetric as possible, they will never be truly identical.
- Scarring will take place, and while scars will eventually return to skin colour, they will remain visible.
- After surgery, breast-feeding is unpredictable. If this is of concern, you may choose to delay your procedure.
What to Expect During Your Operation?
- A Breast Reduction is carried out under general anaesthesia; the procedure takes approximately two hours and typically all you require is one night in hospital.
- Once the incision site is pre-operatively marked, the excess skin and glandular tissue is removed from the breast.
- The suture line is vertical in most cases, and extends around the nipple allowing to move the nipple into a new position.
- Sometimes drainage tubes are inserted to remove fluid or blood post-operatively, these are removed once any oozing has stopped. This relatively painless procedure usually takes place on the first day after your Breast Reduction. New dressings are then applied and you are sent home. (Some methods may not require drainage tubes – Dr Briggs will advise you accordingly).
With this procedure, blood clotting may sometimes be a problem; you are required to get out of bed and move around as soon as possible, and wear anti-embolism stockings (TEDs). These are a precautionary measure and should not be removed until you are advised to do so.
You will be able to see your new breast size just after surgery, however, the final shape of your breasts will only emerge after 6 – 12 months.
During your recovery period from a Breast Reduction there are several things you should expect:
Your breasts will be uncomfortable and slightly painful after the operation. This is easily relieved, by taking the medication prescribed to you after the surgery. Aspirin must be avoided because it increases bleeding.
Dressings should be kept clean and dry for up to two weeks following surgery to help the healing process. A comfortable, non-underwire and well-fitted bra is also necessary for the first six weeks.
Bruising may occur and swelling of the breast tissue will cause them to appear larger than anticipated. However, this should improve markedly in two or three weeks, and settle in two to three months. To help decrease swelling and bruising, we recommend you take Arnica for one week before surgery and two weeks after.
Expect to feel tired for up to two weeks after surgery. You may drive after the first few days but do not return to vigorous exercise for at least six weeks.
Scars may initially be hard, red, raised and lumpy. These can take up to 18 months to fade in colour and flatten. This depends on individuals and their body’s healing qualities. Firm pressure from a well-fitting bra will help the scars fade faster.
With any surgery, there is a possibility of infection, but this is readily treated with antibiotics and/or dressings, as required. In some patients there is some minor loss of wound adhesion. This temporary complication results in a small scab, which separates after a few weeks.
Contact Dr Patrick Briggs’ friendly staff to book your consultation or to be provided with more information about Breast Reduction.