Surgical Reduction of Breast Tissue
Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is an operation that removes excess fat and skin from the breast, to make the overall size of the breast smaller. The size of the breast tissue is governed by genes, weight and hormones. If the breast tissue is too large, this can cause problems including backache, neck pain, skin changes around the breast and psychological distress. Reduction mammoplasty may be a suitable option for women suffering from these issues, as well as in women with one breast significantly larger than the other.
There are several different surgical techniques that may be used in breast reduction surgery. All of these approaches will require a general anaesthetic. The surgery will result in a scar being made around the areola of the breast. Scars made during the surgery are designed to lie under the average bra or bikini top, and over months following surgery, these scars will fade. Drainage tubes may be used during the surgery and left in place afterwards to ensure any fluid is removed from within the breast tissue. You will usually be able to leave hospital after 3-4 days.
Few women are able to breast feed following breast reduction surgery, as the nipple is separated from underlying milk ducts. Younger women should therefore take this into account prior to opting for the procedure.
As with any operation, there are risks to the surgery. Specific risks to breast reduction surgery are the formation of a larger scar than usual, typically occurring at the nipple disc or where the skin surrounding where the scar meets the underpart of the breast. It may also be necessary in the future, following the surgery, to adjust the folds at the end of the scar, as the tissues change over time. General risks include bleeding, infection and formation of blood clots after surgery.
Mr Anton Fries, Consultant in reconstructive plastic surgery, would be delighted to discuss options for breast reduction surgery with you during a private consultation.