Breast reduction

Overly large breasts may affect both physical and psychological wellbeing. Women living with disproportionately large breasts suffer from back, neck and shoulder pain, headaches, skin irritation and infections under the breasts. They find it difficult to participate in sports and to shop for bras and clothes. A lot of them are also self-conscious about the size of their breasts and they try to hide or disguise them with loose fitting clothes. Breast reduction surgery offers relief of these symptoms and produces results that are truly life-changing.

What is a Breast Reduction?
Breast reduction, or reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure in which excess breast tissue and skin are removed and breasts are reshaped to better fit the proportions of the body.

Pre-surgical consultation
Prior to the surgery you will have a consultation with Dr. Grubnik. During this consultation, we will discuss your expectations and desired breast size, planning of the procedure, possible complications and postoperative recovery process.

How is the procedure performed?
The surgery is performed in theatre under general anaesthetic and takes approximately two hours. During the surgery, incisions are made around the areolae in an inverted T shaped pattern. Underlying breast tissue is removed. The breasts are reshaped and nipples and areolae are moved to a higher position on the breast. The size of the areolae is usually reduced as the same time, if desired.

Where will the scars be?
Scars after breast reduction are located around the areola, extending vertically downward to the crease under the breast and along the crease under the breast in an inverted T pattern. These scars are quite inconspicuous – the scar around the areola is disguised by the change in colour between the areolar skin and your skin, the vertical scar is in the lower pole of the breast and is usually not visible in an upright position, and the horizontal scar is hidden in the natural crease under the breast.  Once all the wounds have healed, Dr. Grubnik will advise you on a scar management regimen that you need to follow to ensure that the scars are as inconspicuous as possible.

What to expect after surgery?
After the operation, it is recommended that you stay in hospital for one night. Both Dr. Grubnik and her anaesthetist will ensure that you are pain free after the surgery. You will be given a “pain pump” when you wake up from the surgery, and then gradually weaned off and changed to tablets. You will have dressings over all the wounds and drains (small silicone pipes) in both breasts which stay in for about one week. All the stitches are dissolvable and do not need to be removed. After the surgery, you will be asked to wear a special post-surgical bra for three weeks day and night, and further three weeks during the day. Dr. Grubnik will see you at weekly intervals to check the wounds.

How long is the recovery time?
Recovery after any surgery depends largely on the patient and their lifestyle. It is recommended to take two to four weeks off work following a breast reduction, depending on the type of work. It is recommended to refrain from driving for 10 days to two weeks after the procedure. Sport and strenuous physical activity can only be resumed after six weeks. Dr. Grubnik will discuss the specific recovery timeline best suited for you.

Will I have sensation in my nipples?
Nipple sensation varies in individuals. Women with extremely large breasts often have reduced nipple sensation. Immediately after surgery, skin and nipple sensation is diminished but typically returns over time. In the majority of patients nipple sensation is preserved.

Will I be able to breastfeed?
Most patients are able to breast feed after breast reduction surgery. Some patients may not be able to produce enough breast milk to sustain a baby.

Will my breast shape and size change over time?
The breasts will settle into shape about six months after the operation. This shape should be well maintained provided that there are no weight fluctuations (gain/loss), hormonal stimulation (pregnancy) and you wear a properly fitted bra day-to-day and a strong sports bra during physical activity.


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