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Breast Reduction MAMMAPLASTY

What is breast REDUCTION?

Disproportionately large breasts (macromastia) can cause many problems, including chronic pain in your back, shoulders and neck. Chafing and rashes under the breasts can also be an unpleasant symptom, and your bra straps may cut into your shoulders. You may have experienced the frustration of trying to find clothing and bras that fit well, and you may also have experienced discomfort while exercising or during daily physical activity. Having large breasts can have a negative impact on your confidence and self-image, so if you have these symptoms, or if you are simply unhappy with having large breasts, then a breast reduction can be the solution. A mammaplasty or breast reduction is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of large, heavy breasts by removing excess tissue, fat and skin.

WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT?

A breast reduction can achieve very satisfying results, and most women do not regret having the procedure. You’ll have lighter, smaller breasts, and improved proportions. Physically, you’ll feel more comfortable and your improved appearance will give you greater self-confidence.

SOME FREQUENTLY
ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I plan for my breast reduction surgery?
Before any surgery is performed, your first consultation with your cosmetic surgeon will be a discussion about what your expectations are, and what you would like to achieve.

Your surgeon will examine your breasts and nipples, assess skin quality and tone and take measurements, paying attention to their shape and size, and will also take photographs. He or she will ask about your general health status as well as any pre-existing conditions.

There are several breast reduction procedure options, and your surgeon will suggest one that is right for you, explaining the full procedure so you can make an informed decision.

What is the procedure for a breast reduction?
In a breast reduction, which can take two to three hours, the surgeon makes a ‘lollipop’ incision around the areola and down the front of the breast. He or she will remove the excess tissue and skin to make your breasts smaller, and then reposition the areolas – resizing them if necessary – to give them a lift. Once this part of the procedure is complete, the surgeon will close the incisions with sutures.
How should I prepare for a breast reduction?
Before your surgery you may be asked to stop smoking for two to four weeks prior to the procedure. Nicotine retards the healing process and quitting for as long as possible before surgery helps improve blood flow. You will also have to have a blood test before surgery is performed and you should also have a mammogram before and after the procedure so that your surgeon and other health professionals can monitor any changes in your breast tissue.

You should stop taking certain medication, like aspirin and some anti-inflammatory drugs. Avoid recreational drugs and disclose to your surgeon any other medication you’re taking, since you may need to adjust these.

Be sure to arrange for transport to and from the clinic, since you will not be able to drive yourself after the procedure.

Where will my breast reduction surgery be performed?
The surgery will be performed in one of our fully equipped operating theatres.
What anaesthetic will be used for my breast augmentation?
Most reduction mammaplasty procedures are performed under general anaesthetic.
How do I recover from a breast reduction?
Your recovery will take between two to six weeks. While recovering, you should avoid doing any stretching, heavy lifting, strenuous activities or exercise for three to six weeks. You should sleep on your back or side to keep pressure off your breasts.
What can I expect after my surgery?
After surgery, you will have gauze dressings or bandages over the incisions, and you will have elastic bandages or a support bra which will help with the swelling as you heal. You may also need small plastic drainage tubes for a few days.

The sutures, which will dissolve on their own, should be kept dry for the first two days, and you should avoid taking baths or swimming for about six weeks.

You will have scars which may be red and lumpy but as you heal, they will fade significantly over several months.

Although there may be some swelling, you should be able to see a difference in the size of your breasts immediately.

With your reshaped and resized breasts, you will no longer have the discomfort, pain and self-consciousness you experienced before the breast reduction. The results should be long-lasting, but remember that as you age, and if your weight changes, your breasts may change in size and appearance.

When can I return to normal activities?
After the surgery, you may need to take at least two weeks off work, and you will need help with daily activities and regular chores like housework and childcare. You will find that wearing a seatbelt will cause pain, so avoid driving for the first few weeks.

Your surgeon will advise you on how soon you can return to your regular activities.

What risks are involved in breast reduction surgery?
With breast reduction surgery, like all other surgery, there is a (low) risk of post-operative infection, bleeding and swelling as well as the risks associated with anaesthesia.

Some of the other risks and complications include blood clots, blood or fluid collecting in the breasts, cardiac and pulmonary complications and deep vein thrombosis.

Excessive scarring, asymmetry, skin discoloration and poor healing of incisions are also risks, as well as persistent pain or numbness, which is usually temporary. The procedure may affect your ability to breastfeed.

Your surgeon will discuss all the risks with you before the procedure.

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