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Breast Reduction FAQs or Reduction Mammaplasty FAQs

A Breast Reduction Surgery or a Reduction Mammaplasty is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of your breasts and lifts them to a higher position. Below we answer Breast Reduction FAQ’s from candidacy, and preparation, to the procedure, recovery, long term results and more. Dr Craig Rubinstein, Dr Broughton Snell and Dr Gary Kode are all certified plastic surgeons experienced in breast surgery.

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This complete guide to Breast Reduction Surgery covers everything you need to know about this procedure, including:

  • Your surgery explained
  • How to assess if you are a good candidate.
  • Planning for your surgery
  • Answers to most frequently asked questions.
  • Before and after gallery
  • Read more about Breast Reduction

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Breast Reduction FAQs

How small can you go with breast reduction?

The size you can go with a breast reduction surgery depends on various factors, including; your specific goals, your body’s anatomy, and what your surgeon deems safe and feasible. Breast Reduction surgery is typically performed to alleviate physical discomfort and alter the overall appearance of the breasts. During the consultation with your plastic surgeon, you can discuss your desired breast size and the surgeon will consider your body’s proportions and health to determine the smallest size that can be achieved while maintaining a balanced look. It’s important to communicate your expectations clearly with your surgeon so they can work with you to achieve an optimal outcome. Keep in mind that Breast Reduction is a highly personalised procedure, and the ultimate size will be influenced by your unique circumstances and the surgeon’s recommendations.

Do breasts grow back after Breast Reduction?

Breasts do not typically grow back to their original size after a breast reduction surgery. The goal of breast reduction surgery is to permanently reduce the size and weight of the breasts while also reshaping and lifting them to create a more proportionate appearance. The excess breast tissue and skin removed during the surgery do not regenerate. However, it’s essential to understand that factors such as weight fluctuations, pregnancy, hormonal changes, and ageing can still affect the size and shape of the breasts over time. For example, significant weight gain can lead to an increase in breast size, while weight loss might lead to a reduction in breast size. Additionally, pregnancy and breastfeeding can also cause temporary changes in breast size and shape. If you maintain a stable weight and have no significant hormonal or lifestyle changes, the results of a Breast Reduction surgery should be relatively long-lasting. Nonetheless, it’s essential to discuss your concerns and goals with your plastic surgeon during the consultation to ensure you have realistic expectations about the procedure’s outcome. Your surgeon can provide specific guidance based on your individual circumstances.

Can you have a Breast Reduction without removing nipples?

Breast reduction surgery typically involves repositioning the nipples rather than completely removing them. During the procedure, the surgeon will reshape and reduce the size of the breasts while also adjusting the position of the nipples and areolas. This involves relocating the nipples to a higher and more central position on the newly shaped breasts. The exact technique used for nipple repositioning can vary based on the surgeon’s approach and the patient’s unique anatomy. However, in most breast reduction surgeries, the nipples and areolas remain attached to the underlying breast tissue through a pedicle. This preserves both their blood supply and nerve connections. It’s important to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss the specifics of your breast reduction procedure and any concerns you may have about the nipple position. Your surgeon can explain the techniques they plan to use and address your individual needs and preferences. While the nipples are repositioned during the procedure, they are not typically removed as part of a standard breast reduction surgery.

Can I get a Breast Reduction twice?

Yes, it’s possible to undergo multiple Breast Reduction surgeries. There are various reasons why someone might consider a second breast reduction, such as:

  • Unsatisfactory results from the initial surgery
    • Some individuals may not achieve their desired breast size or shape after the first reduction surgery and may seek a revision to achieve alternative outcomes.
  • Changes in breast size or shape over time
    • Factors like ageing, weight fluctuations, or pregnancy can lead to changes in breast size and shape, necessitating a second reduction procedure.
  • Medical or health-related issues
    • In some cases, health concerns or complications may arise after the initial surgery, requiring revision surgery to address these issues.

It’s essential to discuss your specific reasons for wanting a second breast reduction with a board-certified plastic surgeon. During a consultation, your surgeon will evaluate your current breast condition, medical history, and goals to determine if you are a suitable candidate for revision surgery. Keep in mind that the timing of a revision will depend on various factors, and your surgeon will provide guidance on the most appropriate approach. Revision surgeries should be performed by experienced plastic surgeons who specialise in breast procedures to achieve optimal results.

What are the disadvantages of Breast Reduction?

Breast Reduction, like any surgical procedure, comes with potential disadvantages and risks. It’s essential to consider these factors when deciding whether this surgery is right for you. Some of the disadvantages of breast reduction may include:

  • Scarring: Breast reduction typically involves incisions, which lead to scars. The extent of scarring can vary based on the surgical technique used.
  • Changes in Sensation: Some women may experience changes in nipple sensation after breast reduction. This can include reduced sensitivity or, in rare cases, loss of sensation. However, these changes are often temporary and may improve over time.
  • Inability to Breastfeed: Breast Reduction surgery can interfere with the ability to breastfeed, as milk ducts may be severed during the procedure.
  • Asymmetry: Achieving completely symmetrical breasts can be challenging, and slight differences in breast size or shape are to be expected.
  • Complications: As with any surgery, there are potential complications, such as infection, bleeding, or poor wound healing. Discuss these risks with your surgeon.
  • Recovery Time: Breast Reduction typically involves a recovery period during which you will have to take time off work and limit physical activities.
  • Cost: The cost of Breast Reduction surgery can be significant. It’s essential to consider your budget and whether it’s covered by insurance if the procedure is medically necessary.
  • Anesthesia Risks: General anesthesia is typically used during Breast Reduction, and there are risks associated with anesthesia, although they are generally low.

Discuss these potential disadvantages and risks with a board-certified plastic surgeon during your consultation. They can provide personalised guidance based on your specific circumstances and help you make an informed decision about breast reduction surgery.

Will a Breast Reduction help my neck pain?

Breast Reduction Surgery may be beneficial in alleviating neck pain for some individuals, particularly those with large, heavy breasts. Neck pain associated with large breasts is often a result of the excess weight of the breast tissue pulling on the neck and shoulders. Breast reduction aims to reduce the size and weight of the breasts, which may help address this issue. Breast Reduction can potentially help with neck pain by:

  • Reduced Strain: By removing excess breast tissue, Breast Reduction surgery reduces the weight that the neck and shoulders need to support. This can alleviate the strain on the neck muscles and ligaments, potentially reducing neck pain.
  • Improved Posture: Large, heavy breasts may lead to poor posture as individuals may unconsciously lean forward to counterbalance the weight. After breast reduction, many patients find it easier to maintain proper posture, which can also reduce neck pain.
  • Relief from Tension: The removal of excess breast tissue can relieve the tension and pressure on the neck and shoulder areas, contributing to pain relief.

However, it’s important to note that while breast reduction can be an effective solution for neck pain caused by large breasts, the procedure may not be appropriate or necessary for everyone. If you’re experiencing neck pain, it’s advisable to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon. They can assess your specific situation, discuss your symptoms, and help determine whether breast reduction is a suitable option to address your neck pain. In some cases, non-surgical treatments or physical therapy may also be considered as part of a comprehensive approach to pain relief.

Will Breast Reduction improve my shoulder pain?

Breast Reduction Surgery may lead to an improvement in shoulder pain, especially when the pain is associated with the weight and size of the breasts. Large, heavy breasts can put significant strain on the shoulders and upper back, potentially causing discomfort or pain. It’s important to note that while breast reduction surgery is a viable option for addressing shoulder pain related to large breasts, the decision to undergo the procedure should be made after consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon. They will evaluate your specific circumstances, discuss your symptoms, and help determine whether breast reduction is a suitable solution for your shoulder pain. In some cases, non-surgical treatments or physical therapy may also be considered as part of a comprehensive approach to pain relief.

Can large breasts cause migraines?

Large breasts, particularly when they are significantly disproportionate to one’s body size, may potentially contribute to or exacerbate migraine headaches in some individuals. This is due to the strain and tension that can be placed on the neck, shoulders, and upper back by the weight of the breasts. Here’s how large breasts may be linked to migraines:

  • Poor Posture: Individuals with large breasts may develop poor posture habits in an attempt to counterbalance the weight of the breasts. Poor posture can place stress on the neck and upper back muscles, potentially contributing to migraine-like tension and pain.
  • Neck and Shoulder Strain: The weight of large breasts may put significant strain on the neck, shoulders, and upper back. This strain may lead to muscle tension and spasms, which can radiate to the head and contribute to migraine headaches.
  • Compression of Nerves: The weight and size of large breasts can compress nerves in the neck and chest area, potentially causing referred pain that includes headache symptoms.
  • Restricted Blood Flow: Large breasts may restrict blood flow to the neck and head, which can lead to reduced oxygen supply to the brain, potentially triggering or worsening migraines.

It’s important to note that the relationship between large breasts and migraines is not straightforward, and not everyone with large breasts will experience migraines as a result. Migraines are complex neurological conditions with various triggers and factors, including genetic predisposition, lifestyle, and environmental elements. If you’re experiencing migraines or severe headaches that you suspect may be linked to your breast size, it’s advisable to consult with a qualified healthcare professional. They can help determine the potential contributors to your migraines and suggest appropriate treatments, which may include lifestyle modifications, non-surgical or surgical interventions to alleviate the strain on the neck and upper body.

Can large breasts cause lower back pain?

Yes, large breasts may contribute to lower back pain in some individuals. The weight of the breasts may lead to various issues that affect the musculoskeletal system, including the lower back.

Am I The Right Candidate / Reduction Mammaplasty Prerequisites FAQs

Is 60 too old for breast reduction?

Age alone is not the sole determining factor for whether someone is a candidate for Breast Reduction surgery. Instead, the suitability for breast reduction is assessed on a case-by-case basis, considering an individual’s overall health, medical history, and reasons for wanting the procedure. Some key factors to consider when determining if breast reduction is appropriate for someone at age 60 or older:

  • Physical Health: The individual’s general health plays a significant role. This involves assessing cardiovascular health, respiratory function, and the ability to recover from surgery.
  • Medical History: The patient’s medical history, including any underlying medical conditions, is important. Conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or clotting disorders can increase the risks associated with surgery.
  • Breast Size: The size and weight of the breasts should be evaluated. Excessively large breasts that cause physical discomfort and interfere with daily activities may be a strong indication for surgery.
  • Symptoms: The presence of symptoms related to large breasts, such as chronic back, neck, or shoulder pain, skin irritation, or postural issues, should also be considered.
  • Realistic Expectations: The individual should have realistic expectations about the outcomes of the surgery, the risks and the recovery process.
  • Support System: Having a support system in place, including assistance during the recovery period, can be beneficial, especially for older individuals.

It’s essential to consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can assess the individual’s specific situation and provide personalised guidance. Age alone should not be a barrier to seeking breast reduction if it may provide relief. The risks and benefits of the procedure should be thoroughly discussed with the surgeon to make an informed decision. Additionally, it’s essential to have a comprehensive pre-operative evaluation and be prepared for a potentially longer recovery period compared to younger patients.

Can I have a Breast Reduction if I’m overweight?

Yes, it is possible to have a Breast Reduction if you are overweight, but there are important considerations to keep in mind. The decision to undergo breast reduction surgery is based on several factors, including; your overall health, the size of your breasts, and any associated symptoms. Some key points to consider:

  • Physical Health
  • Breast Size
  • Realistic Expectations
  • Psychological Well-being
  • Weight Stability
  • Consultation

Your surgeon will evaluate your candidacy based on these factors and work with you to develop a tailored surgical plan. It’s also important to communicate openly with your surgeon about your weight and any weight loss goals. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and achieving a stable weight may contribute to better surgical outcomes. Ultimately, the decision to have a breast reduction should be made in consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon who can provide guidance and ensure your safety and well-being during the process.

Do I have to lose weight before a Breast Reduction?

You don’t necessarily have to lose weight before a breast reduction, but the decision to do so depends on individual circumstances and the recommendations of your plastic surgeon. However, a BMI of 30 or lower will significantly reduce any possible risks and complications of your reduction mammaplasty. During your consultation, discuss any weight loss goals or concerns with your surgeon. They will work with you to create a personalised surgical plan. It’s important to communicate openly about your expectations, medical history, and lifestyle to ensure the best possible outcome. Ultimately, the decision to lose weight before a breast reduction should be made in consultation with your plastic surgeon, who will provide guidance tailored to your needs and circumstances.

Reduction Mammaplasty Preparation FAQs

How do I ask for a Breast Reduction?

  • The first step in asking for a breast reduction is talking to a General Practitioner (GP) and getting a referral to a Plastic Surgeon.
  • Your surgeon should be a board-certified plastic surgeon who has ample experience in the field of breast surgery.
  • Next, you should schedule the initial consultation.
  • During the consultation with your Specialist Plastic Surgeon, you may share any concerns about your breast size as well as any hopes of what can be achieved by breast reduction surgery.

What questions should I ask at my consultation?

There are many questions that you may want to ask your Specialist Plastic Surgeon about breast reduction surgery. You may ask questions about;

  • The length of breast reduction
  • Scarring
  • Potential risks and complications
  • The recovery period
  • Safety concerns
  • Breast reduction recovery timeline
  • As well as, any specific questions you have relating to returning to work, caring for your kids, returning to the gym etc.

What is the Breast Reduction checklist?

  • This is an example of a breast reduction checklist. You may expand it with your experienced plastic surgeon if it is necessary:
    • Consultation preparation,
      • Prepare your medical history,
      • Prepare your family medical history,
      • Think about your body and the results you want to achieve,
      • Write down any concerns you may have,
    • Questions to ask your surgeon,
      • Who is a good candidate for surgery?
      • What results can I expect?
      • Any questions relating to your health
      • Is there anything I need to do to prepare for my surgery?
    • Pre-op shopping list,
      • compression garment (if your surgeon does not supply this)
      • Ice packs
      • Any other additional items your surgeon has asked you to purchase.
    • Home prep
      • Moving essentials to the room you will spend the most time in,
      • Thoroughly clean the space you will be in and the bathroom you will be using
      • Clean sheets on the bed,
      • Empty some space in the freezer for ice packs
      • Pre-prepare some meals if you do not have anyone to help you.
    • Surgery day prep,
      • Pack your essentials to take with you such as your regular medications, loose and comfortable clothes, smartphone (including charger), paperwork if required and toiletries.
      • Wear comfortable, loose clothes
      • Leave your house early enough – think of the traffic,
      • Show up at the hospital at the prearranged time – ideally 15 minutes early.
      • Fast from the time you have been asked to. This means no food, water, chewing gum etc.
      • Brush your teeth before you leave the house.

What should you not do before breast reduction surgery?

Breast Reduction Procedure FAQs

Does a breast reduction include a lift?

Yes, a breast reduction typically includes a breast lift, although the extent of the lift can vary depending on the specific procedure and the patient’s goals. Just removing the breast tissue, such as the glandular tissue, does not typically yield good results. For this reason, most surgeons remove excess skin after they remove excess breast tissue.

How much weight is removed in breast reduction?

How much weight is removed in a breast reduction depends on the initial size of your breasts and the results you want to achieve. Your surgeon can remove no minimum or maximum amounts, although most breast reduction surgeries remove between 1 to 5 kilos of breast tissue. In unilateral breast reduction, the surgeon may remove tissue from one breast only to correct breast asymmetry.

How long is the Breast Reduction surgery procedure?

A reduction mammaplasty procedure takes anywhere between 2-5 hours depending on;

  • The method of breast reduction (breast tissue excision or breast liposuction)
  • Size of your breasts
  • The results you want to achieve.

Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon should know how long the surgery will take by the end of your first screening. Any complications during the procedure can make it somewhat longer.

Where are incisions made in Breast Reduction?

In Breast Reduction surgery, incisions are made on the breast to access the underlying breast tissue, remove excess tissue, and reshape the breasts. The choice of incision pattern depends on factors such as the amount of tissue to be removed, the degree of breast ptosis, and the surgeon’s technique. There are several common incision patterns:

  • Anchor or Inverted-T Incision
    • This is the most common incision pattern for breast reduction. It’s named for its shape, which resembles an inverted “T.”
    • The incision runs around the areola (the darker skin around the nipple), extends vertically down from the areola to the breast crease, and then follows the natural curve of the crease.
    • This pattern allows for significant tissue removal and reshaping.
  • Vertical or Lollipop Incision
    • The vertical incision pattern is used when less tissue needs to be removed.
    • It encircles the areola and extends vertically down to the breast crease.
    • While it offers slightly less access for tissue removal compared to the anchor incision, it results in a shorter horizontal scar.
  • Periareolar or Donut Incision
    • The periareolar incision pattern consists of a circular incision made around the areola. This technique is suitable for cases where minimal reduction is required, often in combination with a breast lift.
    • The scar is less conspicuous because it’s located around the areola’s border.

The choice of incision pattern should be made in consultation with your plastic surgeon, who will consider your specific needs, the amount of tissue to be removed, and your aesthetic goals. They will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, including the resulting scar appearance, and help you make an informed decision that aligns with your desired outcome.

Are breast reduction incisions visible?

Breast Reduction incisions will result in scars, and their visibility can vary from person to person. The degree of visibility depends on several factors:

  • Incision Type: The choice of incision pattern can influence the visibility of scars.
  • Skin Type: Individuals with fair or light skin may have more noticeable scars compared to those with darker skin. However, scar visibility can be managed with proper care.
  • Scar Care: Post-operative care is essential to minimise scar visibility. Your surgeon may recommend scar management techniques, such as silicone sheeting, creams, and massage, which may help scars fade over time.
  • Sun Exposure: Sun exposure can darken scars, so it’s important to protect incision sites from the sun’s harmful UV rays, especially in the initial healing stages.
  • Individual Healing: Each person’s body heals differently, and some may naturally produce less noticeable scars.

It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s post-operative care instructions to optimise the healing and minimise scar visibility. If you have specific concerns about scarring, discuss them with your surgeon during the consultation.

Reduction Mammaplasty Recovery FAQs

How painful is Breast Reduction surgery?

Breast Reduction surgery, like any surgical procedure, involves some degree of pain and discomfort. The level of pain can vary from person to person, and it’s influenced by factors such as individual pain tolerance, surgical techniques used, and post-operative care. You can generally expect the following: Your surgeon will provide guidance on managing pain and discomfort during the Recovery period. They may prescribe pain medications and suggest strategies for reducing pain and swelling. Following these recommendations, along with adhering to a rest and recovery plan, may help ensure a smoother healing process. Remember that the pain and discomfort are temporary, and they gradually subside as you heal. If you have concerns about pain management or experience unusual pain, it’s essential to communicate with your surgeon during the post-operative period.

How swollen are breasts after reduction?

Breast swelling is common after breast reduction surgery. The extent of swelling can vary from person to person and depends on factors such as the surgical techniques used, individual healing, and post-operative care. The swelling is usually at its highest point for the first week after the Breast Reduction surgery. From then on, it will gradually decline, although some minor swelling may persist for months to come. Swelling is a normal part of breast plastic surgery.

How long is bed rest after Breast Reduction?

The length of bed rest or downtime after a Breast Reduction surgery varies from person to person. It’s typically recommended to take it easy for a period after the procedure to ensure proper healing. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Immediate Post-Op: You will need to rest and recover in the immediate post-operative period. Bed rest may be recommended for the first day or two, depending on your surgeon’s instructions.
  • Reduced Activity: In the following days and weeks, you’ll need to gradually increase your activity levels. You should avoid heavy lifting, strenuous exercise, and activities that strain your chest muscles for several weeks.
  • Return to Normal Activities: Most people can return to light, non-strenuous activities within a few weeks, but strenuous activities and exercise should be gradually reintroduced, typically around 6-8 weeks after surgery.
  • Full Recovery: Full recovery and the ability to resume all normal activities usually take several months. Your surgeon will provide specific guidance based on your progress.

It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions closely, as they will provide guidance tailored to your specific case. These instructions will help ensure an optimal outcome and minimise the risk of complications.

How do you get out of bed after a breast reduction?

Getting out of bed after a Breast Reduction surgery should be done with care to avoid putting stress on your surgical sites. Suggestion on how to get out of bed:

  • Roll to the Side: Start by lying on your back in bed.
  • Bend Your Knees: Gently bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the bed.
  • Roll to the Side: Slowly roll onto your side, keeping your body in a side-lying position.
  • Push Up: Use your hands to push your upper body up and gradually move your legs off the bed as you sit up.
  • Swing Your Legs: Once you are seated on the edge of the bed, you can swing your legs around and place your feet on the floor.
  • Stand Up: Push up from the bed to stand, using your legs for support.

It’s crucial to move slowly and not exert excessive force on your chest muscles or incisions. This method of getting out of bed minimises the strain on your surgical sites and helps prevent complications during the initial stages of recovery. Your surgeon will provide specific post-operative instructions, so it’s essential to follow their guidance closely for a smooth recovery. If you experience pain or discomfort when getting out of bed, inform your surgeon so they can provide additional advice or recommendations.

Can you sleep on your side after breast reduction?

  • No, you should not sleep on your side after breast reduction surgery.
  • You should sleep exclusively on your back for several weeks after the reduction mammaplasty since sleeping on your side can compromise the results and cause discomfort for you.
  • Some women choose to sleep alone after a breast reduction to avoid any risks of accidental injury while sleeping with their partner.

When can I lift my arms above my head after Breast Reduction?

The appropriate time to lift your arms above your head after a Breast Reduction can vary from patient to patient and may depend on your surgeon’s recommendations. However, here’s a general guideline:

  • Immediate Post-Op: Right after the surgery, you should avoid any lifting of your arms above shoulder level. Your surgeon may advise against reaching for things on high shelves, for example.
  • First Few Weeks: Typically, for the first few weeks, you should keep your arm movements minimal. Your surgeon might advise against lifting your arms too high to prevent strain on the surgical sites. Gentle, slow movements are encouraged.
  • Gradual Increase: As you progress through the recovery period and your surgeon approves, you can gradually increase your range of motion. This means you can slowly raise your arms above your head.
  • Consult Your Surgeon: It’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s specific post-operative instructions regarding arm movement. They’ll provide guidance tailored to your individual case. If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to contact your surgeon for clarification.

Remember that healing times can differ, and following your surgeon’s instructions is vital to ensure a smooth recovery and the best possible results.

How do you wash your hair after a breast reduction?

  • You should not wash your hair for the first 48 hours after a breast reduction surgery. This is done to avoid getting your incision wet.
  • After this period, it is OK to take quick showers and wash your hair, although you should not use water that is too hot or shampoos that are too strong or heavily perfumed.
  • If a friend or a family member can help you, they absolutely should.
  • Just remember that you should not bend over the bathtub, rather sit on a chair and tilt your head back over the bathtub.

Can I wear deodorant after Breast Reduction?

The ability to use deodorant after a breast reduction surgery typically depends on your surgeon’s recommendations and the type of incisions used. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Surgical Dressings: Right after the surgery, your surgical team will apply dressings and bandages to the incision sites. You shouldn’t apply any deodorant until your surgeon gives the green light.
  • Sutures and Incisions: Once your surgeon removes any sutures and recommends that you can start caring for the incisions yourself, you may still need to avoid using deodorant in the surgical area for a certain period. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions.
  • Deodorant Selection: When you’re permitted to use deodorant, it’s important to choose a mild, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic product to minimise the risk of irritation. Be cautious and avoid applying deodorant directly on the incision areas to prevent any potential issues.
  • Ask Your Surgeon: Every patient’s case is unique, so it’s crucial to follow your surgeon’s post-operative guidelines regarding hygiene and self-care. If you have any questions or concerns about using deodorant after breast reduction surgery, consult with your surgeon for specific advice.

Your surgeon will provide detailed instructions tailored to your recovery, including when and how you can safely use deodorant without affecting your incisions or causing any irritation.

Breast Reduction Longer-Term Results FAQs

What happens if you gain weight after a breast reduction?

Gaining weight after a breast reduction surgery can have several effects on your results, including:

  • Breast Size: One of the primary goals of a breast reduction is to reduce the size of your breasts. Weight gain can lead to an increase in breast size, potentially reversing some of the benefits achieved through surgery.
  • Breast Shape: Weight gain can also affect the shape and position of your breasts. If you gain weight, your breasts may become fuller, which could impact the results of the breast reduction.
  • Back and Neck Pain: One of the primary reasons for breast reduction is to alleviate back, neck, and shoulder pain caused by large, heavy breasts. Weight gain can potentially exacerbate these issues.

To maintain the results of your Breast Reduction surgery, it’s important to manage your weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise. If you do experience significant weight fluctuations, it’s advisable to consult with your plastic surgeon to discuss potential options, including revision surgery if needed. Keep in mind that it’s essential to maintain a stable weight for the best long-term outcome of your breast reduction procedure. Your plastic surgeon can provide guidance on how to manage your weight effectively to preserve the results of your surgery.

Can I sleep without a bra after breast reduction?

  • No, you should not sleep without a bra.
  • You should always wear a supportive bra or a compression garment after any breast-related surgery.
  • Not wearing a bra after a reduction mammaplasty can increase discomfort, pain and swelling and compromise final results, causing asymmetry or misshapen breasts.

How to minimise scarring after breast reduction?

Scars are best minimised by proper care after a breast reduction. Ensure you understand breast reduction scar do’s: Do;

  • Apply a silicone-based cream regularly as instructed,
  • Apply generous amounts of sunscreen when heading out,
  • Follow your surgeon’s advice,
  • Take up mild but regular physical activity to promote blood flow.

You should also understand a few breast reduction scar don’ts: Don’t;

  • Strain your body after a breast reduction,
  • Suntan or use tanning beds,
  • Smoke or drink excessive amounts of alcohol,
  • Use deodorants or perfumes until cleared to do so,
  • Swim, take a bath, or have long showers with hot water,
  • Get your incisions wet for the first 48 hours,

Breast Reduction Risks And Complications FAQs

What Breast Reduction risks and complications?

Breast reduction surgery, like any surgical procedure, it carries certain risks and potential complications. Common risks and complications associated with breast reduction include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring
  • Changes in Nipple Sensation
  • Asymmetry
  • Breastfeeding Difficulties
  • Loss of Nipple or Areola
  • Delayed Wound Healing
  • Anesthesia Risks
  • Fat Necrosis
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  • Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
  • Excessive Skin Removal
  • Inadequate Reduction

It’s crucial to discuss these risks and complications with your plastic surgeon during the consultation. A skilled and experienced surgeon will take steps to minimise these risks and work closely with you to achieve the best possible outcome while addressing your individual concerns and expectations.

Is swelling after Breast Reduction serious?

Swelling after breast reduction surgery is a common and expected part of the healing process. While it can be uncomfortable and affect the appearance of your breasts temporarily, it’s usually not serious. Swelling is the body’s natural response to surgery and typically peaks within a few days to a week after the procedure. Following your surgeon’s guidance for post-operative care and monitoring changes in your condition will help ensure a successful recovery. If you have concerns about swelling or any other aspect of your recovery, don’t hesitate to contact your surgeon for guidance and evaluation.

What does haematoma after breast reduction look like?

A hematoma after breast reduction surgery is an accumulation of blood that collects in the surgical area. It can cause swelling, pain, and discoloration. The appearance of a hematoma can vary, but common signs include: Swelling: Hematomas typically lead to localised swelling, which can be significant and painful. The affected breast may become notably larger than the other one.
Bruising: Hematomas often cause extensive bruising around the surgical area. The bruising may appear blue, purple, or even black and can spread over time.
Pain: Patients with a hematoma commonly report increased pain or discomfort, which may be out of proportion to the expected pain during the healing process.
Tightness or Pressure: You might feel a sense of tightness, fullness, or pressure in the breast, which is often caused by the blood collecting in the surgical pocket.
Change in Breast Shape: The affected breast may appear misshapen, and the hematoma can disrupt the expected contour of the breast. It’s important to remember that not all post-operative swelling and bruising are indicative of a hematoma. Some degree of swelling and bruising is normal after breast reduction surgery. However, if you experience severe or worsening symptoms, such as significant pain and bruising that extends well beyond the expected recovery period, it’s essential to contact your surgeon promptly. They can evaluate your condition and determine if a hematoma is present. Hematomas may require medical intervention, such as drainage, to facilitate proper healing and prevent complications.

What to do if the pain is too strong after breast reduction?

  • Severe pain can appear after a breast reduction.
  • To control the pain, you should take the pain relievers your Specialist Plastic Surgeon has prescribed to you.
  • If you feel that these medicines are not strong enough or that your pain after a breast reduction does not go away, you may ask your surgeon for a new prescription of stronger pain relievers.

What is Areola Necrosis?

Areola necrosis, also known as nipple-areola complex necrosis, is a condition in which the tissue of the areola, the dark-colored area around the nipple, undergoes cell death (necrosis). It is a rare but serious complication that can occur after breast surgery. The exact cause of areola necrosis can vary, but it often results from impaired blood flow to the areola tissues. Factors that can contribute to this condition include:

  1. Inadequate Blood Supply: If the blood vessels that supply blood to the areola are compromised during surgery, it can lead to a lack of oxygen and nutrients, causing cell death.
  2. Excessive Tension: If the breast tissue is pulled too tightly during the surgical procedure, it can compress blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the areola.
  3. Smoking: Smoking can constrict blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the surgical site. Smokers are at a higher risk of complications like areola necrosis.

Symptoms of areola necrosis may include discoloration of the areola, persistent pain or discomfort, poor wound healing, and possibly visible tissue breakdown.


Treatment for areola necrosis may involve:

  1. Wound Care: Mild cases may be managed with specialized wound care to promote healing. This might include antibiotics and dressings to prevent infection.
  2. Debridement: In more severe cases, the necrotic tissue may need to be removed surgically. This is known as debridement.
  3. Reconstruction: After the necrotic tissue is addressed, reconstructive surgery may be necessary to repair and reconstruct the areola area.

It’s crucial for patients who experience symptoms of areola necrosis to seek immediate medical attention and consult with their surgeon. Timely intervention is essential to minimize the extent of tissue loss and ensure the best possible outcome. Patients should also follow their surgeon’s pre-operative and post-operative care instructions to help reduce the risk of complications.

Will I lose feeling in my nipples after breast reduction?

  • You may temporarily lose the feeling in your nipples after breast reduction surgery.
  • The loss in sensitivity is a normal occurrence during recovery.
  • Several weeks after a breast reduction surgery, you will gradually gain the feeling back.
  • In some rare cases, it may take several months for the nipple sensitivity to return.

Reduction Mammaplasty Financing FAQs

Is a Breast Reduction covered by insurance?

  • You may have a part of your breast reduction covered by medicare and insurance if it is a medically necessary surgery.
  • In pronounced breast asymmetry, which impacts the quality of your life, a unilateral breast reduction may also be partly covered.
  • In the case that both your breasts are too big, hang significantly below the inframammary fold and that you are prone to skin infections, or shoulder, neck and upper back pain, you may be eligible for coverage.

What size breasts are a medical necessity for breast reduction?

The decision to undergo breast reduction surgery isn’t solely determined by a specific breast size; it depends on a combination of factors, including the patient’s physical health, symptoms, and their personal preferences. Medical necessity for breast reduction is primarily based on the physical and psychological symptoms associated with large breasts. There is no specific breast size that defines medical necessity for breast reduction. The decision to undergo this procedure is highly individual and should be made in consultation with a plastic surgeon. During the consultation, the surgeon will assess the patient’s overall health, discuss their concerns and symptoms, and help determine if breast reduction is a suitable option to address their needs.

Further Reading about Breast Reduction Surgery

Find out more about:

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic and ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeons are dedicated to best-practice patient care and education, customising Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Broughton Snell
Dr Stephen Kleid
Dr Gary Kode

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001124843

Dr Craig Rubinstein

Dr Craig Rubinstein is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Hawthorn East, Melbourne. With over 20 years of surgical experience especially in all areas of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery, but particularly in breast surgery. These include Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction as well as Breast Surgery Revision.

Furthermore, he believes that surgical customisation, precision planning and technical expertise help him to provide optimal surgical outcomes for his patients.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001190266

Dr Broughton Snell

Dr Broughton Snell is a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. His training in Plastic Surgery took place in Australia and the United States of America (USA).

Dr Snell is a fully qualified specialist plastic surgeon having completed his Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Surgeon MED0001052799

Dr Stephen Kleid

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty, as well as, a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid trained at Melbourne University, then completed surgical training at various hospitals including Royal Melbourne, Royal Children’s, The Eye and Ear and St Vincents. He worked as a surgeon at the University of Florida Medical school for further experience.

Specialist Plastic Surgeon MED0001405964

Dr Gary Kode

Dr Gary Kode is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, with experience in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, as well as non-surgical treatments.

Dr Kode is a member of several organisations, including the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), The International Confederation for Plastic and Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, and he holds a Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday - Friday.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.

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