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Female Breast Reduction

Reduction Mammoplasty is the name given to the surgical treatment designed to overcome a number of problems caused by excessively large and pendulous breasts.

The best candidate

The breasts are naturally too large through the development of excessive breast tissue. This may have caused stretching and relaxation of the supporting breast ligaments that results in sagging and loss of the desired feminine outline. This condition can be as psychologically disturbing to a woman as extremely small breasts, causing feelings of self-consciousness and embarrassment. However, there are physical problems associated with excessively large breasts - breast discomfort, shoulder and neck pain and backache are prevalent.
Participation in various athletic activities is limited. If the condition is left unchecked into later maturity it may affect the posture through strain and cause a possible curvature of the spine. Lesser problems, but still very frustrating, relate to the need for special supportive undergarments, and difficulty in finding suitable clothing to fit in readily available sizes. Successful treatment of this condition by means of surgery has been practised for more than sixety years.

The operation. How is Reduction mammoplasty performed?

The operation is designed to reduce, uplift and firm the breasts. It involves the reduction of breast volume, removal of the breast tissue and the restoration of a normal contour consistent with the patient’s skeletal proportions to give a natural appearance. It also involves the repositioning of the nipple to a level consistent with the new breast shape.
With this operation the ability to breast-feed is affected. Nipple sensitivity may be partially or completely lost depending on the treatment selected. Sometimes numbness occurs related to the scar areas. It is unlikely but there may be some asymmetry of the breasts, but it should be noted that no two breasts are identical, even in the normal state and that absolute perfect symmetry is not a reasonable expectation. It is rare but scars can sometimes widen, and may need revision at a later date.

The first very important step in this, as in any, treatment, is the consultation with the surgeon when patients are very carefully assessed. Developing a patient’s personal understanding of what can be achieved is vital in achieving desirable results. Surgeon and patient must aim to develop a mutual understanding about the procedure and outcome.
The operation is performed under general anaesthetic and takes about two to three hours. It necessitates a one or two night stay in the hospital. In most cases, incisions are made in the fold under the breast and around the pigmented nipple area (the areola) in order to minimise scarring. However, there will be scars, even if they are hidden in natural contours but most will fade and improve with time. The position of the scar, together with any other questions you may have, should be fully discussed with your surgeon at consultation.


Immediately after your surgery your new breast size will be apparent, but you must understand that the final shape may take around three to six months to emerge. After the operation there may be some discomfort, but pain relief medication can be administered as required. It is most important to follow the post operative instructions carefully. Physical activities must be restricted for at least six weeks, and supportive garments worn as instructed. It takes about a year for scars to fade and for the breasts to settle fully into the new shape.

Final Results

Finally, results of this operation are extremely successful and rewarding for patients. A typical comment afterwards is “If I had known how easy it was, I would have had it done earlier”.


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