Will my nipple areola need to be relocated during a breast reduction?

Almost always the nipple areola complex needs to be lifted. Occasionally in certain scenarios tissue can be removed from just the lower portion of the breast through an incision at the bottom of the breast. This is unusual and one needs to be prepared for scars that are placed around the areola in combination with a vertical scar. In certain scenarios one needs to place a horizontal incision at the same time.

When does the swelling go down?

Following breast reduction there is often swelling during the first few weeks. It is important to stay in a support bra during this time. The swelling is more following liposuction in combination with breast reduction. The area that tends to take the longest to settle is the bit above the scar. This area can take a number of months to settle and can be improved by massage.

When can I go back to work following a breast reduction?

After a breast reduction your recovery and your job will dictate when you can return to work. I usually would advise patients to leave 2 weeks before returning to work although this does vary depending on each individual.

When can I get the wounds wet?

I normally advise patients to keep the wounds dry for the first week following surgery. Occasionally patients do get the wounds wet and this does not seem to be detrimental to healing. I would not advise bathing the wounds following surgery during the first week. After the first week one is able to shower and bathe normally. For breast reduction I would recommend avoid swimming pools until the wounds have healed.

When can I fly following a breast reduction?

For all general anaesthetics I would recommend not flying for 4 weeks following any surgery requiring general anaesthetic. In certain scenarios it may be possible to fly sooner than this but the risks and complications e.g. DVT are increased if one flies sooner following a general anaesthetic. The risks are reduced if one wears thrombembolic stockings, drink plenty of fluids, mobilise during the flight and are only going on a short flight but flying within 4 weeks is not recommended and patients wishing to fly before this should weigh up the pros and cons and alternatives.

When can I exercise following a breast reduction?

I would usually not recommend exercising in the first week. Walking is always encouraged although lifting should be limited. Following review at one week I would usually discuss what exercises would be relevant to you. I always encourage patients to remain in a support bra for 4-6 weeks and also encourage a support bra to be worn as patients get back to normal exercise programmes. Gentle exercise such as running and cycling can often be commenced after 2 weeks and swimming is encouraged once the wounds have healed.

What scars will I have if I have a breast reduction?

Almost always there are scars around the areola and a vertical scar. A horizontal scar under the breast fold may also be required.

Is there a disruption in sensation following breast reduction?

There will always be a disruption in sensation following breast reduction. It can take months for this sensation to return. The nipple areola complex sensation can be altered permanently although it is uncommon to have permanent sensory loss and massage in the postoperative phases can help. Sensory changes are more common in larger reductions.

I am an H cup. Can I guarantee a C cup following a breast reduction?

It is impossible to guarantee a cup size or guarantee a certain cup-sized reduction. The final result is dependent on the amount of skin, breast tissue and where the nipple sits on the breast tissue preoperatively and it important to achieve nicely shaped breasts that have a nice shape and are in keeping with the rest of the body. If one reduces breasts too much one compromises not only the aesthetic appearance but also the blood supply to the nipple areola complex which is the most important aspect and limits the extent of any reduction.Finally not just the breast dictates cup size in a bra, but also the back size and this can be highly variable. When I consult with you I will show you a variety of results and show you a range of sizes and shapes and give you an idea of the size and shape that you can expect.

How much does a breast reduction cost?

The cost of a breast reduction depends on what result you wish to achieve and the extent of the fat and skin excess. It is also dependent on the amount of liposuction required. A consultation will help to determine what type of breast reduction is best for you. You will always be able to discuss the cost of surgery after a consultation.