When one of your physical features regularly impedes on your comfort, skin health or activity choices, it can start to feel like a burden; if so, it may be time to consider correcting the situation if possible. There are many women whose lives are negatively impacted by having large, cumbersome, elongated or pendulous breasts, and whose day-to-day experiences are improved by having a breast reduction. When your breasts are heavy in weight or appear disproportionately sized for your body frame or begin interfering with your day to day comfort, you might find it difficult to enjoy the activities you once did. If your breasts are preventing you from partaking in a variety of sporting or recreational activities or are leading to feelings of discomfort when it comes to clothing, bras, swimwear, chest appearance, posture, skin chafing and skin rashes, then it may be time to explore your breast reduction surgery options. Reducing breast weight and reshaping the breasts can help restore a more balanced breast appearance and help reduce some of the emotional and physical burdens of heavy breast weight that has limited your activities, physical comfort and clothing choices. Be sure you read more about the surgery including scars, recovery time frames, risks and costs; and getting a second opinion by an AHPRA qualified FRACS Plastic Surgeon is recommended.
Who Can Benefit from Breast Reduction?
Women may seek breast reduction for a number of reasons, but most center around the negative impact their breasts have on their lives. Breast reduction can be the ideal solution for women with any or all of the following:
There isn’t any one size for breasts to identify them as too large; because whether breasts are cumbersome or not often depends on your body's frame and how proportional your breasts are to your overall physique and in relation to your personal preferences. The best breast proportion for any body frame is decided by the patient. If you feel that your breasts are too large for your body size or type, or are struggling with heavy breast weight and skin rashes or chronic chafing conditions, you may benefit from exploring your options for breast reduction surgery.
Pain Caused by
The main problem many women have with larger breasts is that they contribute to chronic back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain. Engaging in physical activities can also become painful when breasts are heavy in weight or pendulous in shape. Body aches caused by breast size are generally the result of excessive weight on the chest that strains the muscles as well as weight on the shoulders from bra straps supporting the breasts. Patients that choose to undergo breast reduction surgery may feel a noticeable reduction in back, neck or shoulder pain following their treatment. Many post-operative patients also find they resume an improved posture.
Women with overly large or pendulous breasts may feel that they lack the same breast definition as women with smaller breasts. For many, the weight of their breasts leads to pronounced sagging with nipples that sit below the inframammary fold (breast crease). For these women, the aesthetics of their breasts may lead to personal dissatisfaction with breast appearance or a prematurely aged appearance to the breasts. Breast reduction techniques help relieve breast weight by reducing volume, and may also provide a more supported shape to the breasts.
What Do You Desire?
The focus of breast reduction surgery is to remove excess breast tissue that causes unnecessary weight on the patient’s chest. For some women, breast reduction can remove over 2 to 4 kilos of tissue. Constructing smaller, lighter breasts often helps reduce back, neck and shoulder pain for many patients. Alleviating or reducing this chronic pain can help women feel more comfortable when engaging in activities such as swimming, yoga, running, walking or gym classes.
During your breast reduction consultation, your body type and proportions will be evaluated. This process is important for achieving breasts that will feel or look more balanced with your body’s frame or physique. The properly proportioned breast size will be decided between you and Dr McManamny. Some women choose to maintain a larger breast size, while others prefer to remove more breast tissue and make a more significant size reduction. Proportional breasts tend to allow you to wear better-fitting bras or other clothing more easily accessible in stores.
Cumbersome breasts that are prone to sagging also lose their definition and shape. This may cause you to feel self-conscious about your body’s appearance. A breast reduction removes excess breast tissue and shapes the remaining tissue as well. There are many techniques available to help create more defined cleavage and provide the projection you desire.
When undergoing breast reduction, a breast lift is also performed to lift the breast tissue and reposition the nipples more centrally on the breast mound. Internal sutures may also be used to help support to the breasts. For most women, this process restores a more youthful or uplifted breast appearance.
It is common for women with enlarged breasts to also have large areolas and displaced nipples. During your breast reduction, the tissue that comprises the areola can be reduced or reshaped to have a better proportion to the rest of your breast tissues. Low nipples and areolas can also be repositioned for a more aesthetically balanced appearance.
Addressing Your Concerns
Please note that recovery experiences, including time frames, scars and risks, can vary from patient to patient. Day surgery MAY be an option for some breast reduction patients. However, Dr McManamny may suggest an overnight stay in the hospital for monitoring after surgery. You are likely to experience some bruising and swelling following your procedure. A crop top dressing is fitted to your breasts, which will provide extra support during the first week of your recovery. After this week, a support bra is to be worn for the next two to three weeks. Do NOT wear an underwire bra for at least 6 to 12 months. Many patients return to work within two weeks of their procedure and can resume their regular exercise routine after four weeks, but this can vary. After six weeks, most major swelling will have subsided, and your surgery results will become visible.
The severity of your scarring will depend on numerous factors, including the extent of your incisions, your responses to surgery and recovery, your skin health and your body’s natural healing process. Some patients are prone to more visible scarring than others, but all surgery leaves a scar. Many patients will find that surgery scars fade over time but DO avoid sun exposure on your incision lines as this could worsen your scar formation. Typically, one of the following incision techniques will be used but remember, everyone scars differently, and your results and scars can vary:
- Donut incision: can result in little to mild scarring around the areola
- Lollipop incision: can result in mild scarring around the areola and vertically down the lower breast tissue
- Anchor incision: can result in mild scarring around the areola, vertically down the breast tissue, and along the breast crease
Cost of Breast Reduction in Melbourne
The cost of your breast reduction will depend on the extent of surgical correction required to achieve your desired results. Surgical, hospital, and anaesthetic fees all factor into the cost of your breast reduction procedure. Dr McManamny will provide you with detailed pricing and Breast Reduction Surgery COST information following your consultation.
Breast reduction surgery is performed with the patient under general anaesthetic. Local anaesthetic may also be used to assist with comfort during or after surgery. Patients are likely to experience some discomfort, pain or sensitivity during their recovery period. For the majority of patients, post-operative discomfort or pain can be controlled using oral pain medication.
Before & Afters
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Reduction
How old do you have to be to undergo breast reduction?
There is no age requirement to qualify for a breast reduction; however, it is recommended that breast reduction is only performed on patients with fully developed breast tissue. Additional breast growth following your procedure can negatively impact the quality of your results.
What incision technique will be used for my breast reduction?
The proper incision for your breast reduction will depend on the size of your breasts and the extent of correction required to achieve your desired results. A donut or "Le Jour" style incision may be suitable for patients that require mild to moderate breast reduction and size corrections, and an anchor incision may be used for patients that require more extensive correction.
What options are available for reducing the size of my breasts besides direct excision through breast reduction surgery?
For patients seeking only mild correction of their breast size and who have good skin elasticity, liposuction may be used to remove fat from the breasts. Breast liposuction may decrease the size or weight of breasts but may result in more ptotic skin in patients who already have some skin laxity (e.g., the outcome may include an increase in sagging skin or breast ptosis).
How long will Breast Reduction results last?
Breast reduction surgery often provides long-lasting correction of oversized breasts, and many women report satisfaction with their surgery results for years following their procedure. Maintaining a stable weight is often helpful to prevent excess fat from developing in the breasts. However, it is important to remember that the size of your breasts can be affected by weight gain or other life events such as pregnancy, medication side effects or hormonal changes occurring during menopause. Skin also loses elasticity and firmness as you age, and this will impact the appearance of your breast reduction and nipple appearance over time.
Is breast reduction surgery covered by insurance?
Sometimes breast reduction patients may meet strict criteria for a rebate from Medicare and/or their health fund. This often requires extensive documentation and additional medical testing including imaging and scans. In cases where the size of your breasts is the cause of chronic back pain, neck pain or shoulder pain, some insurance plans may cover a portion of the surgical and hospital fees. Contact your private insurer to see if you qualify and recognise you will still have out of pocket costs.
Are there any RISKS to having surgery?
Yes, any surgical or invasive procedure carries RISKS. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner (a FRACS qualified Plastic Surgeon recognised by AHPRA). Please be sure you review ALL materials provided to you about your surgery risks and ask questions or voice any concerns BEFORE proceeding, and never have surgery to please someone else. It is also imperative you DO NOT SMOKE and that you follow your Surgeon's pre-op and post-op instructions including wearing any recommended post-op garments as advised. Please also be aware that surgery experiences, recovery time frames, results, incision line placement and scars can vary significantly from patient to patient. For a general overview, review the plastic surgery risks page.