1. What is it?
As the name suggests, the procedure reduces the overall size of the breasts and can also correct asymmetry, where one breast is larger than the other. Breast uplift or “mastopexy” is a procedure similar to breast reduction. It tightens loose skin and reshapes and repositions the nipples if they are misaligned.
2. Why is it popular and what are the benefits?
The size of your breasts is determined by a number of factors, such as your genes, hormones, and body weight. For many women overly large breasts are, quite literally, a burden. They can cause not only self-consciousness and attract unwanted attention, but can also lead to physical problems like a backache and neck strain. Bra straps can dig in and rashes can develop under the breasts. They can also restrict participation in active sports and the enjoyment of well-fitting, flattering clothes.
Breast reduction addresses all these issues and gives women a new-found confidence in their physique as well as correcting the unwanted physical symptoms described above. Breast uplift addresses the sagginess which is a natural result of the ageing process and/or pregnancy and weight loss.
3. What does the procedure involve?
The procedure is usually performed under general anaesthetic and in most cases will involve an overnight stay in the hospital. There are a number of surgical techniques which can be used, depending on the individual. Your surgeon will discuss these with you at your consultation.
4. What are the risks and likely after-effects?
Cosmetic Surgery, like any other surgery, involves a “trauma” to the human body and there are risks associated with any procedure. Each woman’s body is different, and your general health, level of fitness, age and genetic profile will all have an effect on the speed of healing and also on the risk of side-effects.
If you smoke, drink alcohol, are overweight and/or take drugs for medical or other reasons, the risk of complication during and after surgery can be greatly increased. Smoking, in particular, is discouraged because it increases the risk both of infection, wound breakdown and thrombosis (blood clots).
After a breast reduction, it is normal for all women to experience swelling, bruising, tiredness and numbness. A smaller number may also encounter infection and/or some bleeding around the scar area, and sometimes infection from germs which are present in the ducts of the breast. Infection can be treated with antibiotics, though this can delay the healing process somewhat. You are also very likely to experience some loss of sensitivity in your nipples, which usually improves in the months after surgery, but can occasionally remain permanently.
Scarring is an unavoidable consequence of this procedure and will vary in appearance and severity, depending on the extent of surgery and on your body type. The nipple disc and the area underneath the breast are the most likely areas to be affected. Your scars will certainly reduce and fade over a period of months and, whilst permanent, should not be visible under the average bra or bikini top. Most women consider scarring to be an acceptable “trade-off” for correcting the problem of over-large breasts. (See minimal Scar Techniques)
Another side-effect of breast reduction is the possible inability to breastfeed as the procedure involves the separation of the nipple from the underlying milk ducts. Whilst breast reduction has no counter-indication to pregnancy, you should be aware of the effect on breastfeeding.
5. What will happen after the operation?
Your surgeon will see you when you have come round from the anaesthetic to check that all is well. You will probably stay in the hospital for a day or two to ensure you receive all the care and support you need. If you have drainage tubes, these will be removed soon after the operation, and once you are fit to return home, you will be given medication and full post-operative instructions along with appropriate telephone numbers in case you need to contact us at any time.