Breast Reduction with Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Ellis Choy
Many women with heavy breasts complain of chronic back, shoulder and neck pain, or indentations in their shoulders from overtaxed bra straps. Large breasts can make it difficult to engage in sports and exercise, or even to sit and stand with proper posture.
If excessively large breasts are causing you pain or preventing you from living an active lifestyle, it may be time to consider breast reduction surgery. Sydney plastic surgeon Dr Ellis Choy performs breast reduction to create a more proportionate bust that addresses both aesthetic and physical concerns. Schedule your in-person consultation with Dr Choy today.
Physical Problems Associated with Overly Large Breasts
Women with excessively large breasts may encounter a wide range of physical complaints. We have explored a few of the most common complaints below. If you are experiencing any of these, or any other problem caused by your large breasts, plastic surgery for breast reduction or restructuring of breast tissue may provide a solution. Get in touch with Dr Ellis Choy and his team to arrange a consultation.
NECK AND BACK PAIN
Perhaps the most common long-term physical complaint reported by women with overly large breasts is neck and back pain. This is because of the additional strain placed on the neck and back due to the distribution of weight across the chest. By reducing the size of your breasts, Dr Choy can lighten the weight on your chest and thereby reduce the stress placed on these areas.
Neck and shoulder pain is a common complaint from women with large, heavy breasts. While the shoulders may not appear to take as much strain as the neck or back, in fact, the additional weight can also be damaging to this area. Undergoing plastic surgery for breast reduction can lessen this pain and give you a better range of movement in your arms. This can help you to complete daily tasks that your larger breasts may have interfered with in the past.
DIFFICULTY IN EXERCISING
Excessively large and heavy breasts may impact on your range of movement, but can also cause problems for women who wish to exercise. The additional weight, accompanied by the movement of the breasts, may make exercising very difficult.
As we know, exercise is necessary for a fit and healthy life, and can also be the catalyst to avoid the severe health problems that can come with long periods of inactivity. Breast reduction cosmetic surgery can help women with large breasts unlock the benefits of exercise and an active lifestyle.
CHAFING, RASHES AND SKIN IRRITATION
Larger breasts are much more likely to sag or droop than smaller breasts, simply due to their relative weight and size. This causes areas of moist skin beneath the breasts, which can cause skin irritations and other complaints. The repeated movement of the breasts against the skin of the abdomen can also cause chafing. Resizing and restructuring the breasts can help to eliminate this by removing much of the weight and mass of the breasts, and improving sagging or drooping.
THE BENEFITS OF BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY
Droopy and large breasts bring discomfort for many women. Breast reduction surgery allows these women to have their breasts adjusted into a size and shape they are more comfortable with.
Reasons to consider breast reduction include:
- Your breasts are out of proportion with your body
- You cannot exercise or play sports comfortably
- You struggle to maintain good posture
- Your back, neck and shoulders are frequently sore
- You get rashes, chafing or sweat in the folds under your breasts
CONSIDERATIONS FOR BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY
Breast reduction is a serious medical procedure that brings the typical risks associated with plastic surgery, as well as some special considerations. The procedure requires a surgeon to make incisions and remove excess tissue before lifting the remaining tissue back into a natural position. It may or may not involve detaching and repositioning the nipples and areolas. As you decide whether breast reduction is right for you, there are certain considerations you will need to keep in mind.
BREAST REDUCTION SCARS
Any procedure that involves incisions will leave a scar. For most breast reduction surgery candidates, the scars are lollipop-shaped (a circle around the areola, then a thin line extending down the breast) or anchor-shaped (the lollipop incision plus a horizontal line underneath the breast). These scars are prominent initially, but should fade during the first year after the procedure.
NIPPLE SENSATION CHANGES
Some women experience changes in nipple sensation after breast reduction surgery. One potential consequence of this procedure is the loss of nipple sensitivity. For most patients, sensitivity is at least partially restored within a month or two. It’s rare, but possible, to completely lose nipple sensation long-term. Certain surgical techniques are more likely to preserve nipple sensation.
BREASTFEEDING AFTER BREAST REDUCTION
Some women who have their breast size reduced report difficulty breastfeeding. It can be difficult to predict which patients may face this problem. If this is something that concerns you, it may be wise to postpone your breast reduction procedure until you’re finished having children and nursing them.
IS A SCARLESS BREAST REDUCTION POSSIBLE?
Women who are hesitant to have a standard breast reduction due to the scarring may be interested in a so-called ‘scarless breast reduction’ using liposuction. They may have heard that liposuction breast reduction is a simpler procedure promising fewer complications and shorter recovery. However, the success of this approach is limited, and we caution patients against believing any claim that sounds too good to be true.
Liposuction can only remove fat, whereas a surgical breast reduction can remove fat, glandular tissue and skin. Additionally, the volume of fat that liposuction can safely remove at one time is limited. Liposuction cannot address the skin at all, meaning it cannot accomplish the lifting effect that a surgical breast lift does or relocate the nipples and areolas to a more attractive position. Liposuction breast reduction simply results in a smaller version of the breasts you had before, and it comes with its own risks, scars and recovery requirements.
When you visit Dr Choy to discuss breast reduction, he will tell you more about the results you might expect from each approach in your specific case. Surgical breast reduction provides the best results in most cases.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE BREAST REDUCTION PROCEDURE
The breast reduction procedure is often carried out in a hospital or local outpatient facility, depending on the circumstances of the particular case. You will likely be placed under general anesthesia, but there may also be other options open to you if it’s necessary or desired.
During your breast reduction surgery, Dr Ellis Choy will remove any extra tissue, glandular fat and excess skin, freeing the area from excessive weight and size. In addition to the functional aspects of this procedure, he will also reshape and contour the area to create a more aesthetic appearance.
As he works his way through the process, the nipples and areolas will usually remain attached to the tissue underneath your breasts. This surgical approach reduces the risk of losing sensation after the surgery.
However, if your breasts are significantly enlarged, it may be necessary to remove and reposition both the areola and the nipple. During your consult, Dr Ellis Choy will discuss all options with you, giving you insight into what you can expect, as well as the breast reduction cost itself.
If your areolas don’t seem to suit the new size of your breasts after the tissue has been lifted, shaped and re-contoured, Dr Choy may reduce the size of these as well.
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER A BREAST REDUCTION SURGICAL PROCEDURE
When your breast reduction plastic surgery is complete, your plastic surgeon Dr Ellis Choy or a member of his team will provide you with an outpatient consultation. As every case is different – and breast reduction procedures are carried out to different extents and on different levels – it is difficult to say precisely what you will experience. However, the outpatient session will give you all the answers you need about beginning your recovery.
Most women can expect soreness and discomfort immediately after the surgical procedure and for some time afterward. There may also be some loss of sensation in the nipples or the breast tissue after the procedure. Often, sensation returns over the course of weeks or months, but it may be long-term or even permanent in some cases.
You will be required to set aside downtime from your daily exercises and routine for about two to four weeks, depending on the complexity and nature of your treatment. During this time, Dr Choy will ask that you adhere to all guidelines given so that you can provide your body with a healthy road to recovery. The steps you will need to take may look something like this:
- Take all prescribed medication given to you for the first week.
- Undergo drainage of excess fluids or blood for the first week.
- Avoid ‘adult activities’ for up to a week.
- Aim to have at least one to two weeks off work — if you have a physical job, you may need more time to heal.
- Wear a compression bra 24/7 to help the area recover without any impact or damage inflicted on it. This will provide support and will be required for up to six weeks.
- Avoid all heavy lifting for up to six weeks. You can start light activity after the first two weeks.
By sticking to the healing guidelines given to you, you can better your chance at a smooth recovery.
LIFE AFTER BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY
Although results differ from patient to patient and cannot be guaranteed, patient satisfaction after breast reduction surgery tends to be high. Women who choose this procedure often report feeling more comfortable and many no longer suffer from constant stress on their neck, back and shoulders. Additional benefits of breast reduction surgery may include:
- More balanced body proportions
- Increased ability to exercise and be physically active
- Reduced bra strap indentations and skin irritation
- Improved posture
The results of breast reduction surgery are designed to be long-lasting. Because your breasts are partly made up of fat tissue, you may see fluctuations in your bra size if you gain or lose weight after the procedure. It’s also important to note that breast size can fluctuate according to hormonal changes or pregnancy. If these instances occur, the results of your breast reduction may shift. Your breasts will continue to age normally after a breast reduction, but you will likely continue seeing some benefits from the procedure.
To learn more about the results of breast reduction, click here to take a look at before and after photos of our breast reduction procedure work. Remember that during your consultation with Dr Choy, an outline of what you can expect for your particular goals and desires will be provided to you, as well as an indication of what breast reduction cost you can expect.
To schedule an appointment, or to get more details regarding the cost of breast reduction or any other aspect of the procedure, get in touch with our team today. Call 02 8962 9388 or book a consultation online!
*This information about breast reduction was reviewed by Dr Ellis Choy. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.
Breast Reduction Information Sheet
Download and print out the Breast Reduction Information Sheet that includes a list of questions to ask Dr Choy during your appointment.
Making an Informed Decision
Undergoing plastic surgery is a significant decision that should be made only after careful consideration of all aspects involved, including the potential risks and complications.
General Risks and Complications
There are general risks and complications that apply to most plastic surgery procedures. These are discussed in detail on our Risks and Complications page.
Specific Risks and Complications
In addition to those that apply generally to plastic surgery, each individual procedure comes with its own specific risks and complications. For breast reduction, these include:
- Asymmetry in breast shape or nipple placement
- Partial or total loss of the nipples or areolae
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation
- Breastfeeding challenges
- Chronic breast pain
- Excessive breast firmness
Request a consultation with Dr Choy for a detailed discussion of these considerations. Dr Choy will conduct a thorough risk assessment based on your individual factors and outline the measures that can be taken to minimise these risks. He and his team are here to support your decision-making process, providing all the information you need to make well-informed choices about your care.