What are the potential risks and complications of breast reduction?
Some possible complications and risks specific to breast reduction surgery include:
- Surgical risks such as bleeding and infection
- Seroma accumulation under the breast. This fluid may need to be drained under ultrasound guidance.
- Visible and prominent scars including keloid and hypertrophic scars
- Swelling and bruising around the breasts which takes two to three months to settle
- Fat necrosis of the breast. This is a result of poor blood supply to the fat cells. These shows themselves as small firm lumps.
- Changes in breast and nipple sensation
- Temporary or permanent areas of numbness around the scars
- Asymmetry of the breasts
- Partial or total loss of the nipple and areola
- Need for further surgery to treat complications
- Revisional surgery to correct any unevenness between the two sides
- A blood clot in the legs (DVT), which can move to the lungs and may be life threatening
How much does breast reduction cost?
Costs associated with a breast reduction vary between $12,000-$17,000 depending on a number of factors, including:
- Anaesthetist's fees
- Private hospital or day surgical facility fees
- Need for post-operative garments
- Your level of private insurance cover
- Surgical assistant's fee
After our consultation, my staff will give you an itemised account of the total cost.
Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Reduction
Can I breast feed after a breast reduction?
The short answer is yes. For example a short study undertaken in the Reconstructive Surgery Journal took 150 women who had undergone a breast reduction surgery, along with 150 women who had not undergone the surgery and were of similar weight and age. The study reviewed the ability for the women to breast feed.
The results were similar between both groups:
- 1/3 could breast feed with no issues
- 1/3 needed formula supplementation
- 1/3 couldn't breast feed
What are the different types of scars?
Regrettably you can't have a breast reductio without a scar burden. All scars take time to change colour as they heal. The scars begin as red, then turn purple, and then blue, before finally turning white. This overall healing process can take about one year.
The different patterns for incisions that could leave scars include:
- Vertical of lollypop shape
- Inverted T or anchor shape
Will I keep nipple sensation after a breast reduction?
Generally yes as the nipple isn't removed nor is the blood or nerve supply. However, some patients may take longer to have nipple sensation return due to particularly heavy reductions. Also some patients have increased sensitivity after a reduction as the nerve supply isn't stretch as much anymore.
What if I've already had a reduction, can I have another reduction?
Yes, but it comes down to 2 main factors:
- How long between operations. After a year there is no issue.
- What nipple blood supply was used in the initial consultation.
Where possible it is best to use the same blood supply but sometimes this isn't possible because patients don't have access to their original operation report. You can use a different blood supply provided you have waited at least a year between operations.
Can I pick what cup size I want?
Yes you can but this will only guide your surgeon on the results you are after. No one can predict the cup size post-op because all bra manufacturers have different volumes for each size. As a general guide each 150-200gm reduction equates to 1 cup size.
How long before I see my results?
It will take around 3 to 6 months. During the first 3 months the breast may be 'boxy' at the bottom. However, this always settles and takes a nicer shape around the 6 month mark.