For many women a mammaplasty can be a life changing operation. Reducing the size of large breasts can free them from back and neck pain, make exercise more comfortable and improve breast symmetry and shape, offering a new sense of confidence.
If you are considering a breast reduction surgery, there are some factors you may wish to consider when preparing for your specialist consultation and surgery.
Be sure to check in with your surgeon and discuss the method they will use. There are a variety of surgical methods used by different surgeons to perform this procedure. Often, there will be two types of scars you may experience as a result of this procedure. The ‘anchor’ scar is the most common, however some patients may be suitable for a circumventricular scar or a ‘lollipop’ shaped scar. Healing will vary based on your genetics and after care, however scars tend to be hidden by your bra post-surgery.
Both methods come with their pros and cons, Dr. Mark Lee’s technique involves reducing scar size wherever possible and enhancing breast position and proportion. The aim is to achieve a breast size and shape that is balanced and harmonious with a woman’s height and body shape.
Your health and wellness
When considering a breast reduction surgery, you will need to discuss your current medical status with your doctor. This will include your physical health, with consideration for any medical history or medications, as well as your physical status, such as diet and exercise regime. You can expect a blood pressure and heart rate test at minimum before surgery.
Your mental health will be equally prioritised in the lead up to surgery, with consideration for mental illnesses and their treatment being the first point of call. It is your responsibility to consider the mental load of undergoing a medical procedure and ensure you are prepared for the procedure and recovery as best as possible. Coming prepared with questions for your doctor and seeking support from your friends and family is a good place to start.
Understanding the surgery itself will help you to prepare mentally and physically for the operation. A mammaplasty is usually performed under general anesthetic and involves the surgeon removing excess breast tissue and skin, whilst reshaping the remaining breast tissue to create a smaller, firmer, and more elevated breast.
Every breast is unique, so whilst your surgeon can estimate the results of the procedure, the actual outcome is not something that can be absolutely guaranteed prior to surgery. Discussing your desired results openly and honestly with your surgeon allows you to set expectations and be best prepared for your experience during and after the procedure.
Following two or three hours of surgery, you should expect to wake with some pain, however, it will only last for a few days and should slowly taper down as you start to heal. In general, patients feel more relieved to be no longer experiencing pain from the weight of their breasts, that it makes the discomfort of surgery minimal.
Immediately after surgery you will experience swelling, with the majority reducing after two weeks. The full results of your procedure will be realised over the following six months. You will need to avoid showering for 48 hours and lay only on your back, this is usually when the ‘worst’ will be over.
In general, we suggest you will need to allow yourself six to eight weeks to fully recover from surgery and start resuming activities such as lifting heavy items. Usually, patients can resume light physical activity such as walking or stationary cycling at the four-week mark.
With any surgery there are risks. A breast reduction is not a simple operation but is safe when performed by an experienced plastic surgeon. Your surgeon will share a comprehensive list of risks, including those you can assume come with any medical procedure. Key risks you may not have considered include:
- Asymmetry or unevenness in the breasts
- Temporary or permanent areas of numbness or changes in breast and nipple sensation
- Breast feeding difficulty
- Keloid or lumpy scar tissue, which is raised or irregularly shaped
When considering any procedure, it’s important to be as best informed as possible, to manage your expectations and understand any risk involved. If you are interested in discussing your personal circumstances further, get in touch with us or book a consultation with Dr. Mark Lee here.