FAQ’s on Breast Reduction

Mr Allan Kalus answers some common questions on Breast Reduction

This week I have seen several young women troubled by their large breasts and inquiring about breast reduction – or reduction mammaplasty as it is known amongst plastic surgeons.

Breast reduction is a procedure that has a very high satisfaction rate amongst patients as it is effective in alleviating so many symptoms.

What are the symptoms women with large breasts suffer?

Large breasts can cause many physical symptoms including neck ache, back ache and poor posture. Bra straps can dig into the shoulders producing permanent indentations and moisture under the breast crease can cause fungal rashes. As women age, the weight of the breast can cause permanent changes to the upper spine.

As well as physical symptoms, many women say that they are self-conscious about their large breasts and they dislike the unwanted attention.  As a result women tend to wear loose fitting clothing to cover up their bust and many always wear a t-shirt over bathers when at the beach – or avoid the beach altogether!  Buying a suitable bra can be difficult and expensive.

Does a breast reduction include a lift?

Yes, a lift is almost always required because the weight of the breasts has resulted in the nipple descending often to a point where it is below the inframammary fold.  The nipples should be at a position level with the midpoint of the upper arm. Sometimes nipples have descended as far as the elbow and beyond.

Can breast reduction effect breast feeding?

This depends on how the breast reduction is done – or, more specifically, how the nipple is moved to its new higher position. If the nipple is moved on a small pedicle of skin and breast tissue, then breast feeding will be unlikely. If, however, the nipple is left attached to a central mound of breast tissue (including the nipple) and moved upwards while the remaining breast tissue is removed, then the nipple is clearly attached to a large amount of breast tissue and breast feeding will be possible. I know of many women who have successfully breast fed a number of children following a breast reduction performed in this way and it is therefore my preferred method of breast reduction – especially in young women.

Are breast reductions painful?

If a combination of local and general anaesthetic is used then there should be very little pain after a breast reduction operation. Most women are able to go home after only a few hours but you should expect to have a tight bandage around your chest for 24 hours and to take some pain relieving medication.

Are breast reduction scars visible?

The scars of a breast reduction are planned to be around the nipple (where they blend in with the areolar) and under the breast (where they are hard to see). Like any scars, breast reduction scars may be red and slightly itchy for a few months but by 6-12 months they have resolved into fine lines which can be hard to see. Rarely, a woman may develop thickened scars which require further treatment.

Are breast reductions covered by Medicare?

Yes, fortunately Medicare recognises the medical necessity of breast reduction procedures and has an item number for breast reduction surgery – 45520. This means that you can expect a Medicare rebate.  If you are privately insured your health fund will be required to pay a hospital benefit.

To learn more about Breast Reduction procedure at Avenue Aesthetic Surgery click here