What is a Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty)?
Dr Patrick Briggs, Specialist Plastic Surgeon performs Breast Reduction Surgery/Reduction Mammoplasty in Melbourne.
Reduction Mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that may reduce the size of the breasts by removing excess breast tissue, fat, and skin. This procedure is typically performed on women who have overly large breasts that cause physical discomfort and pain.
Heavy, large breasts can weigh you down, cause neck or shoulder pain and impact your posture.
Am I a suitable candidate for Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty)?
If you suffer from any of the below symptoms you may be a suitable candidate for the surgery;
- Disproportionately large Breasts
- Physical discomfort, including;
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Breast pain
- Recurring skin infections/irritation beneath the breasts, in the skin creases
- Difficulty with physical activity
- Women with large breasts may have difficulty participating in physical activities such as running, jumping, or other high-impact sports.
It’s important to note that candidates for breast reduction surgery should be in good overall health and have realistic expectations for the results of the procedure.
A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon can help determine whether breast reduction surgery is an appropriate option for an individual’s specific needs and goals.
What are the Potential Outcomes?
Dr Briggs has helped many women alter their body proportions and sometimes their physical comfort level through breast reduction (reduction mmmoplasty) surgery procedures. There are many potential outcomes of Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) surgery, including;
- Relief from physical discomfort
- Women with large, heavy breasts often experience physical discomfort, including back and neck pain, shoulder grooving (from bra straps), and rashes.
- Breast reduction surgery may help alleviate these symptoms and improve overall physical comfort.
- Altered body proportion
- Breast reduction surgery may address the balance and proportion of a woman’s body by reducing the size of the breasts to better match the rest of the body.
- Improved physical activity
- Women with large breasts may experience limitations in physical activities, such as exercise and sports, due to discomfort and breast size.
- Breast reduction surgery can allow for greater physical activity and an overall more active lifestyle.
- Addressed posture
- Women with large, heavy breasts can have poor posture due to the weight of the breasts.
- Breast reduction surgery can improve posture and help alleviate associated discomfort.
- Reduction of skin irritation
- Women with large breasts may experience skin irritation and rashes in the folds beneath the breasts.
- Breast reduction surgery may alleviate these symptoms by reducing the size of the breasts.
Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) Surgery – Techniques
There are multiple techniques available for breast reduction surgery. The technique your surgeon uses for you will depend on several factors, including the extensiveness of the surgery.
Many women have a Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) surgery using the Le Jour Incision Method (lollipop) or Anchor Method.
Surgery techniques can vary from patient to patient. However, if you have a preference, you can discuss it with Dr Patrick Briggs, who is a Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, prior to your surgery.
Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) Before and After Photos
Due to the recent updates in guidelines by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), our website is currently undergoing substantial revisions. As a result, we have had to remove the majority of our Before and After photos to comply with these new regulations. Our utmost priority is to maintain the accuracy and compliance of our content, and we are actively working to reintroduce a more extensive collection of before and after photos in the near future. You can view additional Before and After photos of Dr Briggs’ patients, during an in-person consultation at our clinic.
Visit the clinic to see the real patient photo gallery of Before and After Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) surgery.
The photos on this website and in our office are for informational purposes. The images demonstrate the potential outcomes of procedures. Individual results will vary, and effects cannot be guaranteed. The photos do not promise or guarantee specific results. They are meant to help visualise potential outcomes.
Each patient is unique, and many factors affect surgical results.
In consultations, Dr. Briggs evaluates each patient and discusses realistic expectations.
Recovery After Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) Surgery
The recovery period following a breast reduction surgery can vary depending on the extent of the procedure, individual healing rates, and adherence to post-operative care instructions. Below are some general guidelines for breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) recovery in Australia
- Pain and discomfort
- Some discomfort, swelling, and bruising are normal after breast reduction surgery.
- Patients can expect to experience some pain for the first few days.
- Your surgeon will prescribe medication to help manage this.
- Dressings and bandages
- The breasts will be wrapped in a surgical dressing and a support bra immediately after the procedure.
- Patients may need to wear a compression garment for several weeks to help reduce swelling and promote healing.
- Activity restrictions
- Patients are typically advised to avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting, and exercise for at least six weeks after surgery.
- Patients should also avoid driving for the first week or two, or until they are comfortable wearing a seatbelt and no longer need to take pain medication (pain medication may cause drowsiness).
- Follow-up appointments
- Patients will need to attend follow-up appointments with their surgeon to monitor their healing progress, remove sutures, and ensure that they are healing properly.
- Breast reduction surgery will results in some scarring, but most scars will fade and become less noticeable over time.
- Patients should avoid sun exposure to the incision sites, which can darken and prolong the healing process.
It is essential to follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions carefully to ensure healing and minimize the risk of complications.
Managing Scars after Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) Surgery
It is important to remember that all surgical procedures leave scars.
However, experienced plastic surgeons are careful about scar placement and management. Surgical scars generally fading over time with most fading significantly after 12 months.
We will arrange post-op appointments with our specialist nursing team after your procedure to not only ensure everything is healing well but to monitor your progress and answer any questions you may have.
You will see your surgeon and/or nurse and/or dermal team about six to eight weeks post-surgery for a scar consultation and to organise scar treatments.
The Coco Ruby dermal team conducts a series of follow-up scar treatments using a customized selection of; Skin Needling, Healite II LED and massaging with oils, Fraxel Laser, V-Laser, Silicone strips & gels and Steroids can also help manage scars.
Please avoid subjecting your incision to abrasion or excessive stresses during the recovery period.
Risks and Complications of Breast Reduction Surgery
All surgical procedures carry risks and complications. Your Surgeon will make you aware of potential complications during your consultation and how you can avoid some of them, including;
- Skin or wound infection
- Changes to nipple sensation including loss of feeling/sensation changes to the breasts
- Potential disruption of nipple functions that may impede breastfeeding
- Breast asymmetry or uneven nipples
- Scars or skin markings, dimples or inverted nipples
- Other risks of surgery in general such as having a reaction to anesthesia, circulatory risks and bleeding
- Unfavorable scarring
- Blood clots
- Poor wound healing
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
For more information visit our Risks of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery page.
How much is a Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) in Melbourne?
Every person and their situation are unique and as a result tailoring surgeries specifically to the patient is the only option.
This means that the price of the surgery differs depending on things like; the type of procedure you are having, the complexity of the surgery, the hospital you attend and the length of your stay, among other things.
After your initial consultation, you will receive a quote. This will include a breakdown of the; Surgeon’s fee, Anesthetist fee, Surgical Assistant fee and hospital fees.
We can also provide information on; Payment options and Private Health Insurance.
Paying Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) Surgery- Medicare
However, those done for purely cosmetic reasons are usually NOT covered by either Medicare or private health insurance. If your procedure is cosmetic only you must fund the cost of the surgery yourself.
Paying for surgery
Patients can pay for Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) Surgery through various methods. These methods include:
- Payment in full at the time of the procedure using accepted payment methods such as credit cards (such as Visa, Mastercard), buy now, and pay-later products (such as Afterpay, Openpay, Zip Pay).
- Non-commercial payment arrangements between the medical practitioner and patient, where the payment is made in instalments.
- Medicare rebates, if the surgery is considered medically necessary. (this will not cover the total cost and patients will still have out-of-pocket costs).
- Private health insurance, if the patient has an appropriate level of coverage. (This is unlikely to cover the total cost and patients may still have out-of-pocket costs).
How to find a Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) Surgeon in Melbourne
Your surgical results will depend heavily on the surgeon you choose.
Because breast reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) surgery is a major procedure, it’s important you choose a plastic surgeon with the skills to perform the surgery correctly.
In Australia, a plastic surgeon must have the following qualifications:
- An undergraduate degree in medicine, typically a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree.
- A minimum of two years of general medical training as a junior hospital doctor.
- Completion of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) surgical education and training program, which includes at least five years of accredited surgical training, with at least two years in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
- Fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Plastic surgeons in Australia must also be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) and adhere to the standards and guidelines set forth by the Medical Board of Australia.
You also want to ensure the surgeon you choose has:
- Experience in different types of Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty).
- Available Patient Before and After Photos.
- Detailed recovery plans
- A reliable support team.
Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) FAQ’s
How do I get a referral for a breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty)?
- As of 1st of July 2023 patients will need a referral before being able to consult with a plastic surgeon
- Start by talking to your General Practitioner (GP) or Medical Specialist about your symptoms
- Your General Practitioner (GP) can give you a medical referral after having a close overview of your condition, which will help plan the surgery accordingly.
Can I get a Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty) if I am overweight?
- If you are significantly overweight, it can increase the risk of complications and is not recommended.
- Your BMI would best be less than 30-35 and must not exceed 40.
Is there an age limit for breast reduction surgery?
- There is no hard rule which limits you from getting the surgery at any age as long as you are an adult (over 18).
Is breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) permanent?
- The results are generally permanent, but the size and shape of your breasts may change as a result of weight gain, pregnancy, age and time.
How long does a breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) take?
- The procedure can take anywhere between 2 to 5 hours, depending on the shape and size of your breasts and the technique the surgeon uses.
How small can you go with breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty)?
- You can go as small as you would like, provided that there is enough breast tissue to support the function of nipples.
Do I need a breast lift (mastopexy) or reduction (reduction mammoplasty)?
- These two are entirely different procedures.
- If you are experiencing volume loss, you may desire a breast lift (mastopexy).
- You can get a reduction if you feel like your breasts are too big or heavy for your body.
How long after a breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) can you exercise?
- After four weeks, you can resume light activity such as a light walk or stationary cycling.
- By six to eight weeks, most patients can return to exercise.
- However, you should consult with your surgeon before resuming excercise.
How long after breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty) can I wear an underwire bra?
- It is usually recommended to wait for three to six months before you wear an underwire bra.
- Underwire bras may put pressure on your incisions and cause discomfort and irritation
- Its best to ask your surgeon when it is ok to start wearing a bra with underwire.
What bra should I wear after breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty)?
- Immediately after the surgery, you will need to wear a surgical bra/compression garment.
- After two weeks, you can usually start wearing a sports bra.
- But, stay clear of bras that contain underwire until cleared by your surgeon.
How long does swelling last after breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty)?
- Most of the swelling will subside two weeks after the surgery.
- However, for the final results, you need to wait at least six months, for your breasts to settle into their new position.
Can you breastfeed after a breast reduction (reduction mammoplasty)?
- If you plan to have kids in the future, it is better to discuss this aspect with your surgeon in advance as the surgery can affect your ability to breast feed.
Does your breast grow back after reduction?
- In most cases, results are permanent.
- However, if you gain excess weight, the shape and size of your breasts may change.
How to reduce breast surgery scars?
- Wear sunscreen, avoid exposing your scars to direct sunlight, and apply the anti-scar treatments given by your surgeon regularly.
- Once you are fully healed, you can use scar gels with the consultation of a dermatologist. Your scars will never disappear fully.
What does a hematoma look like after breast surgery?
- It feels and looks like a firm lump under your skin. They can be as small as a grain of rice or as big as a grapefruit.
Further Reading – Medical References
- WebMD page on breast Reduction Surgery
- American Society of Plastic Surgeon article on Breast Reduction Surgery
- MayoClinic page on breast Reduction Surgery
- American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Breast reduction Surgery Guide
- Clinics- Outcomes analysis of breast reduction in Brazilian women using the BREAST-Q® questionnaire: a cross-sectional controlled study
- Breast Reduction Melbourne by Coco Ruby Plastic Surgeons
Dr Patrick Briggs Melbourne
Dr Patrick Briggs FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is a Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon.
Both he and his team are dedicated to patient care and are committed to treating each and every patient with respect and privacy.
Want more information about your Procedure?
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.
- You may need to undress so it’s a good idea to wear simple clothes.
The information provided in this article is for educational and informational proposes. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. The author and publisher of this article make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy, applicability, or completeness of the content of this article. The information contained in this article is strictly at your own risk.