Reduction / Lift

Large breasts may occur due to genetics, weight gain or pregnancy. Breast reduction is a very common procedure as large heavy breasts can be very uncomfortable. The operation provides relief from back, neck and shoulder problems. Smaller and better shaped breasts also allow for ease of activities, fitting of clothes and improved self-esteem.
A breast lift is a similar operation for women who are satisfied with the size but unhappy about the loss of shape and firmness. It is an operation to re-shape sagging breasts with downward-pointing nipples. If there is not enough breast tissue to give you the desired size, then an implant may be used during the uplift procedure to enhance the result.
These are not trivial procedures, and leave permanent scars, which are initially red and take 6-12 months to fade. All care is taken to place the scars so that they are unobtrusive, even if low-cut clothing is worn. Larger breast reductions, the scars may be longer but most women feel the benefits outweigh the drawback of scars.

Surgical techniques

Techniques differ among Plastic Surgeons, depending on the size and shape of your breasts. Generally, after the excess skin, fat and breast tissues are removed, the nipples are re-positioned to a higher site while remaining attached to the underlying blood and nerve supply, so the sensation and the ability to breastfeed are not lost.

As a precaution, the removed breast tissue is sent to be screened for breast cancer.
Depending on your surgeon’s preference, your resulting scars may be either:
• Three scars – around the nipple, vertically down from the nipple-areola to the crease, and horizontally along the crease of the breast base, about 20-25cm long.
• Two scars – this has the advantage of avoiding the horizontal scar along the breast crease. The vertical scar is puckered and takes a few months to improve, and may need minor correction for best results.

Male breast reduction

Some males may develop large breasts, a condition called gynaecomastia, due to hormonal imbalance or due to taking certain drugs. These breasts can be removed via small incisions, very different surgery to that for female breast reduction.
Ask your surgeon for more details.


(Reduction Mammoplasty)

The operation

Medical name: Reduction Mammoplasty (breast reduction), Mastopexy (breast lift)
Duration: 2-3 hours
Hospital stay: day surgery or one night
Anaesthetic: General
Drain tubes: nil or one in each breast, depending on size of reduction. These are removed the next day.
Pain factor: mild to moderate pain and discomfort for the first few days, particularly when moving or coughing.   Recovery time: 2-4 weeks off work, depending on your type of work. Avoid heavy lifting, including babies or shopping bags, for 4 weeks. Avoid driving in the first three weeks. Gentle sporting activities can be resumed after 4 weeks. The final shape and size of the breasts may take several months, so it’s best to wait about 4 weeks before buying new bras.

Estimated costs

Total cost: $11000 if insured,  $12000 if uninsured.

Risks and possible problems

• Nipple necrosis, where part of the nipple dies due to poor blood supply. This is uncommon, about 1% of patients, and usually heals spontaneously with altered nipple size and shape.
• Bleeding, although uncommon, about 5% may require a return to operating theatre.
• Loss of sensation to the nipple. This is usually temporary and may take several months to return to normal or near normal.
• The ability to breast feed is not usually affected, as modern techniques preserve most of the milk ducts.
• Perfect symmetry can not be guaranteed as the two sides of our body are usually not identical – the size and shape of the breasts and the position of the nipples may differ slightly.
• The size and shape of the breasts will change with ageing, gravity and changes on your body weight.
• Scars usually become less visible with time. Some patients have a tendency to form thick scars – advise your surgeon if you are aware of this.

If you need more information, please call 03 8769 8555 or email us at and we will get back to you next business day.

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