Breast Reduction

Often large breast become problematic over time, causing back problems, shoulder and neck pain, and difficulty sleeping. Because of these conditions, breast reduction is one of the fastest growing procedures in the United Kingdom. Breast reduction may also be desired to enhance personal appearance or to improve confidence and is available to men as well as women.

Surgical reduction of the breasts, or reduction mammaplasty, can usually be done in less than three hours. General anesthesia is used during the surgery, which usually requires a hospital stay of one to two days although it is possible for the procedure to be performed on an outpatient basis. Breast reduction surgery involves the removal of fat, tissue and skin. Liposuction may be used to assist in the removal of fat from the surgical area during this process and lasers are sometimes used to reduce blood loss.

Several different procedures are appropriate for breast reduction, and the surgeon should explain the best option for individual patients and his reasoning for it. The inferior pedicle technique requires an incision around the areola and down to the curve beneath the breast. The vertical scar technique is sometimes preferred because it results in less scarring and the results last longer. If this option is not appropriate, surgeons may recommend the horizontal scar technique. This works well for women with extremely large breasts. For a few women who have firm, fatty breasts and only need a slight reduction, liposuction alone may be all that is needed.

Following breast reduction surgery, patients are ordered to wear a special bra to give the breasts extra support as they heal. The pain can usually be controlled with prescription medications, but bruising and discoloration can last for several weeks. Breast reduction surgery permanently changes the size of the breasts.