Breast appearance is a valued feature of femininity, and changes in size and shape can affect you. Heavy breasts may lead to neck and upper back pain, bent over posture, and trouble exercising or difficulty finding suitable clothing. Natural breast droop (called breast ptosis) occurs with age and may be exacerbated by breast size change during breast-feeding.
Breast reduction and breast lift (mastopexy) surgery are very effective in improving size, shape and appearance of the breasts. In both procedures, the breasts are positioned in a more youthful position on the chest and the skin tightened – in breast reduction surgery, additional tissue is removed to relieve breast heaviness.
Women who have been troubled by heavy breasts find the results of breast reduction surgery to be life changing – they can walk upright, have choice in clothes and exercise options, and have relief of related upper back and neck discomfort.
You will know if this is a procedure that will benefit you! If you suffer from the challenges described above and they trouble you every day, consider breast reduction surgery to help you.
Modern breast reduction surgery uses techniques to minimise scarring and optimise shape. The specifics of your situation will be discussed with you when you have your first consultation with your plastic surgeon.
If you are concerned about the appearance of your breasts, and this bothers you and affects your self-esteem on a regular basis, consider breast lift surgery to help out.
Modern breast lift surgery (mastopexy) uses techniques to minimise scarring and optimise shape. The specifics of your situation will be discussed with you when you have your first consultation with your plastic surgeon.
A consultation with your plastic surgeon will enable personalisation of the procedure and care to your unique situation. If you have heavy breasts and discomfort in the neck or shoulder region, the procedure may be partly rebatable – you will require a referral from your family doctor to support this.
Surgery is usually booked under general anaesthetic with 1-2 nights in hospital to support your recovery. You will need to fast on the day of surgery, and organise a support person to take you home and be around to help in the first few days when you head home.
After surgery, it is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the area that will be most evident 1-2 days after surgery and mostly resolve over 2-3 weeks. Perhaps surprisingly, surgery is not particularly painful (simple pain medications such as paracetamol usually suffice after the first 24-48 hours), though it is important to rest after surgery to allow your body time to recover. You will need 2 weeks without driving, 2 weeks off for administrative jobs and duties and 6 weeks off physical jobs or activity (including gym or exercise). You will also need to wear a support bra to aid your recovery.
A post-operative appointment will be organised for you to see your plastic surgeon 1 week after surgery to check your wounds (dissolving sutures are used, so there are no stitches to remove), and provide advice to care for your scars as you recover – often you will have appointments every week or two for the first month so we can support your recovery.
Substantial improvement will be noticed straight away, though there will be some early swelling from surgery that settles in 1-2 weeks. It may take up to 6 months for all swelling to settle and scars to mature, to see your long term result.
Your breast size should remain stable if your overall body weight does (it is really helpful to get to your ideal body weight before surgery), and you will have very gradual droop again, though this will take many years to reach similar levels.
All operations have risks, though major complications are rare after breast surgery. There is a small risk of concerns that may delay healing and require a little extra care (eg minor bleeding, infection, delayed healing of the fat underneath, a small fluid collection, or over active scars). In the longer term, mild asymmetry in size or shape is not uncommon (though your surgeon will do their best to achieve a symmetrical result). Often the nipples may have some sensitivity early on, though long term discomfort or loss of the nipple skin from surgery is very rare. These risks may vary depending on your specific situation and will be discussed with you at your consultation. Please feel reassured that your plastic surgeon will only recommend surgery if they feel that the benefit of the procedure substantially outweighs the risks.
When breast reduction surgery is undertaken for improvement neck or shoulder back discomfort, the majority of the cost is rebatable through Medicare and standard private health insurance. This does require a referral from your family doctor.
After your consultation, a detailed quote will be provided to you including the surgeon fee, anaesthetic fee, hospital fee and breast support bra for your initial recovery.
Breast lift surgery (mastopexy) is generally cosmetic and so not rebatable, according to the rules that govern Medicare and private health insurance. After your consultation, a detailed quote will be provided to you including the surgeon fee, anaesthetic fee, hospital fee and breast support bra for your initial recovery.
Please be aware that all surgical procedures require a consultation with our plastic surgeons to allow a thorough assessment and discussion of your specific needs.