“While breast augmentation is a more commonly-requested procedure, the sense of relief in women who have undergone breast reduction surgery clearly makes a real lasting difference to their lives.”
Dr. Bernard Beldholm, Principal Surgeon
Reduce discomfort and improve breast shape with breast reduction surgery
Breast reduction surgery will not only reduce the size of your breasts and relieve pressure on the upper body, it will also enhance the natural shape and contours of your breasts at the same time.
This can create a more shapely and balanced profile that brings relief if you have felt restricted or self-conscious by the size of your breasts.
Breast reduction surgery
A reduction mammoplasty is a procedure that reshapes the breasts by removing skin and tissue. The most common reason women have this procedure performed is for them to feel better physically. Having large breasts comes with a host of conditions that can make it harder to do typical movements or activities.
The usual symptoms that patients have include, “Back pains and strap pain from bras, in addition to interfering with exercise. Some also can’t wear the clothes they want since they often have to accommodate the size of their breasts. Other drawbacks include having uneven, droopy breasts.”
Although a lot of women want to have big breasts, breasts that are too large can naturally pose some health problems. In some cases, a good number of women can’t take the pain and resort to a number of fixes. One of the best options is to have breast reduction surgery.
In terms of looking at the right size to reduce your breasts, Dr. Beldholm spends a lot of time in this area in order to really get to know what it is you want. From experience, Dr. Beldholm states that most women come in with no idea of how much they should go down in cup size. Some say to make the breasts as small as possible, so as to not have the discomfort anymore, while some prefer a specific cup size that will make their breasts shapely and perky.
No matter what your concern is, Dr. Beldholm’s clinic has 3D imaging capabilities so they can show you how your desired results will look on your body. Whatever your current condition is, there’s a lot of options to choose from. Breast reduction is a procedure that reshapes the breasts by removing skin and tissue. The most common reason women have this procedure performed is for them to feel better physically. Having large breasts comes with a host of conditions that can make it harder to do typical movements or activities.
Being able to wear the clothes you want, move freely and comfortably, and to feel confident in your appearance can be difficult with oversize breasts.
Breast reduction surgery can help reduce the burden of excessively large breasts that feel heavy and hamper movement, and can relieve associated pain in the neck and shoulder, as well as skin irritations.
Is a breast reduction right for you?
If you have fully-developed oversize breasts that are causing you discomfort, pain in the back, neck and shoulder areas, skin irritations, or infections beneath the breasts, breast reduction surgery can ease your condition.
Breasts that are inadequately supported by a small frame or that are heavy, pendulous, and asymmetric, with nipples pointed downward, can be reshaped and reduced in size during the procedure, providing immediate relief from discomfort and a more balanced appearance.
Breast reduction surgery may help you feel less self-conscious about your breasts, allow you to do more physical activity, and to wear the clothes you desire.
What type of breast reduction?
Breast reduction surgery may take a number of forms depending on your condition:
- Vertical scar (‘short scar’) breast reduction
This is a highly-evolved breast reduction technique favoured by Dr Beldholm. It is designed to improve the shape of the breast while minimising scarring and is the least-invasive procedure. Requiring only a small vertical cut around the areola and down to the breast fold to remove excess tissue and fat, this means faster rehabilitation and finer scars. It also creates a better shape than traditional breast reduction techniques, with a longer-lasting result.
- Inverted T ‘wise pattern’ breast reduction
This is a more traditional breast reduction technique that is particularly effective for women who require extensive tissue removal. With an anchor-shaped incision circling the areola and extending along the natural curve of the breast, excess glandular tissue, fat and skin is removed. The nipple and areola are then moved into a new, higher position. Using this technique, nipple sensation and the ability to breastfeed are usually preserved. This method is utilised for women with exceptionally large breasts, especially those aged 50 to 70.
This technique is used for younger patients (18-35 years old) with breasts of predominantly fatty composition and with greater skin elasticity than older women. VASER liposculpture is a great way to do a breast reduction in the right women and can be done in our Liposculpture Centre in Newcastle.
Breast reduction surgery
What is meant by the pedicle?
There are several techniques for performing breast reduction. The main thing to address about these methods is the pedicle, or where the blood supply comes to the nipple.
An inferior pedicle means that the blood supply comes from the bottom up. A superior pedicle, on the other hand, means that the blood supply will come from the top to the bottom. It’s also possible to have various side blood flows, such as in median and lateral pedicles. You can have a combination or all of the methods as well. All of these things, however, will depend upon how far the nipple-areolar complex needs to travel.
For cases where the breasts are very low, hanging or saggy, Dr. Beldholm usually performs a median pedicle. If there’s only a little bit of distance, then a superior pedicle is a good choice as it helps preserve the upper breasts’ fullness.
The inferior pedicle is an old-fashioned pedicle that has been performed for more than 30 years. It is closely associated with the Wise Pattern Excision. The problem with this approach is that all the tissues tend to be at the bottom which means, over time, you’ll get more sagginess with the tissues at the bottom pulling down the breasts.
What is the excision pattern?
The excision pattern is different from the pedicle. The first thing to decide is how long does the nipple-areola need to travel. After this, the next step is to decide the blood flow supply and then how to do the excision pattern.
The excision pattern simply refers to how much skin needs to be excised and how it’s going to be done. If there’s only a tiny amount of skin, then you only need to excise around the nipple and straight down. If you have a lot of excess skin, then you may need to cut horizontally. If there’s a lot of skin around the side of your breasts, then you’ll need an extended cut to the side.
How do you decide on how much to remove?
The result you get depends on a lot of factors. Dr. Beldholm decides on how much breast tissue to remove from his patients depending on their measurements and the type of breast. Also taking into consideration what results his patient wants.
Some women who have very large breasts want a reasonable size afterwards, like a D cup for example. Based on that, we will decide on exactly how much to remove to get you to that cup size. The amount of tissue removed will depend upon the size you want and what type of breasts you have now.
Aside from these factors, Dr. Beldholm also relies on his experience when it comes to deciding how much breast tissue to remove. Because he has performed a lot of breast reduction procedures, he’s able to tell how much tissue to remove just by looking at the patient’s breasts. However, Dr. Beldholm also bases his decision on research and his own scale that gives him an indication of how much to remove. He measures his patient’s breasts to determine her cup size, and he then compares it against the scale with her height and weight. After determining these criteria, he makes a final decision on how much to remove. Based on experience and his own judgement, Dr. Beldholm may or may not modify it during the surgery to best achieve the desired final result for his patient.
Going back to work and exercise after breast reduction surgery, what you can expect
Most women elect to stay overnight in hospital. Dr Beldholm will usually see you the next day and you will be able to go home around midday the next day.
The day after the surgery, you’ll be able to have a shower. The dressings are not extremely bulky, so you can wear your normal clothes.
Returning to work will depend on a lot of factors, such as how active you are at work, how much running you do, or if you drive, or do heavy lifting.
If you have a desk-type job or if you work in front of a computer, you can probably go back to work after one week.
However, if you do a lot of running, heavy lifting or bending over, then you’ll definitely need to spend more time away from work. It can range from about three to four weeks.
When is it safe to go back to exercise?
When it comes to exercise, there is a whole range of different exercises. There are mild exercises, like walking, which you can do straight after the operation, and there are also heavy aerobics, heavy lifting and gym exercises.
While you can start walking right away, mild running and jogging, on the other hand, will need to be postponed till approximately three weeks after surgery. At approximately four weeks after surgery, you can begin doing aerobic exercises. Heavy lifting, weights and squats, meanwhile, may take longer than that, approximately five to six weeks after surgery.
By six weeks onwards, you should be good to go with whatever you want to do. The scars will be nicely healed by this time, and you may even find yourself a lot more comfortable than you were before you underwent the procedure.
There will also be much less chance that you will experience rashes underneath your breasts when you exercise.
Because there are fewer discomforts, many of Dr. Beldholm’s patients actually get more involved with exercise after having breast reduction surgery.
Is reduction mammoplasty safe?
Breast reduction is usually major surgery performed under general anaesthetic. You will only undergo surgery after it has been determined that it is safe for you to do so and that the results will reasonably match your expectations.
Patients rarely report serious problems, though no surgery is completely without risk. Having performed hundreds of breast resizing and reshaping operations for the past decade, minimising these risks is an important characteristic of the care that Dr. Beldholm and his team provide.
Fewer than 5% of patients experience the most common complication, which is superficial wound infection that is easily treated with antibiotics.
Complications from reduction mammoplasty surgery
The procedure will result in scar formation, as with all surgery. With a reduction mammaplasty the scar is positioned around the areola, with a vertical incision straight down from the areola too. A large reduction may result in an additional horizontal scar around the bottom of the breast. Scarring is generally pink, but fades to become white, soft and supple in the weeks or months after the operation. Most patients find that the wound heals quickly and that the appearance is ultimately acceptable to them.
Specific complications relating to breast reduction surgery may include:
- Excessive swelling of the breast.
- Delayed healing along the margins of the incisions may occur occasionally.
- Loss of the skin edges or of the nipple itself (or part of the nipple), requiring prolonged dressings or additional surgery for correction.
- A change in the sensitivity of the nipples and the skin of your breast, or even permanent loss of sensation in one or both nipples can occur.
- In the unlikely event of excessive bleeding after the operation, emergency treatment may be required to drain accumulated blood; a blood transfusion may even be necessary.
- Infections – either superficial or deep.The infection rate for breast reduction surgery is about 1%.
- The breast may have an irregular or “lumpy” feel and may feel uncomfortable for an indefinite period of time.
- Scarring can be prominent at first after this procedure, but will gradually fade over time.
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