Breast reduction is a common procedure that reduces the size and weight of the breasts while at the same time improve its appearance. Heavy breasts can lead to debilitating problems such as neck and back pain, posture problems and skin rashes in summer. It can also interfere with everyday life particularly with sports or dress fitting.
What are the different types of breast reduction incisions?
While some patients are suitable for a “short scar” or “vertical scar” breast reduction technique which minimizes the length of the scar, in most patients the traditional technique with a longer scar may provide the best overall result. We will assess your suitability for these different techniques during your initial consultation.
How long does breast reduction surgery take?
In general, the operation takes between 2-3 hours and is performed under a general anaesthetic.
What is the usual recovery time after breast reduction surgery?
- We usually recommend 1-2 nights stay in hospital after the operation to ensure your safety and comfort.
- We recommend patients plan for 2-3 weeks off work and 4-6 weeks of avoiding contact sports or heavy lifting.
- A supportive garment is often helpful, such as a crop top, for both comfort and support.
In general, breast reduction surgery is a safe and frequently performed procedure with a high level of patient satisfaction.
Breast augmentation surgery has now reached its 5th decade since its infancy in the 1960s. During this time, remarkable advances have been made in both surgical technique and in the safety and sophistication of implants. What hasn’t changed, however, is that to achieve a great result, an expert surgeon is needed.
We are fully qualified in breast plastic surgery through Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. We are committed to taking the time to help you understand the pros and cons of breast augmentation surgery, and to help you achieve the best possible result.
What are some important considerations in breast augmentation?
During your consultation, we will discuss with you various considerations when considering breast augmentation, these include:
- What type of breast implant would suit me?
Common implants used in Australia include silicon gel or saline filled implants, with silicon being used in the majority of breast augmentation procedures. While modern silicon gel implants are much safer than the earlier generation devices, it is important to know they are not guaranteed to last a lifetime. Furthermore, implants are available in a variety of coating including smooth or textured.
We will discuss with you the pros and cons of each type of implant. You will also have the opportunity in the rooms to see and feel the different implants for yourself.
- What is the best incision for breast implant?
Infra-mammary (under the breast fold) incision is the most common incision used for breast augmentation. Axillary (under the armpit) incisions may be more suitable particularly for Asian patients. In Asian breast augmentation an important consideration is the likelihood of keloid scarring which are more common on the torso. In some cases, patients may be suitable for an endoscopic assisted (keyhole) technique.
- What is the best plane for breast implant insertion?
The common tissue planes used are sub-glandular (under the breast tissue - right diagram), sub-muscular (under the pectoral muscles - left diagram) or dual plane. Many factors are taken into account when making this important decision, including the volume of existing breast tissue, lifestyle, previous surgery, and many others.
What is involved in breast augmentation surgery?
- The operation is performed under general anaesthetic at an accredited private hospital.
- Operation time is typically 1½-2 hours.
- During the operation your safety is our main priority. We would routinely use antibiotics to prevent infection and blood thinning medications to prevent clots (DVT).
- Occasionally, drain tubes may be used at the end of the operation.
- For an infra-mammary approach, you will have short scars in the natural fold under the breast.
- For an axillary (armpit) approach, you will have small scars in the natural skin creases in the armpit.
What is the recovery after breast augmentation surgery?
- Generally we recommend an overnight stay in hospital. Occasionally patients may be able to be discharged the same day.
- Most women have some discomfort for a few days. This varies depending on the specific type of operation performed.
- We recommend a supportive garment, such as a crop top, for both comfort and support.
- Most women should plan for 1-2 weeks off work and 4-6 weeks of avoiding contact sports or heavy lifting.
- A regular schedule of post-operative consultations will be provided.
Breast reconstruction represents a series of procedures that restores the breast, usually following mastectomy for breast cancer. It is a staged process that not only restores the breast mound, but also the shape, contours, the nipple and areola.
After the trauma of cancer treatment, it represents an important part of restoring self esteem and body image. For many of our patients, it has come to symbolize the defining step in regaining what cancer has taken away.
What are the options for breast reconstruction?
Many options are available for reconstructing the breast. These can broadly be categorized as autologous reconstruction (using one’s own tissue) and implant based reconstruction. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, and while both are able to achieve great results, the ultimate choice is a very individual decision.
We will guide you through the decision making process, taking into account various factors such as breast volume, body shape, nature of your breast cancer treatment and, of course, your goals and expectations.
What autologous tissue can be used for breast reconstruction?
While many options exist, one of the most common autologous options is to use one’s own abdominal tissue. This is sometimes called a DIEP flap based on the blood supply of the tissue that is harvested from the abdomen.
The advantages of using ones own tissue include:
- Best possible shape and feel in the reconstructed breast.
- A breast that moves and ages naturally.
- Avoiding all implant related problems.
Some disadvantages include longer operating time, longer hospital stay and longer recovery. Of course, additional incisions are required to harvest donor tissue.
What are the pros and cons of implant based breast reconstruction?
Compared to using autologous tissue, implant based reconstruction does not require additional incision in other areas of the body. As a result, operation time and hospital stays are generally shorter, and recovery quicker. However, while excellent results can be achieved with implant based reconstruction, implants themselves can carry its own risks and may not achieve the same shape and feel of autologous tissue.