Large breasts can place excess stress on the back, chest and neck. Without the muscle infrastructure to support this weight, results can include chronic pain, and even malformations of the spinal cord.
Until recently, surgical breast reduction commonly called a mammoplasty, has been the main option available for breast reduction. This involves cutting out a section of breast and repositioning the nipple to elevate the breast.
An alternative treatment is tumescent liposuction, which is different from traditional breast reduction or excision-based breast reduction surgery. However, liposuction is still a surgery and has all the risks associated with any surgery.
A surgical (as in, scalpel-based) breast reduction procedure is called a mammoplasty. A mammoplasty requires the cutting out of sections of the breast, relocating the nipple, and removing loose skin.
Scarring can occur from a liposuction breast reduction surgery as it can with a mammoplasty. Liposuction still needs to make incisions to get the cannula into the breast. The incisions are usually 5mm in diameter. The procedure is performed via 5mm incisions, so the tube can fit through. We make these incisions using what’s known as a punch, which also does biopsies. The hole stretches during the procedure, but it returns to its usual skin elasticity once the procedure is over. Breast tissue, as is necessary for its many functions, is flexible. Think of how many times your breasts may change over a lifetime.
Those with darker skin tones can have some increased pigmentation at the incision spot.
Liposuction breast reduction surgery is considered to be an invasive procedure even though it does not involve general anaesthetic. Risks can include bruising, soreness, infection and bleeding. We will go through all the risks with you at your face-to-face consultation.
Essentially, you are not removing any ducting, only fat, so breastfeeding can – in most cases – continue as normal.
There are risks as breast liposuction is a surgery. Dr Rich will discuss those risks at your initial consultations to establish if the outcome is worth the risks. Any surgery to the breast could result in inadvertent injury to your ducts. The pros and cons need to be balanced.
Recovery and results from liposuction breast reduction surgery
This procedure is a day surgery, so you will need at least a few days off work depending on what sort of job you have and what your normal activities require of your body. You will be required to wear special compression garments for several weeks, with bathing the only time you take it off.
Dr Rich performs all of our liposuction, so he will advise you regarding what you can and can’t do, including when you can exercise.
Breast reduction surgery via liposuction requires a mammogram before the surgery, because any growths must be ruled out or examined before any procedure is carried out. Breast cancer risk must be deemed low at the outset.
A family history of breast cancer requires careful consideration with detailed consent in place – the risks of aggravating cancer with this procedure exist.
Mammograms look for calcification in breast tissue, which on the image look like tiny white flecks. Breast surgery can result in tiny white flecks of calcification too, but these are not cancerous. This means breast surgery can interfere with the detection of a real breast cancer in the future, so a baseline mammogram must be taken so we can see the changes of the before and after surgery.
A comparison mammogram means better safety in terms of breast cancer detection, and conversely, knowing when not to worry. The breast tissue will differ in both mammograms, so learning just how that has manifested is important. Post-operation, another mammogram must be taken no more than six months later as the new baseline. There is no evidence that breast reduction surgery increases the risk of breast cancer development.
Postmenopausal women tend to have more fat in their breasts than other women due to a reduction in oestrogen. This leaves less glandular tissue in the breast.
Because liposuction has some limitations in terms of how much fat tissue can actually be removed due to accessibility, about half the breast fat volume can be removed. This may not be appropriate for everyone.
Results will vary between women – every breast has its own unique features, and every woman wants different outcomes. The most common breast reduction is of one or two cup sizes.
If you are considering reducing the size of your breasts, contact us for a comprehensive consultation with Dr Rich and our team.
*With all surgeries or procedures, there are risks. Consult your physician (GP) before undertaking any surgical or cosmetic procedure. Please read the consent forms carefully and be informed about every aspect of your treatment. Surgeries such as liposuction have a mandatory seven-day cooling-off period to give patients adequate time to be sure of their surgery choice. Results may also vary from person to person due to many factors, including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise. Before and after photos are only relevant to the patient in the photo and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience. Ask questions. Our team of dermatologists, doctors and nurses are here to help you with any of your queries. This page is not advice and is intended to be informational only. We endeavour to keep all our information up to date; however, this site is intended as a guide and not a definitive information portal or in any way constitutes medical advice.