Breast Reduction Surgery Birmingham
What is Breast Reduction?
Breast reduction is an operation to make breasts smaller by removing breast tissue and reshaping the breast.
Who will the operation help?
As any woman who has very large breasts can tell you, they can cause all kinds of problems including back, neck and shoulder ache, sweat rash, permanent grooves from bra straps and difficulty when exercising due to breasts bouncing uncomfortably.
On top of this, large-breasted ladies often experience social problems, difficulties buying clothes which fit properly, issues with self-consciousness etc
A breast reduction operation can solve or improve all these problems.
A breast reduction operation in one of our Birmingham hospitals can solve or improve all these problems.
In recent studies looking at the improvement in the quality of life of all surgical procedures in the NHS (including open heart surgery, cancer operations, hip and knee replacement surgery and many others) breast reduction surgery came out top.
What size will my new breasts be?
It is not always possible to predict exactly what size breast you will end up with. We will agree whether you would prefer to err on the smaller or the larger side of your ideal cup size before you undergo surgery.
The size of breasts you choose is a very personal decision, but there are certain limitations you need to be aware of.
It is very difficult to reduce a very large breast to a very small size (eg an A or small B cup). The most commonly requested cup size is a C or D cup.
How is the operation done?
The operation is done under a general anaesthetic, so you will be asleep throughout the procedure.
First, I move the nipple to its new position. Then I reduce the breast tissue, repositioning and re-shaping it as necessary. I will then check your breasts are even before removing any excess skin.
What scarring will I have?
The type of scarring you have will depend on the extent of breast reduction.
Anchor – The anchor scar is best for very large breast reductions or for women who are more likely to experience problems with wound healing, due to heavy smoking or problems with their general health.
Vertical – The vertical scar (aka lollipop scar) results in less scarring, plus, the breast shape is usually more pert and longer lasting. This works best for fit, healthy, non-smoking women and for more modest breast reduction.
For extremely large breasts, it may be better to remove the nipple completely, perform a breast reduction and then graft the nipple back on at the end of the procedure. This would result in an anchor scar.
How long is the operation?
Breast reduction surgery usually takes about three hours.
How many days in the hospital?
Most women stay in the hospital overnight after breast reduction surgery and go home the next day.
What happens after the operation?
When you wake up you will have surgical tapes over your breasts and you will be wearing a front-fastening sports bra which you brought to the theatre with you.
The operation causes some discomfort, but you will receive regular painkillers which should keep you comfortable.
You should limit your arm movements for the first two weeks after surgery.
We will give you plenty of information on what you can and can’t do after your op, as well as advice on looking after the wound, bathing and exercise. Please read this carefully and if you have any questions, ask one of the nurses before you leave the hospital.
You will see my cosmetic nurse for a wound check one week after your operation.
I will see you for a check-up six weeks after your operation and again after six months for a full review.
If you have any questions or problems after your operation, you can speak to a nurse or doctor at the hospital at any time. They who will advise you on what to do and if they have any concerns they will ask you to come along to the ward to be seen by the hospital doctor. I will be notified of any issues that need my attention.
Will a breast reduction cause breast cancer?
Breast reduction surgery does not increase your risk of developing breast cancer. Any tissue I remove during breast surgery is routinely sent to the laboratory to be examined to exclude breast cancer. I will share the results at our six-week review.
Will a breast reduction operation affect my ability to feel or detect breast cancer?
No – breast reduction surgery will not affect your ability to feel or detect breast cancer.
Your breasts will feel different after your operation, so you should allow six weeks for them to properly heal and then start to inspect your breasts again.
There will be some internal scarring and lumpiness, which is normal. The important thing is to learn what ‘normal’ is for you after you have healed from your operation. With regular self-examination, you should be looking for any change from this new ‘normal’.
Next, see all of my breast surgeon information pages that include most types of breast surgery provided via my private practice at a number of hosptials in Birmingham.
Mr Guy D. Sterne
MB, ChB, FRCS, MD, FRCS (Plast)
Consultant Plastic Surgeon