Breast reduction, also referred to as reduction mammoplasty, is the surgical correction to reduce the size, volume, shape and weight of the breasts.
Heavy breasts can cause back, neck and shoulder complaints, bad posture and even breathing difficulties. This surgery can dramatically ease the burden by reducing the glandular tissue and breast fat to one that is more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. A breast uplift is usually performed alongside this surgery in our London clinic for optimum results.
FAQs for Breast Reduction Surgery (Mammoplasty)
Before going down to theatre, Mr Karidis uses a marking pen to draw on the breasts in order to determine the exact position and size of the newly operated breasts. He will then show you approximately where the new breast and nipple position will be placed.
Breast reduction surgery is possibly one of the most demanding aesthetic procedures. It is imperative therefore that you talk with Mr Karidis so that he has a full and proper understanding of your wishes.
Try to convey, as much as is possible, how little or large you would like to be following your surgery. This will minimise the possibility of having too little or too much removed. Excess breast tissue, fat and skin are then removed.
During the operation, the nipples are preserved on a stalk of breast tissue and repositioned by moving them to a new higher location, all in accordance with the preoperative markings.
So although a breast size reduction is performed, all patients will also benefit from a breast uplift as well. The nipple is usually positioned in a line level with approximately the middle part of your arm or the level of your under breast crease.
The scar is situated around the nipple and extends vertically downwards to the crease under your breast. A small horizontal scar within this crease is also required. In general, although many times Mr Karidis’ technique avoids the older type of unsightly long anchor scars, occasionally these are required.
Mr Karidis will be able to discuss this with you at the time of your consultation and show you precisely where these will be situated. Once the surgery is complete, surgical tapes, and a light dressings are applied over the suture lines. All sutures used are of the dissolving kind and will not need to be removed. You will also then be asked to wear a firm sports bra for support.
Mr Karidis does not use drains routinely. He has deemed these not necessary and has stopped using them for a number of years, without any adverse effects. Patients appreciate the fact that they no longer require any drains to be removed from the breasts after the surgery.
Our surgical understanding, the techniques and instrumentation have improved over the years and Mr Karidis takes advantage of all these to deliver the best in terms of results.
With these new techniques, pain is significantly improved compared to the surgery performed a few years ago. Therefore most ladies, who have breast reduction surgery with Mr Karidis, complain or only mild to moderate discomfort after surgery. This of course should be well controlled with pain killers. The pain usually improves and dissipates after the first 4-5 days.
Scars are not a complication but a normal event after any surgery. Even though in recent years the scars in breast reduction surgery have become smaller and finer, nonetheless the scars are still somewhat lengthy and may take many months or years to settle.
However, as the scars are around and below the nipples, these shouldn’t be noticeable even in low cut clothing or a bathing suit. You should always expect these to be red, raised, lumpy and even itchy to begin with but with time they should fade and flatten.
This is the natural evolution of the healing process. It is important to keep in mind that this may take up to two years to complete.
Daily massage of the scars during this time period is advised to expedite and facilitate this process. You will also be provided with scar reducing plasters and gel in order to improve the appearance of your scars.
You must understand however that no responsible surgeon will ever be in a position to predict anyone’s scars ultimately.
You will need to wear the sports bra continuously for 6 weeks (apart from when washing) after surgery. It is also important to avoid any strenuous upper body exercise for at least 6 weeks.
Whilst it is true that when a breast reduction is performed by an experienced qualified plastic surgeon the risks are small, nonetheless, specific complications with this procedure can and do occur. As in any procedure, the risk of significant infection is always possible. This is minimised by careful surgical technique and the preventative administration of antibiotics at the time of surgery.
However, despite these measures, mild infection is relatively common and can occur around the incision sites, but usually subsides over a period of about 2 weeks. Risks such as leg and lung blood clots are very rare. Early mobilisation by moving around as soon after the surgery as possible reduces this considerably.
Mr Karidis regularly deploys anti-clotting measures such as special stockings (TEDS) and compression devices(Flowtron) during surgery to minimise this. As mentioned already, swelling should be expected after this operation. When mild or moderate swelling is present, the body rapidly reabsorbs this.
Very occasionally, increased bleeding can lead to more significant swelling and the development of a haematoma (a collection of blood under the skin)-less than 1% incidence. If this were to happen, surgical drainage to evacuate this would be required.
Ultimately, however, this should not affect the final outcome. As described in the surgical details, during the operation, the nipples are preserved on a stalk of breast tissue and repositioned.
In the vast majority of patients, these remain natural, with normal contraction and some sensitivity. Very rarely however the stalk of the breast tissue develops inadequate blood supply to maintain nipple viability and some sloughing of part, or even more rarely, the entire nipple can occur. This complication will mean that prolonged dressing will be required over the nipple area until natural healing occurs.
It is then possible that some reconstruction of the nipple as a secondary procedure may be required. Thankfully with modern techniques, this complication is very rare (less than 1%).
During the first 2 -3 weeks after surgery, some patients may also experience a minor loss of wound adhesion, suture extrusion, or even chafing of the skin at any point of the incision sites.
One of the most common sites is the point where the vertical scar meets the nipple and or the under-breast crease. This is a temporary complication, which will require regular dressing changes initially. Eventually, a scab develops over this, which subsequently separates after 3-4 weeks. A padded dressing for a period of a few weeks decreases the likelihood of this occurring. However, some distortion of the skin around the scar may ensue. Further revision surgery may occasionally be required if necessary.
Tips from the Top
Senior Nurse Suzi says:
A balanced healthy diet, rich in protein will help you heal from surgery – try drinking a fresh green juice every morning.
Write down any questions and take them into your consultation with Mr Karidis – that way you won’t forget anything.
Prepare your body for surgery by keeping it soft and supple by moisturising skin twice daily (avoid vitamin E containing products).
Always wear sun block (SPF 50+) over surgery scars to stop pigmentation.
Stock up on comfy lounge wear for after your surgery – front opening tops are ideal.
Before & After Photos
See before and after photos showing real patient resultsView Photos