Breast Reduction FAQ’s

How is the operation performed?

The procedure is performed in a hospital under general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes three hours depending on the extent of each case. Usually only one night is required in hospital following the operation and you can return home the next day. Surprisingly little pain or discomfort is associated with the procedure. Usually 2 weeks are required away from work and return to normal exercise levels can occur in 6 weeks.

Can I breast feed after the operation?

Patients undergoing breast reduction will likely find breast feeding more difficult and in some breast feeding will not be effective.. This varies with the technique used and this will be discussed with you at time of consultation. Parts of the breast tissue are separated from the ducts in the nipple and problems may arise, or the milk output may be limited. However, as a note of interest, women with large breasts tend to have a low milk output so they might have problems breast feeding anyway.

Are there any risks?

As with any surgical procedure, there is a small risk of complications. Surgery and anaesthesia is very safe and it is most unlikely you will experience any difficulty. However, there is a small chance that complications such as bleeding or infection may occur. Scars are an unavoidable drawback to the procedure, but typically fade to be almost unnoticeable over 18 months or so and be quite acceptable to most patients. Sensation of the nipple may be affected. It can be altered, being “decreased”, “made different”, “sore” or it may even be “improved”.

Blood Supply

The operation is planned in such a way to ensure that an adequate blood supply is maintained to the various remaining anatomical parts of the breast, such as skin, fat, breast tissue and nipple. At times, if the circulation is inadequate, tissue may die. This is very uncommon, but is more likely in very large breasts or in patients with poor circulation. At times the desired size and shape may be compromised to help maintain an adequate circulation.

 What about costs

Costs of surgery will always differ from surgeon to surgeon.  There is a range from “cheap and nasty” to ridiculously overpriced in the market place.  Do your homework and be happy with the quality of service and experience you are being offered.   Beware of the pitfalls of shopping around for the cheapest costs for this operation as this is the wrong way to choose your surgeon and may leads to disappointment with results.  Remember surgery is not like purchasing a TV or a computer.  The product is not a commodity and what you get will differ depending on who you choose to perform your surgery.  Dr Drielsma offers a good value price structure for breast lifting but his patients choose him on reputation and results, not cheap price.


You will be receiving a general anaesthetic and your anaesthetist will be discussing with you possible discomforts following anaesthesia. Again, anaesthesia today is very safe and no major problems should be concerning you. Any questions you have regarding your anaesthetic would be best answered by your anaesthetist at the time of surgery.

Asymmetry: Although every attempt is made to obtain symmetry and a natural shape, as with most women, there may be some difference in the final size and shape of the breasts or in the position of the areola and nipple and a small degree of difference must be accepted.

Should there be any questions regarding breast reduction, be sure they are answered in advance by Dr Drielsma. Well meaning friends are not a good source of information. Find out everything before proceeding with the operation – a well informed patient is a happy one.

Finally, there can be no absolute guarantee with any surgery. Remember the realistic aim of this operation is improvement, not perfection.

Please note: The above information mentions only some of the benefits and complications of a breast reduction. This information should not be regarded as a substitute for information and advice provided by Dr Drielsma during consultation.

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