What is a breast reduction?
Breast reduction can minimise or eliminate these problems. During the procedure, excess skin and breast tissue are removed and the breasts reshaped to be smaller and more attractive.
How is the operation performed?
When can I return to activities?
Can I breast feed after the operation?
Some patients may experience a permanent inability to breast feed after having the surgery. You should consider these factors seriously before deciding to undergo the procedure and talk them over with Dr Drielsma.
Are there any risks?
Bleeding: There is a 2-3% risk of post-operative bleeding which may at worst require return to the operating theatre for drainage.
Infection: If infection occurs it will become evident within one week of surgery and may delay the healing process or result in the development of scar tissue. This may require treatment with antibiotics. In the unlikely event of infection, the ultimate result of the surgery may be adversely affected.
Scarring: Scars are an unavoidable drawback to the procedure, but typically quite acceptable to most patients. The incisions are designed so that the scars will not be visible while wearing normal clothing. The scars will be more obvious in the early months after surgery. These scars will continue to fade over the ensuing 12-18 months. Some patients may have a tendency to form thick or red scars (hypertrophic or keloid scars). These scars can usually be improved by a second operation if necessary.
Swelling and bruising: As with all operations, a degree of swelling and bruising will occur usually worst in the first 48 hours post-operatively. This has usually subsided by the end of the first week.
Sensation: Sensation of the nipple may be affected. It can be altered, being "lost", "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 not common, 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.
Anaesthetic: 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.
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.