There are many reasons why women, and men, consider breast reduction. You might be experiencing the effort and pain from carrying large, pendulous breasts, which can be significantly debilitating. Or want to improve the shape and position of your breasts after breastfeeding. For men, enlarged breast tissue is called gynaecomastia, and can be reduced with surgery. Whatever your reason, a breast reduction can give you a whole new lease on life.

Breast reduction patients are often the happiest in any plastic surgical practice. Breast Reduction is a life changing surgery for many people.

Dr Alastair Taylor FRACS

Tell me about...

  • What is involved in breast reduction surgery?
  • What is involved in reducing large breasts?
  • Should I wait for my breast reduction until after I have children?
  • Can breast reduction help reshape postpartum breasts?
  • What about removing breast implants with breast lift?
  • Can you tell me more about male breast reduction?

What is involved in breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction is a surgical procedure that reduces the size of overly large breasts. Besides large breasts causing physical pain and discomfort, or other health issues, they can also affect self-image and cause emotional issues for some people. The procedure to reduce or reshape the breast involves the removal of excess tissue and elevation of the nipples, resulting in a pleasing, well proportioned contour. 

In some women, a breast lift, or mastopexy, may be all that is required. For other cases, reduction mammoplasty may be required, for which there are several different techniques currently practised. There will be scarring, but Dr Taylor aims to locate these scars in as inconspicuous areas as possible. Scar management is a part of the support we offer to our patients.

For men who experience gynaecomastia, which is excessive enlargement of the male breast, Dr Taylor will discuss suitable surgical options with you.

The breast reduction takes up to 4 hours under general anaesthetic and requires an overnight stay. You will require 2 weeks off work and up to 6 weeks before returning to normal activity. You will also wear a compression garment after your operation, to minimize swelling and to support your operation site as it heals.

What is involved in reducing large breasts?

It’s no surprise when your neck and back aches, there are deep grooves in your shoulders, sweaty rashes underneath them, your posture is ruined and you can’t run or exercise. Larger breasted women may also have difficulty finding clothes that fit well. Breast reduction surgery can alleviate these problems as well as improving the appearance of the breasts.

The procedure to reduce or reshape the breast involves the removal of excessive tissue and elevation of the nipples, resulting in a pleasing, well proportioned contour. Generally, breasts are reduced to half their size, more or less than this could effect the blood supply that is needed to keep the nipples viable and heal wounds. The shape of the reduced breast can be tailored to be more projecting or flatter depending on body shape, age and desire.

The operation usually incorporates liposuction to the side of the chest to reduce the lateral fatty bulge and improve future bra fitment.

 

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Should I wait for my breast reduction until after I have children?

This decision is totally up to you! But if you are suffering from large, pendulous breast now – why wait? Being able to breastfeed is not guaranteed anyway, and you may put off your surgery for years for nothing!

Large breasts can also affect younger women, to the point that they become withdrawn and self-conscience and find it difficult to feel comfortable in relationships. Rather than waiting years until after they have had children, a breast reduction can change their lives and give them self confidence.

Dr Taylor has performed this procedure countless times, on all kinds of patients – those that have waited, those that haven’t. He believes that it makes no difference. In some cases, women who had children and previously couldn’t breastfeed before their surgery were able to successfully feed babies post surgery and likewise women who had the surgery weren’t able to.

Whilst acknowledging the importance of breastfeeding, it is also important to consider the mother who may have ‘G’, ‘H’ or even ‘HH’ sized breasts. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can create even more pressure and issues for larger breasted women.

Can breast reduction help reshape postpartum breasts?

Following breastfeeding, the breast can ‘hollow out’ or fall. While women may still retain a reasonable amount of breast tissue, the distribution of this tissue can be comparatively unflattering. A breast lift or mastopexy removes excess skin, remodelling the breast to create a firmer and more ‘perky’ breast shape.

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What about removing breast implants with breast lift?

Women who have enjoyed breast implants in their early years are often happy to have them removed in their later years. It may be their implants have hardened or ruptured or perhaps their breasts have enlarged through menopause. Whatever the reason, the removal of the implants often leads to the need to reshape the breasts.

Removing the implants creates an excess of skin which will need to be excised and the remaining breast material to be reshaped into a more youthful looking breast.

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Can you tell me more about male breast reduction?

Gynaecomastia is an excessive enlargement of the male breast and may be present in one breast (unilaterally) or in both breasts (bilaterally). Some men produce natural breast tissue which can be a difficult condition to hide, leading to feelings of self-consciousness and embarrassment. Surgery for gynaecomastia involves a surgical incision around the nipple and removal of this tissue.

 

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Essential Information

Before Surgery

Referral

Obtain a Referral from your GP

Call the Clinic

Book an Appointment with Dr Taylor

Consultation

Meet with Dr Taylor and Patient Co-ordinator

Booking Surgery

Arrange Surgery and Presurgery Appointments

Pre-surgery Appointment

Meet with Dr Taylor's Nurses regarding your hospital admission

Admission to Hospital

Surgery performed under General Anaesthetic Overnight Stay

After Surgery

Discharge from Hospital

Pressure Garment worn 24 hours a day

2 Week Suture Removal

Garment worn only during the day Return to work, Resume Driving, Walking

6 Weeks

Appointment with Dr Taylor, Remove Pressure Garment, Resume Normal Activities

6 Months

Final Post-op Appointment with Dr Taylor

Breast Reduction Surgery is literally a weight being lifted from your shoulders, taking the stress off the neck and shoulders can improve comfort, confidence, self-esteem and posture.

Dr Alastair Taylor

Want to Know More?

Your breast reduction surgery will be performed at our private hospital, Sole’vita Surgery, a licensed medical hospital accredited under the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards. Sole’ vita Surgery is part of The CAPS Clinic, with all services conveniently based in the one location in Deakin, Canberra.

Our facilities include modern surgical theatres, sterilisation services and recovery areas. Our overnight rooms feature flexible privacy glass-panelling and a personal ensuite.

All of the Sole’ vita team are fully qualified and registered medical personnel, with no more than 5 patients staying at once, our patient-to-nursing-care ratio is the best in Australia.

Dr Alastair Taylor (MBBS, FRACS) is a highly qualified, leading plastic surgeon with over 20 years experience in plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, including breast, body, and facial rejuvenation surgery. Dr Taylor qualified as a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in 1998. He holds a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS). Learn more about Dr Taylor.

Dr Taylor leads a dedicated team of qualified health care professionals, including anaesthetic staff and nurses, who work in the Sole’vita Surgery private hospital. His team have built a reputation for quality and are committed to achieving results for our clients whilst providing personalised care, with your safety, privacy and comfort at the forefront of all work.

In most cases, this breast reduction surgery is deemed a Medicare rebatable procedure due to the level of discomfit, back and shoulder pain heavier breasts can cause. Dr Taylor can only allocate a rebatable item number to the surgery if you meet the criteria. If this is the case you will be able to claim some of the surgery back from Medicare and your health fund as long as the health fund coverage includes plastic and reconstructive surgery.

It should be noted however this procedure has now been highlighted by the health funds as a potential ‘cosmetic’ procedure and requires Dr Taylor to provide clinical evidence to the health funds to determine your eligibility.

Fees include Dr Taylor Surgeons fee, Anaesthetist fee, Theatre and the Overnight Stay in Hospital costs, starting from $13,000.

  • If eligible, a Medicare Rebate of approximately $1,300 may apply.
  • If eligible, a health fund rebate of approximately $2000 – $2500 may apply.

To receive a formal quote you are required to have a consultation with Dr Taylor. The quote for the cost of your surgery is valid for 3 months. Some fees may not be included in this quote, including medications, pathology, physiotherapy and costs arising from any complications. Further information will be provided to you during your consultation.

Dr Taylor’s fee includes:

  • All pre and post operative care for up to 6 months
  • Access to our 24 hours support line
  • Pre-surgery appointment with Dr Taylor’s nurse
  • Pre-surgery kit (information, vitamins, herbal products, surgical bag)
  • Post Surgical Kit (information, products to aid recovery)
  • Scar Management Program
  • One Surgical Garment

ANY SURGICAL OR INVASIVE PROCEDURE CARRIES RISKS. BEFORE PROCEEDING, YOU SHOULD SEEK A SECOND OPINION FROM AN APPROPRIATELY QUALIFIED HEALTH PRACTITIONER (EG. YOUR GP).

Dr Taylor will discuss the general and specific risks during your consultation, where you can ask questions and discuss any concerns you may have. Is it important that you have enough information to weigh up the benefits, risks and limitations of your surgery. You will also be provided with more information to take home and read, and discuss with your family or loved ones.

Risks specifically associated with breast reduction surgery may include:

  • Scars may remain red and raised for several months to one year. Ideally, the reduction wounds heal as thin white seams. Scar management is a part of the support we offer to our patients.
  • Seroma, or fluid accumulation around the implant after surgery. Seroma is a collection of serum, the thin straw coloured fluid that the body exudes when healing wounds. Preventing a seroma may involve drains and compression garments.
  • Skin discoloration, such as permanent pigmentation changes
  • Fat necrosis, skin necrosis or potential partial or total loss of nipple and areola
  • Changes in breast and nipple sensation
  • Temporary or permanent areas of numbness
  • Asymmetry (unevenness) of the breasts
  • Damage to deeper structures – such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles, and lungs – can occur and may be temporary or permanent
  • Need for further surgery to treat complications

Some general risks and complications of surgery may include:

  • Risks associated with general anaesthesia, including nausea. Anti-nausea medication will be administered during the operation, and as required during your recovery. Your anaesthetist will discuss specific risks related to anaesthesia with you further.
  • Pain, bruising and swelling around the incisions and operated site(s). Pain relief will be administered and steps taken to reduce bruising and swelling, including how you can manage this yourself.
  • Heavy bleeding from an operated site. In the unlikely event that blood loss during surgery has been large, a transfusion may be needed. Steps are taken during your procedure to limit bleeding. You may also be asked to reduce or stop certain medications leading up to your surgery.
  • Infection that may require treatment with antibiotics or further surgery in some cases. Antibiotics are administered during the operation to prevent this as much as possible, and wound care instructions provided before your discharge.
  • Allergic reaction to sutures, dressings, antiseptic solutions, or medications. Please notify Dr Taylor and the nursing staff of any known allergies that you may have.
  • The formation of a large blood clot, or haematoma, an accumulation of blood around the surgical site that may require drainage. It is rare that a clot can move to the lungs and become life threatening.
  • Keloids and hypertrophic scars that are raised, red and thickened scars that may form over the healed incisions. These may be itchy, annoying and unsightly but are not a threat to health.
  • Slow healing (often related to smoking or diabetes), separation of wound edges or areas of skin that do not heal and may require a skin graft.
  • Numbness around operated sites. While numbness typically subsides slowly over several months, some numbness may be permanent.

To help you prepare for your surgery and enhance your recovery, we offer you a pre-surgery program to start 4 to 6 weeks prior to your surgery. This includes taking a multivitamin to aid recovery and get you back on your feet faster.  We also recommend an effective herbal medication to reduce the bruising and swelling associated with your surgery. You will also need to stop certain medications leading up to your surgery and we recommend ceasing smoking six weeks prior.

Planning for your surgery and your recovery in advance is vital. Understanding what you can and cannot do will ensure you are not put in a position where you put yourself or the success of your surgery at risk.  All this will depend on your personal situation.  Dr Taylor insists you refrain from any major or minor physical duties and take two weeks off work. You will be provided with a discreet medical certificate to accommodate any time required off work.

On discharge from Sole’vita Surgery we recommend:

  • You have someone drive you home.
  • You have someone with you for the first day at home.
  • Do not drive a car for five days postoperatively.
  • Ensure you can rest for two weeks, getting as much sleep as possible.
  • Do not undertake activities including physical exercise, contact sport or sexual activities for six weeks post surgery.
  • Do not leave Canberra prior to staples or sutures being removed.
  • Do not fly internationally during the six week postoperative period.

 

After your operation, you will have dressings in place and may have drains, which are removed on the day of discharge. You will also be placed in a very tight fitting compression garment. This garment is worn 24 hours a day (excluding showering) for the first two weeks and then during the day for another 4 weeks.

You will stay overnight in our Sole’vita Surgery private hospital. Dr Taylor will check on your recovery the next day, and our nursing staff will assist with your discharge, including wound care and management of your dressings, prescriptions for medications, and follow up appointments.

Bruising and swelling from the surgery is to be expected, and there will be discomfort. Taking regular oral pain medication can assist you to be more comfortable, and steps are taken to reduce bruising and swelling.

You are encouraged to take 2 weeks off work and plan not to be back to normal routine and activity for at least 6 weeks.

Two weeks after your surgery, you will come to Sole’vita Surgery to have your sutures removed and your wounds checked by one of our nurses. You will have follow up appointments with Dr Taylor at both the 6 week and 6 month stage of your journey.

Book Your Personal Consultation with Dr Taylor

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