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Breast Reduction

What is Breast Reduction?

Breast reduction surgery reduces the weight and size of your breasts. It also elevates and reshapes the breast, to provide an optimal cosmetic result. The surgery will often help alleviate back and neck pain, increase your ability to exercise and improve self-confidence.

All breast reduction surgery is performed in hospital and requires a general anaesthetic that is managed by a specialist anaesthetist. The surgery takes approximately 2 to 3 hours and requires an overnight hospital admission. Your surgeon will carry out markings and measurements on your breasts immediately before the operation. The type of breast reduction and the specific placement of the scars will have been discussed in detail at your consultation. Surgery involves removal of breast tissue and tightening the skin, producing elevation of the nipple and reshaping of the remaining breast volume. Sometimes liposuction is performed at the same time. Drain tubes may be used during your surgery, they are removed prior to your discharge the next morning.

  • Prior to your breast reduction please ensure you have:
  • Had a recent screening breast mammogram and ultrasound if required
  • Stopped smoking
  • Stopped any blood thinning medications and herbal/alternative medicines
  • Had measurements for a post-operative supportive bra

Post-Operative Care and Recovery

  • You will need someone to drive you home from hospital and to provide some support and assistance at home for the first few days.
  • Following a general anaesthetic patients often feel ‘washed out’ and tired. Ensure that you are able to get plenty of rest and have a healthy balanced diet to aid a rapid recovery.
  • Try to sleep slightly elevated on at least 2 pillows.
  • You are likely to feel temporary pain, bruising, swelling and tightness in your breasts and at the surgical incision site.
  • Do not smoke, this will delay healing and increase the risk of complications.
  • You should take pain medication as prescribed to you on discharge. Please do not drink alcohol when taking these medications.
  • Your nipple sensation will often change after surgery. The feeling in your nipples can decrease or become hypersensitive for a time, this usually returns to normal as your body recovers.
  • A supportive surgical bra is arranged preoperatively and should be worn at all times for the first 6 to 8 weeks.

Wound Care

  • Keep all tapes and dressings intact until your first review appointment.
  • Most of the sutures will be deep to the skin surface and dissolvable, so you will not need to have these removed.
  • You may shower 24 hours after removal of drains and/or discharge from hospital. Avoid soaking in the bath until at least after your first postoperative appointment.
  • Surgical scars will remain pink and firm for a number of months before they soften and fade. Your scars will take 6 to 12 months before they fully mature and settle.


  • You are encouraged to start gentle walking as soon as possible.
  • Your mobility and activity level will increase gradually over the first 1 to 2 weeks post surgery. Most patients will be able to manage their regular day-to-day activities after this time.
  • You are able to drive a car when you feel comfortable to do so. Usually around 2 weeks.
  • No heavy lifting or exercise, including going to the gym or running, for 6 weeks post surgery.

Follow-up and Review

  • At discharge you will have your first follow-up appointment time and site confirmed. This will typically be at 1 week.
  • Please ensure that you have the contact details of Niche Plastic Surgery handy, and the after hours contact of your surgeon. You can call at any time if you have any questions or concerns.

We would always want to know if:

  • You have increased swelling or bruising of your breasts and worsening pain.
  • You have increasing redness around the surgical wound that is warm and tender to touch. You have any side effects to the medications such as a skin rash, nausea, headaches or vomiting.
  • You feel unwell with a fever and increased temperature. You have any bleeding or discharge from your surgical wound.