Breast reduction is the 3rd commonest cosmetic surgical procedure requested in the UK and one of the commonest that Mr Turton performs. It is a very successful operation with very high levels of satisfaction when carried out by a specialist. See the feedback that patients of Mr Turton’s leave on the I Want Great Care web-site: https://www.iwantgreatcare.org/doctors/mr-philip-turton
Why do some people develop excessive breast tissue (macromastia)?
• There are almost certainly a combination of hormonal and genetic influences that are to blame
• We commonly find that large breasts develop in late teenage years. But sometimes it is the hormonal influences of pregnancy or even the menopause that seems to trigger the change. There is also an association between excessive weight gain and the development of large breasts, and rather annoyingly the breasts do not return to their original shape after losing the weight again. The areola is the name for the dark skin around the nipples; this is often broader than it should be in women with large breasts and this can be reduced during the surgery too to improve the cosmetic results. We often see a combination of breast droop with large breasts as the skin becomes stretched and the supporting ligaments inside the breast tissue fail. Breast reduction surgery therefore needs to address the droop, to return the breast to a nicer shape as well as a better size.
What are the commonest reasons to request breast reduction surgery?
For the majority of women that Mr Turton sees, they simply say they dislike the appearance. Large breasts get in the way, they cause unwanted attention, they affect the choice of clothes and swimwear, and often cause poor posture. They often inhibit patients from exercising as much which can be because of feeling self-conscious in a gym, or because it is uncomfortable. Large breasts can also make you look over-weight.
For some patients, the primary reason is to relieve the symptoms that sometimes accompany having excessively large breasts. This includes, neck and shoulder pain, skin irritation in the under breast area (sometimes fungal infections occur), poor posture with rounded shoulders and a forward stoop. Sometimes the breasts ache because of the large size.
Problems with clothes that need to be excessively big or are mismatched with bottoms, and problems with getting bras to fit properly are also well described.
Social issues of men staring at large breasted women are a sad reflection of society. There can sometimes also be bullying-type unwanted comments made or teasing that has a devastating effect on confidence in younger women.
Understanding Breast Reduction
What does the operation involve?
• The surgery takes 2-4 hrs. Very large breasts do take longer to reduce, as their is more tissue to remove, and more stitching to be done! The surgery is carried out under a normal general anaesthetic.
Where will the scars be?
• Around the areola, vertically from the lower edge of the areola to lower crease, and horizontally following the crease under the breast
• There are 4-main surgical steps:
- Removal of the underlying breast glandular and fatty tissue
- Removal of the excess skin and reshaping
- Reduction in size of the areola
- Moving the nipple and areola to a higher position
Is it Safe?
• Breast reduction involves specialised techniques and although it takes longer than a breast augmentation it is a perfectly safe operation in the hands of a specialist. Mr Tutron has carried out hundreds of breast reductions and is a very experienced specialist surgeon with an excellent reputation.
• Most patients heal well without complications, but with any surgery, there are some rare but relatively minor risks and even rarer but more serious ones:
• Eg. Rare: <5%: delays in healing can occur at the “T-Junction”
• Eg. Very rare: <1 in 500: the nipple blood supply can be compromised causing tissue loss, or necrosis of the nipple
• You will need to have a detailed consultation and assessment with your specialist to assess your suitability for the operation
• Please bring along a list of all medication and tablets that you take
• If you are a smoker it is essential to stop completely until healed
• Smoking reduces the blood supply to the healing tissue and can greatly increase the risk of complications.
What is the cost?
• A guideline price is between £6000 and £7000
How long will I be in the hospital?
• Usually for 1 night after surgery
Is it painful?
• Most patients use Paracetamol and Ibuprofen for four or five days only
• It is common to feel tender for a few weeks. Occasional momentary/fleeting sharp pains are common during recovery. A slight dull ache can occur in a small number of people that lasts longer.
How much breast tissue is removed?
• This is highly variable, but commonly between 300gms and 800gms
• Massive reductions can involve 1-2 Kg/side
What size breasts will I have afterwards?
• Most patients want to be between a C and D cup and this can usually be achieved, but we have no way of measuring cup size whilst operating and so a cup size cannot be guaranteed. Mr Turton therefore talks to you about your desires and will usually aim to get you to the size you want to be. 3D imaging taking at your consultation can be done to give you an indication of what you might achieve and will help you plan the surgery with Mr Turton.
Will the scars fade?
• Although they look dramatic at 3-weeks after surgery they will soften and fade. Generally this process takes many months. Some people get thicker scars that are more noticeable and this can be permanent, but the tendency for this is usually in the lower scar under the bust at the outer and inner edge and less uncommon around the areola.
• There are special techniques that reduce excessive scarring
• The visibility of a scar dramatically reduces over 12-months