Breast reduction surgery in Perth is commonly performed due to significant emotional, physical, and functional problems that large breasts cause for many women.
These can include physical strain and pain, self consciousness, chronic back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, impaired breathing, skin chafing and infections, shoulder indentations from bra straps, difficulty finding properly fitting clothes, and difficulty exercising.
A breast reduction, technically known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure that aims to remove excess breast tissue, while creating a more proportionate and aesthetic breast shape.
You may be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery in Perth if:
You have overly large breasts that create difficulties or discomfort in your daily life. This may include difficulty exercising, back or neck or shoulder pain, skin irritation under your breast crease, or problems finding clothes that fit.
You are in good health, including being a non-smoker.
You have realistic expectations.
Like most procedures, breast reduction involves a series of steps, with each step modified in some way to ensure you end up with the best result.
Firstly, the anaesthetist will be involved in helping you get to sleep, as the operation is performed under general anaesthetic (with you asleep), with local anaesthetic also used to ensure you are kept comfortable after the operation.
Next, incisions are placed around the nipple and areola, and around the extra skin that needs to be removed. The shapes of these incisions vary from patient to patient depending on many factors, but generally are either circular shaped, keyhole shaped, or anchor shaped (also known as inverted T pattern).
The extra breast tissue is removed from below and around your nipple, while protecting the blood supply and nerve supply to the nipple and areola. The nipple is raised to a higher position on your chest, which is an important step as the excess breast tissue has often made the nipple and areola sag to a lower position than what is normal.
Finally the incisions are closed in several layers, with absorbable sutures meticulously sutured in to ensure your wounds heal as quickly as possible. The final scars are around the areola, vertically down from the bottom of the areola to the crease under the breast, and sometimes across breast crease also.
You will wake up with dressings on the breast, and sometimes small drain (tubes) come out of each breast, and normally these come out the following day. You will need to go into a supportive post-surgical or sports bra after surgery.
In total the surgery takes about 2 to 3 hours, depending on whether additional procedures are at the same time.
While some patients may go home the same day, some stay in hospital overnight to ensure there is only minimal fluid coming out of your drains. You are discharged with wearing a supportive post-surgical bra, which needs to be worn full time day and night for at least six weeks after surgery. You are able to shower from the first day after surgery.
Post-operatively you are seen by Dr Colbert at regular intervals to ensure your recovery is progressing well and to answer any questions you might have. Dressings and tapes are removed after your first visit, and all sutures dissolve away over 6 – 10 weeks.
When people can return to their normal daily activities varies from person to person:
Most patients find they can return to work at two weeks, but women with jobs that involve more strenuous activities may need another week or two.
Most patients can drive after one week, providing you are comfortable in performing an emergency stop safely, and the pressure from the seatbelt won’t damage the wounds.
Returning to exercise should follow a similar graduated process. Walking is encouraged from the first day, with light aerobic work possible from week two, and more strenuous work (jogging, cross-fit, gym) needing to wait four weeks.
Breast reduction in Perth is an operation that leaves scars around the breast, with the location of the scars depending on the type of breast reduction technique that was used.
Most patients will have scars around the nipple/areola, and a vertical scar from the bottom of the areola to the breast crease.
Depending on the size of your breast and the technique used, some patients may also have a scar that lies in the breast crease.
While these scars are permanent, they generally heal very well.
Breast reduction in Perth has the following risks associated with it:
Wound infection & wound breakdown: this is most likely at the ‘T’ junction, where the vertical incision meets the breast fold incision.
Bleeding or haematoma: this is a collection of blood in the wound that would result in you needing to return to the operating theatre for the bleeding to stop.
Abnormal scarring: while breast reduction scars generally heal very well, some scars may become lumpy or thick (hypertrophic or keloid).
Changes in nipple sensation: while some patients may not have a change in nipple sensation, some may become either less sensitive or sometimes more sensitive.
Complete or partial loss of your nipple: this is a rare complication, but obviously important to discuss. All efforts are made to preserve the blood supply to the nipple,
Breast asymmetry: while Dr Colbert strives to make both sides as equal as possible, there will be some differences between the two in either size or shape.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolus (PE): these are blood clots that can occur in the leg (DVT) and may travel to the lung (PE). This can be very serious and requires early detection and treatment, but thankfully they are not common in breast reduction surgery.
Breast reduction surgery is like any other surgical procedure in that it is associated with risks - therefore before deciding to have any operation you should always speak to an appropriately qualified health practitioner to discuss these potential risks.
Breast reduction costs in Perth can be confusing. To help make things clearer we have listed the the following fees that make up the final cost.
Surgical fee: Medicare may partly pay for surgical procedures that are itemised by the government, however depending on the nature of your operation there will be some out of pocket expenses. Dr Colbert will discuss these costs with you during your consultation.
Anaesthetic fee: Medicare covers most of the anaesthetic fee, except in the case of some cosmetic operations.
Hospital fee (this includes operation room fee, bed costs, surgical or medication fees, and any other hospital extras): Medicare does not cover this fee. If you have private health insurance then this may be covered by your insurance fund, but you should check with your fund if there is any out of pocket expenses. If you have no private insurance then you will have to pay this fee on discharge from the hospital.