5 things to know before having a breast reduction

25 August 2018

There are lots of different reasons you might want breast reduction surgery. It’s a personal choice, and one which countless women have made across the world.

Breast reduction surgery is a common, safe procedure, but there are a number of things to take into account before you decide to have the operation.

The list below is certainly non-exhaustive, but represents the most common things people should know before committing to having their breasts reduced in size.

There will be some pain (but not too much)

As noted, breast reduction surgery is safe and relatively pain-free, but there will be some soreness afterwards.

You don’t need to prepare yourself for severe pain, but it’s important to remember that our bodies all react differently to surgery. Equally, it may not be the surgery itself where you experience the most pain - that could come when the stitches are removed.

The soreness will last about two days, but you’ll be glad to hear that it won’t be unbearable.

You’ll need a fair amount of recovery time

Each patient is different, which is why there isn’t really a standard recovery period for breast reduction. Your surgeon should give you an indication of how long you will need off work, and how long the post-surgery bra will need to be worn for.

It’s best to account for around four to six weeks recovery time with around half of that spent away from work (depending on the type of job you have).

Exercise is best avoided during that time, and if you can seek some help with general chores such as housework and shopping, that will ensure you recover as swiftly as possible.

Nipple sensation might go

There are some risks associated with breast reduction surgery, chief of which for many people is the possibility of loosing sensation in your nipples.

Often, this is only temporary, but in some rare cases it can be permanent. It’s best to wait a good few months before assuming that’s the case, and because this can have an impact on your sex life, it might be worth consulting your doctor if you have any significant concerns.

You can’t always ‘choose’ a cup size

It’s understandable if you’d expect to be able to nominate your desired cup size with a breast reduction, but that isn’t really the case.

The most important thing following the surgery is that your breasts are balanced and symmetrical, and that means you can’t guarantee the exact cup size you’ll end up with. It’ll be close to what you want, but you won’t necessarily see them reduce in size alphabetically!

Your ability to breastfeed might be impacted

Depending on the extent of the surgery, a breast reduction might impact your ability to breastfeed.

When your nipples and areola are repositioned, some breast tissue will be divided, and that can result in less milk ducts and, in turn, lower milk production.

This doesn’t always happen, but if you’re planning on starting a family and want to breastfeed, it might be worth considering having the surgery afterwards, or consulting with your doctor if you’re concerned.

Final thought

If you are at all unsure about having breast reduction surgery but would like to talk the options through with someone, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for a confidential, impartial consultation.

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