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Breast reduction surgery – explained by a plastic surgeon

Breasts that are excessively large in proportion to the rest of the body can be both physically and psychologically troubling for many women.  Brisbane plastic surgeon Dr David Sharp highlights what prospective patients can typically expect before, during and after breast reduction surgery…

[right: before and 3 months after breast reduction with Dr Sharp]

breast reduction surgery with Dr Sharp

Macromastia (extremely large breasts) can result in significant health issues such as chronic neck and back pain, frequent headaches, poor posture, poor self esteem, hygiene issues and rashes.

Breast reduction surgery help alleviate the functional concerns associated with overly large breasts while achieving a more proportionate, balanced figure.

During the consultation process for patients considering breast reduction, Dr Sharp discusses the patient’s unique objectives, motivations, concerns and overall expectations. He will discuss whether or not she is a good candidate for this type of surgery, and the various techniques required to achieve a satisfactory result. Every aspect of the procedure is explained in full detail and the patient is provided with a detailed digital information pack containing the procedure consent form, a publication issued by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons explaining the procedure, recovery and risks – as well as a written estimate of fees, inclusive of any rebates that will apply.

To ensure the patient has a complete understanding of what to expect based on her particular indications and desires, Dr Sharp usually requests a second consultation (and sometimes a third) to revisit this information and sign the consent documentation.

During the procedure, Dr Sharp utilises the most modern, least invasive breast reduction technique possible. His technique is designed specifically to decrease the volume of the breasts while offering the an aesthetic advantages of a mastopexy (breast lift). The technique used to reduce the size of your breasts will be determined by your individual measurements, breast composition, amount of reduction, your personal preferences and Dr Sharp’s advice. Excess fat, glandular tissue and skin are removed, sometimes with the assistance of liposuction as well as excision. Incision options include:

  • EA circular pattern around the areola: The incision lines that remain are visible and permanent scars, although usually well concealed beneath a swimsuit or bra.
  • EA keyhole or racquet-shaped pattern with an incision around the areola and vertically down to the breast crease
  • EAn inverted T or anchor-shaped incision pattern - this is the incision most frequently used to effectively reduce breasts and create a pleasing shape

After the incision is made, the nipple – which is left attached to its original blood and nerve supply – is then repositioned. The areola is reduced by excising skin at the perimeter if necessary. Underlying breast tissue is reduced, lifted and shaped. If required, the nipple and areola may be removed and transplanted to a higher position on the breast; this is called a ‘free nipple graft’.

The incisions are brought together to reshape the now smaller breast. Sutures are layered deep within the breast tissue to create and support the newly shaped breasts; sutures and surgical tape close and support the skin.

Due to the long term pain most patients have experienced from their breasts, most report short lived discomfort during the post operative recovery process. In most cases, patients feel well enough to resume non strenuous daily routines within two weeks of surgery, most requiring little to no medication to manage discomfort during this time (although they always go home from hospital with adequate pain relief, should they need it). Posture improvements can be seen almost immediately.

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Brisbane breast reduction surgeon Dr David Sharp

above: before and five months after breast reduction surgery with Dr Sharp

Scars are an unavoidable aspect of breast reduction surgery, but incisions are made as inconspicuously as possible, and post operative scar protocols are provided at no cost to our patients to help speed up the scar maturation process.

Breast reduction results can be both physically and mentally rewarding for patients. To find out if breast reduction surgery is suitable for you, the first step involves booking a consultation with Dr Sharp by calling our friendly patient care team on 07 3202 4744.


The above information is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice. All surgery carries benefits and risks, and we recommend visiting the specific page related to the procedure you are interested in to learn more.