Breast Reduction

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Women with breasts that are too large in relation to the size of their bodies can endure physical as well as emotional distress. Neck and back pain, and sometimes the inability to breathe properly, are just some of the physical effects of large breasts, and the emotional and psychological effects can run a lot deeper. In these cases, breast reduction surgery can offer many benefits and improve the quality of life significantly.

Men can also suffer from issues related to enlarged breasts, and male breast reduction surgery (gynaecomastia correction) is a common course of action. Patients in Melbourne and beyond can get the advice they need to make an informed decision. Should you require advice, our specialist plastic surgeon—Dr Vlad Milovic—will gladly discuss the options available to you. View examples of our successful procedures in our breast reduction gallery.

bna-sample Before
bna-sample After
19 yo patient underwent bilateral breast reduction, vertical scar ("lollypop") technique, performed by Dr Milovic.

What is Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery refers to the restructuring of breasts for aesthetic and/or functional purposes. In this procedure, the skin and tissue of the breast are repositioned and/or removed to reduce breast size. This procedure can help resolve issues such as back or shoulder pain, chafing, or even more severe issues, such as difficulty exercising. Alternatively, it can help patients feel more confident about their bodies if they have been feeling self-conscious about their breast size. The surgery can be done in a few different ways (see below for an in-depth explanation of the surgical strategies Dr Milovic offers).  

What are the Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery has made many patients’ lives significantly easier. They often notice results such as:

In addition, breast reduction can provide a “lifting” effect. However, a breast lift is an entirely different surgery, and the two are not interchangeable (although they can be combined). 

Am I a Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?

Generally, those who want to undergo breast reduction surgery have experienced physical and emotional distress due to their breast size. In addition, their breasts have likely been the source of discomfort and health problems, or dissatisfaction with a patient’s own image. Whether patients choose to undergo surgery for aesthetic or health purposes (or both), breast reduction can help them feel more comfortable with their own body.

However, there are some limitations that can indicate you may not be a good candidate for this surgery. Patients with diabetes, heart disease, or other life-threatening conditions are usually advised to not undergo breast reduction in the interest of their own safety. The same is often true for morbidly obese patients. In addition, those who smoke are required to abstain from smoking for at least six weeks prior to surgery and during the healing process.

For those who are unable to undergo surgery, we highly recommend developing a workout schedule. While exercise cannot reduce the breast size to the same extent as breast reduction, it is certainly worth it to develop a routine, as losing weight may open up the opportunity for eventual reduction surgery. 

What Does the Breast Reduction Procedure Entail?

Dr Milovic uses one of the following minimal scar techniques to achieve a female breast reduction, for suitable patients:

What is Recovery From Breast Reduction Like?

​​After your breast reduction procedure is completed, dressings or bandages will be applied to the incisions. You will need to wear your compressive bra to minimise swelling and support your breasts as they heal. Pain medication will help reduce any discomfort that may arise. 

Discolouration and swelling of the breasts are to be expected for a few weeks after surgery. Dr Vlad recommends that you take at least two weeks off post-surgery and avoid physical activity that requires lifting or raising the arms. Gentle stretching can prove beneficial, and exercise, such as walking, can commence within seven days. Most patients return to work within ten days to two weeks, unless their occupation involves strenuous movements, in which case a period of at least three to four weeks is recommended. If you have any concerns, feel free to speak with Dr Vlad and/or his Practice Nurse.

What Do Breast Reduction Scars Look Like?

Some degree of scarring is to be expected after breast reduction surgery. Your healing process will determine the particular extent of scarring, but Dr Vlad always makes it a point to minimise the scarring as much as possible. Immediately following surgery, scars are typically reddish in colour, but they fade in time to a light pink. After one or two years, the scars become barely noticeable.

If scarring is a concern for you after surgery, Dr Vlad will provide you with a plan to expedite healing. Fortunately, several options exist, including silicone gel and laser scar treatment.

We are pleased to offer the Palomar® Artisan laser system. This minimally-invasive solution uses fractional laser technology to deliver rapid, reliable scar removal with little to no infection risk, healing time, or pain. 

What is the Cost of Breast Reduction?

Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery, but it should not be the only consideration. As a patient, you have the right to be informed about the costs you can expect before you have your surgery. This is called ‘informed financial consent’.

Costs associated with the procedure may include:

After your initial consultation with Dr Vlad, you will receive a written estimate of fees and an information pack to read before your second pre-surgery appointment. The second appointment is free of charge. Once you book your surgery, you will meet our staff, who will take your pre-operative photos and measurements for your compression bra(s).

As Dr Milovic personalises each treatment for each patient, we are unable to provide you with a price estimate or “ballpark” price range. Dr Milovic will discuss specific pricing during your consultation.

Please note that your satisfaction involves more than just a fee. When choosing a surgeon for your cosmetic surgery, remember that factors such as the surgeon’s training, qualifications, experience, and communication skills are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.

What Are the Typical Results of Breast Reduction?

When our patients heal from breast reduction, they often feel elated with their lighter, more manageable breast size. Women typically feel like their breasts are more in sync with the rest of their body – and they typically look great, as well. Most patients feel considerably more supported, and issues such as back pain and excessive rashes tend to gradually resolve. 

While the final result of breast reduction is essentially permanent, bear in mind that weight fluctuations, hormonal issues, and the natural aging process can cause some breast sag to return.

To get a sense of Dr Milovic’s exceptional results, explore our gallery of before-and-after pictures

More Information About Breast Reduction

Is it right for me?

As a highly competent plastic surgeon, Dr Vlad can easily determine whether you are a good candidate for breast reduction surgery. He will thoroughly examine your history to ensure you qualify. As such, we ask that you prepare an up-to-date list of all the medications you are taking or have taken, and any allergies you may have.

Does breast reduction surgery require anesthesia?

Breast reduction surgery is nearly always performed under general anaesthesia. Rest assured that Dr Vlad will engage the services of a qualified Anaesthetist who is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and NZ College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) to perform your sedation or general anaesthesia.

Where will the surgery take place?

Depending upon your general health and the extent of the surgery, breast reduction surgery is typically performed as a day procedure. Sometimes an overnight hospital stay is warranted. Dr Vlad will only perform your Breast Reduction surgery in safe, accredited operating facilities.

Will I be able to breastfeed after breast reduction?

It is, in fact, possible to breastfeed after breast reduction, but your surgeon must alter the treatment to preserve the possibility. If breastfeeding in the future is a priority for you, please discuss your options with Dr Vlad. Although he cannot guarantee breastfeeding success, he will maximise this possibility.

Can my nipples lose sensitivity after breast reduction surgery?

There is a possibility that your breasts will lose sensitivity. Expect a period of at least two years before sensitivity returns to normal. If this does not happen within that time, the previous level of sensitivity will most likely not return. 

Can I claim a Medicare rebate for breast reduction surgery?

Depending on a few different factors, you may be able to qualify for a rebate. We encourage you to contact us with any financial questions.

Will I need revision surgery?

In most circumstances, breast reduction surgery does not need to be repeated; however, as with all surgical procedures, revisional breast surgery may be necessary to correct minor irregularities.

Will breast reduction also provide a breast lift?

Many of our patients find that their breasts feel more “lifted” after their breast reduction. Often, this effect occurs naturally as part of the process. Keep in mind, though, that a breast lift (mastopexy) is a separate procedure. 

However, Dr Milovic often combines the two surgeries to provide patients with a significantly firmer appearance. If you are interested in this combination, you are welcome to bring it up during your consultation.

How can I reduce swelling after breast reduction?

Swelling is commonplace during the healing process. In addition to getting plenty of rest after surgery and wearing your customised bra, both of which should ease swelling, Dr Milovic recommends you sleep in an elevated position and make sure to stay hydrated. If managed correctly, the initial, excessive swelling should go down within the first week. However, the full extent of swelling can take months – even up to a year – to subside.

At our Melbourne clinic, we are happy to answer any breast reduction questions that should arise. Schedule your virtual consultation with Dr Milovic today to find out if a breast reduction is suitable for you.