Breast Reduction Surgery
(Reduction Mammoplasty)


Why Undergo Breast Reduction Surgery?


Also known as reduction mammaplasty, this common procedure aims to reshape and reduce the size (volume) of your breasts to achieve a breast size in better proportion with your body. In doing so, your breasts will assume a slightly higher, and more projected, “fuller” look on your chest. 

Measuring breast reduction surgery

Why & Timing

Why Would You Consider A Breast Reduction Procedure?

Overly large breasts can cause significant issues for a lot of women, and are some of the reasons they would consider breast reduction surgery. These include:

When Is The Right Time To Consider Breast Reduction Surgery?

Your breasts can undergo significant changes during hormonal fluctuations during pubertal development, pregnancy, child birth, breastfeeding and extensive weight loss or gain. Hence, it is important to give consideration to all of these events when timing the procedure in your life. It is crucial that you are at a reasonable body weight when having this surgery.

For some patients, getting fit enough to prepare for surgery can be difficult whilst having overly heavy breasts – yet being able to achieve a healthy body weight means less post-operative complications, a more predictable outcome and smoother recovery.

The Procedure / Technique

Your procedure will take approximately 3-4 hours to perform, and an overnight stay is required to ensure you are comfortable prior to returning home.

Many different techniques exist between different plastic surgeons. A vertical scar (with a scar around the nipple and following on vertically down towards the breast crease) is our preferred approach. This technique creates a pleasing shape, and avoids the long horizontal portion of scar in the breast crease (beneath the breast), which is often unsightly, and may be uncomfortable during the healing process.

What to Expect

Pre & Post Operative Care and Complications.

Both the procedure and recovery time will depend on the condition being treated, the area being operated on and the complexity of the surgery being performed. Your recovery time will also depend on your job/home situation. You will be adequately prepared during your consultation by your plastic surgeon, so that you’re clear on what’s involved and what your recovery is likely to be like. Completely tailored to your  surgery and needs.

We will address your complete medical history during your initial consultation to ensure the best possible treatment plan. Blood thinners may require cessation pre-operatively - we will advise you according to your individual needs. It is also important for you to fully disclose to us all other regular medications (eg. diabetic medications, blood pressure medications and asthmatic inhalers) as they may interfere with your surgical journey and/or recovery.

You will require at least a mammogram or ultrasound of your breasts to ensure all is well prior to proceeding. Smoking also greatly increases surgical/anaesthetic risks and complicates recovery - cessation of smoking at least six weeks prior and after surgery is highly recommended, although it is best to quit altogether.

You will receive a post-operative information sheet during your stay detailing your recovery period and how to look after your dressing tapes and wounds at home. You should be able to drive in approximately one week, and aim to return to work (non-manual duties) in 1-2 weeks.

It is not advisable to return to heavy sporting and manual duties until the 6 week mark to ensure swelling and wounds settle. A post-operative no-underwire bra is mandatory for extra support for 6 weeks after this operation. This will be provided to you by our practice during your inpatient stay.

Every operation comes with potential risks and side effects. It is extremely important that during your consultation, you are well informed about the different options, rationale behind them and what is involved with the procedure in question. We highly value your personal wishes and expectations - but at the same time we need to ensure that they are achievable and realistic. These details will be thoroughly addressed during your consultation along with any possible complications that might occur, the treatment prospects if they do occur, which all may have subsequent effects on your work, life and finance especially if further revision surgery is required.

General complications however, follow those as with any surgical or invasive procedure that carries risk, and include:

  • Bleeding and haematoma (blood clot which may require drainage/evacuation)
  • Infection (which may require antibiotics, extra hospital stay or further surgery)
  • General Anaesthetic risks (your anaesthetist will discuss this with you thoroughly)
  • Abnormal scarring (hypertrophic, stretched or keloid scar)

Can you claim a breast reduction procedure with Medicare or a Health Fund?

Medicare will help provide a small subsidy for breast reduction, if you satisfy their criteria for surgery.  Claiming is done through the use of a Medicare item number "45523", from either Medicare directly (in uninsured patients), or through your health fund (if privately insured).  For all privately insured patients, it is important for you to check with your current health fund that you are covered for care in a private hospital for that particular item number (45523), which would result in your hospital costs being covered also.
To satisfy the Medicare criteria for this item number (45523), surgery includes a Bilateral Reduction Mammaplasty (breast reduction), with repositioning of your nipples.  You must demonstrate:
  • Pre-existing macromastia (large breasts) which result in neck or shoulder pain
  • Where the procedure is not associated with insertion of any breast implants/prosthesis

Your Next Step

Start Your Breast Reduction Journey

Book a consultation to discuss the outcome you’re hoping for or to get a second opinion from a qualified plastic surgeon.