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Breast reduction

Breast reduction (mastopexy) is a surgical procedure the aim of which is to reduce the size and correct the shape of the breasts. Disproportionally large breasts may cause back and neck pain, deformation of shoulders and chronic headaches; irritation and infection may also develop in skin folds. Large breasts make exercising and finding suitable clothes difficult. This surgery is a suitable method for women who wish to improve their quality of live by reducing the volume of and correcting the shape/appearance of their breasts.

Pre-operative consultation

The expectations of the patient and options for meeting them are identified during a pre-operative consultation. The discussion will cover the health status of the patient and the medications used. The need for a pre-operative breast examination (ultrasound or mammography) and a blood test is identified on a case-by-case basis for each patient.

During the examination, the patient’s chest and mammary glands are assessed. Photos of the breasts are also taken for the medical records. Finally, the breasts are measured and the operation method and the location of the wound (later scar) are determined. It is important to talk about the patient’s possible wish to become pregnant and breastfeed in future, because in such case a surgical method which preserves the milk ducts as much as possible must be selected.

Course of surgery and recovery

The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia and it usually lasts for 2–3 hours. Excess tissue is removed and the mammary gland tissue is relocated during the surgery. Drains are usually left in the operated area. The surgery is performed at Kotka Private Hospital.

Usually, the drains are removed and the patient is allowed to go home on the next morning after the surgery. Recovery is individual, depending on the patient. Post-operative pain treatment is necessary in the first days after the surgery because of swelling caused by tissue damage. Wounds are covered with wound tapes for up to 2 weeks, followed by the treatment of the scars. It is required to wear a special support bra for 6 weeks (and thereafter for another 4–6 weeks during physical exertion), but wearing push-up bras must be avoided. It is advisable to avoid heavy physical exertion in the first weeks after the surgery.

Results and risks

The final result may take up to 6 months to develop. The result is long-term.

Immediately after the surgery, swelling, discomfort, changes in the sensitivity of the nipple or subcutaneous hematomas may develop. If a hematoma develops within the breast, repeat surgery may be necessary. Inflammation is relatively rare and most problems are related to the healing of the wounds which may cause stretching of the scars. Slight asymmetry of the breasts is common. Necrosis of the tissue, including necrosis of the areola, is possible.

Operations are performed by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Mart Eller.