Breast Reduction

Dr Nancy Van Laeken MD, FRCSC, Plastic Surgeon discusses breast reduction.

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Dr Nancy Van Laeken MD, FRCSC, Plastic Surgeon discusses breast reduction.
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Featuring Dr. Nancy Van Laeken, MD, FRCSC
,Breast Reduction
Duration: 2 minutes, 6 seconds

Breast reduction is probably one of the most rewarding operations that a patient will have done. It involves reducing the size of the breast, but importantly also lifting them so that they have a younger appearance.

Patients who present for breast reductions usually have long-term complaints of neck pain, back pain and shoulder pain. They have a rash that develops underneath their breast and the breasts will prevent them from exercising comfortably. So it is a very sought after operation. The breast reduction procedure takes about two hours. 

It is done under general anesthetic and patients go home on the same day of the operation. They usually have a compression bandage on for about a week and at that time, the bandage is removed and then they are able to shower, so for the first week limited activity and no showering. Once the bandages are removed, they are put into a comfortable sports bra and they can start exercising and resuming normal activities. The sutures are removed after two weeks.

There is significant scarring after breast reduction but usually the patients feel that the trade off having elevated breasts, smaller breasts and the freedom it gives them to exercise comfortably is well worth it.

Patients are usually quite surprised at how little postoperative pain they have. They describe some discomfort but they are usually so much more comfortable not having the extra weight that they even feel better one or two days post operatively.

Very rarely the operation needs to be repeated but that is often only true if the patient has a pregnancy, meaning the breasts again become large and very rarely patients, as they go through menopause, their breasts will become a little bit larger so they will have a breast reduction again at that time.  Usually it is done once and the patients as noted are significantly relieved of their discomfort.

Patients seeking breast reduction surgery are often concerned that it will make it difficult for them to have mammograms in the future. This is not the case.  The mammogram is often easier to perform and easier to read if there is less breast volume.
   
If patients are interested in pursuing the operation, they should go to their family physician and have a referral to a surgeon that does the operation.

Presenter: Dr. Nancy Van Laeken, Plastic Surgeon, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Plastic Surgeon

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.