Of all the cosmetic surgery procedures that exist, breast reduction surgery has one of the biggest impacts on the physical and emotional health of a woman. A breast reduction has the ability to improve overall body contour by achieving more harmonious proportions, thereby making you feel better about yourself.
Women seek breast reduction for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s a decision to end chronic back, neck and shoulder pain while others are weary of dealing with the unwanted attention often associated with full figures. Breast reduction surgery reshapes the breasts to make them smaller, lighter and firmer. During your consultation, Dr. Secretan will discuss your desired shape and size and perform an examination to determine the best way to achieve natural-looking results that are in better proportion to your body.
Am I a Candidate for Breast Reduction?
While breast reductions can be performed at any age, it is recommended that it be undertaken only when breast development is complete. Factors such as childbirth and breastfeeding can have a significant effect on the size and shape of the breast. Though some women decide to have a breast reduction before having children, any plans to breastfeed should be discussed with us. In assessing your candidacy for a breast reduction, we will carefully check the size and shape of your breasts, the quality of your skin and the placement of the nipples and areolas. If you are overweight, we may suggest that you stabilize your weight before having surgery.
What Results Can I Expect?
A breast reduction can offer relief from the physical discomfort caused by large breasts. The procedure will also improve their size and shape. The breasts will be brought into better proportion and balance with the rest of your body. For many women, this improves their confidence, comfort and quality of life.
About Breast Reduction Surgery in Lethbridge
If you are interested in a breast reduction, the first step is a consultation with Dr. Secretan, our plastic surgeon. During your consultation Dr. Secretan will discuss your goals and treatment options.
LPSA is a full-service plastic surgery and medical aesthetics office located in southern Alberta. Our patients travel from all over Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia to receive care from us, and we pride ourselves in offering the most effective and proven techniques available.
For a full list of our non-surgical interventions, please view our aesthetic services.
There are variations to breast reduction incisions:
The traditional method uses three incisions: one around the areola, the second vertically from the bottom edge of the areola to the crease under the breast and the third along the natural curve of the breast crease.
In many circumstances, the procedure can be done without the need for the incision in the crease under the breast. Once the incisions are made, breast tissue, fat and skin are removed, and the nipple and areola are shifted to a higher position on the breast.
Skin located above the nipple is pulled down and together to give a new shape to the breasts.
Liposuction may also be employed to contour under the arm and further define the breast shape.
Several days after surgery you will be able to move about comfortably. You will be instructed to wear a support bra for a few weeks, until the swelling and discolouration of your breasts diminishes. For several months following the surgery, incision scars will be red.
After breast reduction surgery, it is often possible to return to work within 5-7 days. Normal activities can be resumed after several weeks; however, you may continue to experience some mild discomfort during the first few months.
The consultation, which typically lasts 45 minutes, will be your time to spend with Dr. Secretan, as well as the staff. We will discuss your goals and expectations and review with you the various options that exist in performing the procedure. Ample opportunity will be provided to ensure your personal comfort level with both the procedure and with us. Once you have decided to proceed with a breast reduction, we will do our best to schedule your surgery as conveniently for you as possible.
Because the nipples and areolas remain attached to the breast tissue during surgery, sensation in this area is usually preserved. Problems after breast reduction surgery are rare, hoawever some of the possible complications include:
- Unfavorable scarring
- Changes in nipple or breast sensation, which may be temporary or permanent
- Anesthesia risks
- Bleeding (hematoma)
- Blood clots
- Poor wound healing
- Breast contour and shape irregularities
- Skin discoloration, permanent pigmentation changes, swelling and bruising
- Damage to deeper structures—such as nerves, blood vessels, muscles and lungs—can occur and may be temporary or permanent
- Breast asymmetry
- Fluid accumulation
- Excessive firmness of the breast
- Potential inability to breastfeed
- Potential loss of skin/tissue of breast where incisions meet each other
- Potential, partial or total loss of nipple and areola
- Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
- Pain, which may persist
- Allergies to tape, suture materials and glues, blood products, topical preparations or injectable agents
- Possibility of revisional surgery
During your consultation you will receive a quote for your surgery from Dr. Secretan which will include all associated costs of your surgery.
Breast reduction surgery may be covered by Alberta Health Care, if the patient meets AHC qualifications. Otherwise, payment is the responsibility of the patient.
If you are considering having multiple cosmetic procedures done, speak with Dr. Secretan about the possibility of having them all done at once.
For patients whose insurance will not cover cosmetic procedures, there are financing options available. Often patients will use a credit card or a personal line of credit, however our clinic offers financing through companies like Medicard that specialize in financing for cosmetic procedures.
Your quote will include the following fees:
These fees cover the cost of the anesthetist, whose presence is required during and immediately after your surgery, and the anesthesia administered.
Hosptial/Private Surgical Suite Fees
These fees cover the cost of where your surgery is scheduled to take place.
The Surgeon’s Fees
In addition to your actual surgery, these fees also cover all pre-operative and post-operative follow-up appointments with your surgeon. Miscellaneous costs include the compression garment and any supplies you’ll need while you recover (such as sterile bandages).
To determine the exact cost of your personal surgery, book a consultation with Dr. Secretan.
Breast reduction surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, although overnight facilities are available if you are from out-of-town or coming from a distance.
Do not eat after midnight the night prior to surgery. You may drink clear fluids only, up to 6 hours prior to your scheduled surgery time. Dr. Secretan will see you prior to your surgery. He will usually do a few measurements and make several standardized markings on your breasts while you are still sitting up. Breast reduction surgery is carried out under general anesthesia. Our highly skilled anesthesia and nursing staff are there with you at all times to provide you with a safe experience in as caring and compassionate manner as possible.
The surgery will take between 1-1 1/2 hours. At the conclusion of the surgery, a very light bandage will be applied over the incision areas. The anesthetist will have given you pain medication prior to the end of the surgery to minimize postoperative discomfort. From the operating room, you will be taken to our recovery area where you will stay until you are ready to go home. A recovery room nurse will be attending to you at all times to monitor your recovery and to ensure that you are comfortable.
Once you are ready to be discharged home, we will see you to review your postoperative instructions. You will be given a number to contact Dr. Secretan in the case of an emergency. You may also contact one of our staff should you need any advice after leaving the clinic. Because you will have been under an anesthetic, your judgement and coordination may be affected for up to 24 hours. It is important to have a responsible adult pick you up from the clinic and stay with you the first night following surgery.
Following your surgery, there are several things that you should be aware of. Most important, if there is anything at all that you are uncertain about, please make sure to contact our office at 403-381-0083 or email our help line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact Dr. Secretan if you experience any of the following:
• your breasts are red and feel warm to the touch
• you are running a fever over 101°F
• blood or other fluid keeps seeping through your incision
• you have chest pain or trouble breathing
This is normal after surgery and will subside gradually over a few weeks. You can minimize swelling by wearing a supportive sports bra, limiting your physical activity and applying ice packs to the breasts during the first few days. If one breast noticeably swells more than the other, please notify Dr. Secretan.
Most patients experience some pain and discomfort following surgery. This usually subsides after several days. You will have been given a prescription for pain medication and antibiotics which should adequately control any discomfort. Please take it as prescribed on the bottle. If you experience increasing pain not responding to medication, please notify our office.
The body temperature may rise slightly over 38°C after surgery. If fever persists after 24 hours, despite drinking liberal amounts of fluid, notify Dr. Secretan’s office.
Dr. Secretan uses dissolvable stitches only, so there are no stitches to be removed. Once the initial bandage has been removed it is fine to wash normally over the incision with soap and water. You can then apply a thin coat of Vitamin E oil or Dermatix to the incision once or twice daily.
You will need to wear a surgical bra or a non-wire bra day and night for the first month after surgery. This will help to provide you with support during the early healing period. Underwire and push-up bras can be worn after the first month.
It is fine to start gentle physical activity in the second week after surgery. This includes walking and stretching. Heavier activities such as jogging, aerobics classes, contact sports and upper body weights should be avoided for one month.