Breast Reduction


  • Breast reduction refers to the removal of breast tissue to reduce the weight of a large breast, at the same time lifting the breast and improving the breast shape.
  • Mostly performed with a wise pattern (anchor incision) although it can sometimes be performed with limited incision patterns such as the lollipop incision or circum-areolar.
  • This procedure may be performed as a day procedure but usually requires overnight observation in the case of larger reductions.


  • Please stop any over-the-counter herbs, vitamins, or drugs 2 weeks prior to your scheduled surgery.
  • Disprin, NSAIDS and blood thinners should be stopped 7 days prior to surgery unless specified or instructed differently by Dr F. Spruyt. This is done to prevent excessive bleeding.
  • NO SMOKING is allowed within 4 weeks of your surgery up to and including 4 weeks after surgery.
  • You should be fasted for 8 hours prior to your scheduled surgery.
  • If possible, please bath or shower with Hibiscrub soap 2 hours prior to admission. This assists in reducing the chance of infection post operatively.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing, that will be easy to change into after your surgery.
  • Please be at the hospital 2 hours prior to your surgery to allow for admission and preparation.
  • You will be counselled on the risks, complications, and healing process prior to your surgery. If you have any questions, please write them down and bring them with you so that they may be discussed prior to surgery.
  • Your skin will be marked before you are taken into theatre.


  • The procedure takes approximately 3 hours depending on the size of the reduction.
  • The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia, but additional local anaesthesia and pain blocks will be administered in theatre to reduce post-operative pain.
  • Drains are commonly placed for this procedure unless it is a small reduction.

After surgery is complete, wounds are dressed and a surgical bra is fitted.


  • You will be monitored in the ward after surgery. If you are eating/drinking, your vitals are normal and your pain is controlled you will be discharged, unless booked for an overnight stay.
  • The nursing staff will show you how to empty and measure the wound drainage. Do not leave without having them assist you with this procedure.
  • Do not open the dressings after surgery. Dressings will be opened when the drains are removed at your follow-up appointment.
  • If you did not receive a follow-up appointment, please phone the rooms.
  • No driving is allowed for 2 weeks after your surgery.
  • Walking as a form of exercise may be resumed after 2 weeks.
  • Normal activities (overhead activities/lifting of heavy objects etc.), general exercise and running may be resumed at 6 weeks.
  • Do not wear tight restrictive clothing.
  • Only wear the support bra/sports bra for 6 weeks post surgery. Bras with underwire may be worn after 6 weeks.
  • Wound healing takes time. The breast will continue to undergo changes in shape, sensation and firmness with results noted after 12 months and onwards.
  • Avoid using tissue oils on the scars, only a cream like Epimax or a silicone cream may be applied once healed.
  • Avoid exposing the scars to sunbeds or direct sunlight i.e. tanning for the 1st year after surgery as this will darken the scars. A sunscreen (SPF 50) may be used as soon as wounds are healed should you plan on exposing the area to direct sunlight.


  • Bleeding and hematoma (blood collection)
  • Seroma (fluid collection)
  • Infection
  • Necrosis of skin and or nipple-areola complex, wound breakdown
  • Change in sensation
  • Abnormal scarring (hypertrophic or keloid scarring)
  • Asymmetry (usually minor and normal as breasts are never 100% symmetrical to begin with)


  • Bleeding or sudden painful enlargement of a breast

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