Breast Reduction Surgery


What is it?

Some women develop breast hyperplasia (enlarged breast) during their pubertal years while others retain their breast hypertrophy after pregnancy and breastfeeding. These enlarged breasts can cause a lot of symptoms affecting the quality of life like breast pain, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, rash, and infection under the breast from constant friction and difficulty finding bra and clothes. It also causes emotional distress to women other than these physical discomforts.

Breast reduction surgery is a procedure to remove these excess breast tissue, fat, and skin to alleviate your discomfort and to provide you with a breast shape and size that is more proportionate to your body frame. The position and size of the nipple and areola will be addressed at the same setting.

Who is suitable for Breast Reduction?

Any woman who is suffering from the above symptoms should be assessed. Based on the volume of the breast tissue removed, this procedure may be considered medical in Singapore and you will be able to claim it under Medisave or your personal or company Insurance plans.

Consultation and planning?

An in-depth discussion will be held at the initial consultation, to understand about your general health, symptoms, desired breast size after the surgery as well as a thorough examination and evaluation. During this visit, a 3D pictures using Quantificare 3D camera will be taken to aid with the evaluation and discussion.

It would be helpful to bring along any previous mammogram or ultrasound reports.

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How is the surgery done?

This is done under general anaesthesia in a day surgery setting. Some women may also prefer to be admitted, to rest and recover after the surgery. The procedure will take about 3 hours depending on the breast size. The surgery will involve repositioning your areolar and nipples, removing excess breast tissues to reduce the breast size and repositioning the remaining breast tissues into an ideal shape and position. There will be either a circular-shaped scar, lollipop-shaped or an anchor-shaped scar from the surgery.  Depending on the size and volume of the breast enlargement, the approach may be modified to reduce the remaining scars.

Liposuction may be performed at the same setting to address any accessory breasts or adipose tissue over the side of your chest.


What is the Recovery like?

Following surgery, you will be placed into a supportive bra. There may also be post-operative drains inserted for several days. You should be able to return home on the same day if you wish, or to be admitted for the recovery period.

There will be some discomfort and swelling on the breasts following the surgery. You will be provided with the necessary medications to return home with to manage the discomfort and to aid with the recovery. The dressings will need to be changed after several days and a follow-up appointment will be provided.

The average recovery time is between 2-3 weeks. You should take it easy for the first week, move slowly and take care of yourself by eating healthy food and drink plenty of water for a smoother and quicker recovery following the surgery. It would be ideal to take at least two weeks off work following the surgery. Do not try to exercise for the first four weeks during the recovery period.

About a month after the Breast Reduction surgery, you can start shopping for your new bras. We will also help you manage the scar to aid with the recovery, scars from surgery can take almost a year to gradually fade and improve.

What should I prepare for the Surgery?

It would be ideal for someone to take you home after the surgery and have someone to stay with you at least for the first night.  If there are post-operative drains, we will teach you how to handle them before you are discharged. Do prepare plenty of comfortable front-button dresses or shirts to wear after the surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions about Breast Reduction Surgery

The cost of breast lift or breast reduction varies based on the degree of ptosis and the volume of the breast you present with. The surgical cost can range between $6000 to $18000 in Singapore.

Breast lift surgery is mostly for woman whose areola/nipple have started to droop, particularly if the level is lower than the inframammary fold. The volume of breast does not have to be enlarged. Often, there is actually deflation of volume in the upper portions of the breast, with most of the breast glandular volume in the lower portions.

With breast lift surgery, the breast shape and volume can be rejuvenated by repositioning the drooped volume upwards together with the areolar and nipples.  This is often also called auto-augmentation (augmentation of the breast using your own breast volume).

Breast reduction surgery on the other hand is when more significant volume of breast gland is reduced to relieve physical symptoms like back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, rashes and infection under the breast.  It often also comes with difficulties with finding clothes and bra and often having to wear 2 or 3 supportive sports bra to support the massive weights of the breasts.

Yes, you can. However, there are certain criteria that needs to be fulfilled. During breast reduction, each breast needs to have at least 250cc of breast volume removed to qualify.  Do let a certified plastic surgeon assess the estimated volume and your potential suitability.

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Discomfort after breast reduction surgery is well managed with oral analgesia. We will provide you with adequate medications to control your pain. Wearing supportive post-operative compression garment will help reduce swelling and discomfort during this recovery period, further reducing the pain.

Breast reduction surgery is for any women who suffers from the physical symptoms of living with heavy breasts, like shoulder pain, back pain, neck pain, rashes under the breast et cetera. There is no absolute volume a woman needs to have before undergoing breast reduction surgery. However, if the breast volume removed does not exceed 250cc per breast, the cost of the surgery will not be covered under Medisave or Insurance Shield Plans in Singapore.

Yes, you can exercise after breast reduction surgery. However, do wait for at least 6 weeks to allow all the wounds to heal and stabilize before re-starting on exercises. Do start with light exercises first before increasing the intensity,

Unfortunately, scars are permanent. We will teach you how to care for your scars to minimize the appearance. Lasers can also be started to further improve the quality of the scars. However, do consider the fact that your physical symptoms will be relieved with breast reduction surgery.

Common complications include post-operative bruising and swelling, these generally resolve over the next 3-4 weeks. There is a chance of wound healing issues, particularly if your breast hypertrophy is in the larger range that requires an anchor-shaped scar.  In a small proportion of patients, there may be some sensory changes to your breast and nipple/areolar region which will improve with time.

There is also a risk of asymmetry of both breasts, however, our breasts are not mirror images of each other to begin with.  In about 25% of women who has breast reduction surgery, their ability to breastfeed maybe affected.  As this surgery is performed under general anaesthesia, there is also a small risk related to anaesthesia.

Yes, there is a possibility. For women who have breast surgery done as a result of juvenile macromastia while in their teens or adolescent ages, during future periods where there are hormonal changes like pregnancy and breast feeding, the breast can enlarge in size again. 

Similarly, women who get pregnancy and start breast feeding after an initial breast reduction surgery can also experience breast enlargement.  It is advised for any women considering breast reduction surgery to have the procedure done after completion of her family.