How is a breast reduction or lift performed?

Breast Reduction / Breast Lift

8 Sep 2022

How is a breast reduction or lift performed?

Are you considering breast reduction or lift surgery, but not quite sure what happens during the procedure? In this blog, Dr Moncrieff explains how he performs a breast reduction and lift and answers all of his most frequently asked questions about what to expect from surgery.

What technique does Dr Moncrieff use for breast reduction/lift surgery?

Breast reduction surgery has come a long way over time. I specialise in modern anchor incision breast reductions with an internal bra technique, which is the use of internal sutures to provide strength to the new breast shape, rather than just relying on external stitches.

This anchor incision pattern I follow allows for volume reduction, reshaping of the breast, nipple/areola reduction and a breast lift all in the one operation. This is achieved with only a short vertical scar up the breast, incision around the areola and another hidden under the breast fold. A breast lift is performed in an identical way, but with less focus on reducing the volume of breast tissue. More information about the difference between a breast reduction and breast lift can be found here.

A narrated 3D animation that shows what happens during a breast reduction or breast lift surgery is available here.

A.  Anchor technique incision pattern is mapped out on the patient

B.  The areola is reshaped and repositioned, excess breast tissue is removed and skin is tightened

C.  Anchor incisions are closed and surgical drains are inserted

D.  Scars will continue to fade over the next 12-18 months


Will I need to stay in hospital overnight for breast reduction/lift surgery?
For most breast reduction and lift cases, surgery will be performed as a day stay; meaning you may go home with surgical drains in place. For very large breast reductions, a 1-night hospital stay may be recommended.

Are my nipples removed during the operation?

No. The nipple is not 'removed' in the vast majority of cases, as the risk of graft failure is too high. Instead, the nipple remains attached to the blood supply, the areola is reshaped and moved upwards into a more desirable position.

Will I lose nipple sensitivity?

Many patients report that their breasts and nipples feel hypersensitive OR less sensitive following their breast reduction or lift procedure. It can take 6-12 months for nipple sensitivity to return to normal following your procedure.

Can I choose my new breast size?

I will work closely with you during your consultation to discuss your ideal breast size and ensure I can achieve your desired result. Breast reduction does have limitations, for example, very large breasts can usually not be made as small as an A or B cup due to blood supply issues during surgery. The other main factor in determining your new breast size is your proportions and balancing your overall figure from an aesthetic point of view. More information about how small a breast reduction can take you is  here.

Does Dr Moncrieff use a donut, lollipop, crescent or other breast reduction/lift technique?

No. I find that a modern approach to the anchor incision technique provides the most effective long-term lifting and shaping results in breast reduction or lift surgery.

Does Dr Moncrieff use an internal bra technique for breast reduction?

Yes! I use strong internal sutures deep inside the breast tissue to ensure longevity in the โ€˜liftโ€™ portion of the surgery. More information about my internal bra technique is here.

Will I require drains for breast reduction/lift surgery?

In most cases, yes. Following your procedure, a surgical drain may be required on either side of the chest to prevent a build-up of fluid the body naturally produces in the early stages of healing. More about why I use surgical drains for breast reductions/lifts can be found here.

What will my post-surgical garments look like and how often do I need to wear them?

Following breast reduction or breast lift surgery, patients will receive post-surgical bra garment which clasps at the front of the chest for easy dressing. It is important that you wear your post-surgical garment as much as possible during the first 6 weeks post-operatively. You may have a small break from your surgical garment for no more than 2 hours per day. Many patients find it easier to purchase a second post-op bra garment, so they have one to wash and one to wear. Your garments are safe to wash/dry on a gentle setting.

How long is the total recovery period?

Most patients can return to โ€˜life as normalโ€™ after about 6 weeks. Final surgical results can be seen at about six-months post operatively, however the scars will continue to fade over 12-18 months.

Ready to begin your journey?

To begin your breast reduction journey, just give one of our friendly team a call on 4920 7700 during clinic hours or enquire now using the contact below and we will be in touch!

More blogs you may be interested in:

Dr Nicholas Moncrieff

Blog Author:

Dr Nicholas Moncrieff, Specialist Plastic Surgeon

About Dr Moncrieff

Dr Moncrieff focuses exclusively on breast reductions, breast lifts, breast augmentation, tummy tucks and body lifts.

He is one of only a handful of Plastic Surgeons across Australia with this sole breast and body focus.

Dr Moncrieff has performed thousands of surgical procedures over more than two decades in medicine. Over 20,000 of these procedures have been in Newcastle.

More information about Dr Moncrieff is available here.

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