The procedure is performed under general anaesthesia and lasts from 1 and a half to 3 hours; Hospitalisation after a breast reduction operation is 24 hours. After the treatment the breast is raised, firmer, smaller and more beautiful. To achieve this breast reshaping, the surgeon needs to cut the skin that causes scarring. The scars size is proportional to the breast volume and degree of breast sag:
- For mild hypertrophy (volume of each breast between 400 and 600 cubic centimetres), a periareolar scar around the areola, where the lighter skin meets the darker skin, may be sufficient
- For moderate hypertrophy (volume of each breast between 600 and 1000 cubic centimetres), an additional vertical scar is necessary, from the areola to the fold under the breast;
- For major hypertrophy (volume greater than 1000 cubic centimetres for each breast) and gigantomastia (greater than 1500 cm3 volume), an inverted T scar or navy anchor is mandatory. It combines a periareolar scar, a vertical scar and a more or less long horizontal scar located in the fold under the breast.
A procedure called “round-block” can treat some moderate hypertrophy and only produces a periareolar scar. Breast shape and appearance of the scar, however, can be less attractive than with a conventional technique. This method very often requires touch-ups several months after the initial procedure. This technique is preferred for patients who wish to limit at any cost the length of the scars, despite any drawbacks as mentioned.
The vertical “lollipop” technique, very often used by Dr. Laveaux, avoids or at least limits horizontal scarring in cases where it would have been otherwise necessary. A small touch-up under local anesthesia is sometimes advised a few months after the procedure, nevertheless this technique makes it possible to prevent a large horizontal scar.
In the vast majority of cases, the nipple-areola complex is raised higher by being “kept alive” by what is called a pedicle, a sort of “temporary bridge” for blood vessel supply to the areola. In the case of major hypertrophy, this method may fail or be deemed impossible from the outset. It is then necessary to cut off the nipple and areola and reposition them higher by grafting (areola free graft or Thorek technique). Dissatisfaction with the Thorek technique is uncommon.