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Breast Reduction

When your breasts are disproportionately large compared to the rest of your body, they can quite literally become a pain in the neck. Massively large breasts add significant weight to the front of the body that can put a strain on the back and neck. In addition to muscle pain, you might notice skin irritation underneath the breasts due to fretting skin or grooves in the shoulders caused by bra straps that are pulled too taut.

Breast reduction surgery is an area of expertise for Dr Edmund Ek. After performing dozens of these procedures and authoring numerous articles in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery, Dr Ek has seen the situations that necessitate this procedure as well as the positive results it can offer.

Dr Ek serves as a consultant plastic surgeon for major hospitals throughout Melbourne, sharing his extensive knowledge of both surgical techniques and patient care to produce a positive experience for his patients. If you are struggling with the pain and discomfort that can be caused by the size or weight of large breasts, Dr Ek can offer breast reduction surgery techniques to create the proportion and comfort you desire.

Is Breast Reduction the Right Choice for You?

Unlike other types of breast enhancement surgery, breast reduction may be prompted by physical symptoms as well as aesthetic preferences. Some of these concerns might include:

  • Neck, back or shoulder pain
  • Rashes or skin infections in the fold beneath the breast
  • Grooves in the skin on the shoulders where bra straps tend to be placed
  • Difficulty performing day-to-day activities including work and exercise

When breast reduction is undertaken for functional reasons, the procedure may be eligible for coverage through Medicare or a private health fund. Cosmetic breast reduction is an elective procedure, and therefore, the full cost of the procedure is the patient’s responsibility.

Your Breast Reduction Consultation

The decision to move forward with breast reduction surgery is one that requires time and plenty of thought. The process can seem overwhelming as you contemplate your many options and the investment of your time and resources. Dr Ek understands that surgery can be a daunting prospect, even when it could mean an improved quality of life. To help you through the decision-making process, he will consult with you at length, explaining the pros and cons of surgery and ensuring you have all the information necessary to know whether breast reduction is a viable option for you.

Dr Ek has tools that can make your choices a bit easier to make. He may show you images of some of his previous patients before and after breast reduction surgery to help you visualise the changes this procedure may offer. His office also features the Vectra 3D device which provides a simulation that allows you to “see” what your breasts might look like after your reduction surgery. These tools are designed to make you comfortable with your decision and create realistic expectations for the outcome of your surgery.

Understanding the Breast Reduction Procedure

Dr Ek utilises different breast reduction techniques according to the individual needs of the patient and the objectives of the operation. All the methods aim to reposition and reshape the breasts to make them more proportional to the body while reducing their overall volume.

A reduction of the breast is achieved by removing fat, glandular tissue and skin from the breasts. If necessary, the pigmented area surrounding the nipple, known as the areola, will be reduced and the nipple repositioned during the surgery as well.

Options in breast reduction surgery might include:

Incision Formation

Dr Ek may use a vertical incision, which involves a circular incision encircling the areola and a single vertical incision down the centre bottom of the breast, from the nipple to the crease. If more significant reduction is required, he may opt for the wise (anchor) pattern, which adds a horizontal incision across the breast crease, in addition to the vertical incision.

Pedicle Technique

Dr Ek uses superior, inferior and superior-medial pedicle approaches to his breast reductions. This ability to vary the process allows him to tailor the procedure to each patient based on skin quality, the amount of tissue to be removed and the desired result of the patient.

Dr Ek can use any combination of these various techniques. You will discuss the different options at your initial consultation, so you know what you can expect on the day of your surgery.

Your operation may take two to three hours to complete and will be performed using general anaesthesia. Patients may return home the day of their surgery or spend a night in the hospital before heading back to recover.

Making an Informed Decision

Undergoing plastic surgery is a significant decision that should be made after careful consideration and thorough understanding of all aspects involved, including the potential risks, recovery process and expected outcomes. We’re here to support you every step of the way, providing all the information you need to make informed choices about your care.


We strongly believe that natural body variation is a part of human individuality and should be respected. Plastic surgery is a personal choice and should never be seen as a necessity to ‘fix’ what’s naturally occurring. The decision to undergo a procedure should not be driven by societal pressures or ideals, but by your personal preferences and realistic expectations.


Each surgical procedure carries a unique set of inherent risks. These can include, but are not limited to, infection, adverse reactions to anaesthesia, haematoma, unfavourable scarring, blood clots, nerve damage and dissatisfaction with the aesthetic result. It is important to note that this is not an exhaustive list, and other complications may arise. Some complications can be life-threatening or require additional surgery.

Dr Ek will discuss the risks of your chosen procedure in detail during your consultation.


Recovery times for plastic surgery vary widely based on the specific procedure and the individual patient. The recovery process can be demanding; it requires time, support and often changes in lifestyle, such as time off work or temporary restrictions on activity.

To aid recovery, Dr Ek and his team will provide specific post-operative instructions, including the potential need for recovery services like massages or wearing compression garments. Adhering to these instructions and attending all scheduled follow-up appointments are integral to your healing process.


Results from any surgical procedure are influenced by numerous factors, including your age, overall health, skin quality, lifestyle habits and genetic factors. As such, outcomes can vary greatly between individuals, and it is critical to have a realistic understanding of what can be achieved.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr Ek, who will be happy to discuss these considerations in detail.

What Results or Outcomes May Be Achieved

You are likely to be swollen and sore after your breast reduction surgery. Most patients are ready to resume their activities within one to two weeks. Initial results are likely to be felt right away but will continue to improve as swelling fully subside over the following months.

Scarring is a frequent concern of our patients that Dr Ek is happy to address. Although it is impossible with this procedure to eliminate scars, Dr Ek will make every effort to minimise their visibility. Some techniques result in scars within the areola, which are usually less conspicuous. The vertical method also leads to a scar down the lower portion of the breast, while the wise incision will add an incision within the breast crease. This area is usually an unobtrusive place for an incision since it is hidden in the natural folds of the skin.

Breast reduction is considered a permanent aesthetic correction. However, it is possible the breasts could begin to sag over time as age and gravity take their toll, or that significant weight changes could alter the results. Additional procedures may be an option to maintain your preferred breast size, if desired.

If excessively large, pendulous breasts are causing you discomfort, help is available. Schedule your consultation with Dr Ek today by phoning our office on (03) 8419 0900 today.