Durban — A plastic surgeon at Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital said that breast reduction was not cosmetic surgery because a person with big breasts can be disabled if they are unable to do certain things.
Dr Ntokozo Maseko said people should visit their nearest health facilities and clinics to be examined for breast reduction and be sent to relevant government hospitals to have it done.
Maseko said the common reasons for breast reductions were breasts that were too heavy and caused back, shoulder and neck pain. He said some women also complained about rashes beneath their breasts.
“Also, some complain about finding a bra size that fits,” said Maseko.
He said if a woman experienced these issues, she could go to her nearest clinic and explain her challenges. She would be examined and transferred to relevant doctors. He added that before they start with the surgery, they look into a number of things.
“We look at their size and check if there are no cysts or wounds. We then do an ultrasound or monogram to look inside of them to make sure there are no cancer cells,” he said.
Maseko said once that is done, they look at the weight of the person who wants the reduction. If the weight is high, the person is referred to a dietitian for assistance, as being overweight increases the risks of the operation.
“We also look at their health, diseases they may have and if they are under control and being treated. If not, we look into getting them treated,” explained Maseko.
He added that there was no age restriction but they alerted their patients that they might have difficulty with breast-feeding. Of the patients, 30% might have this problem. However, they are warned about it, he said.
Maseko said it was not known if the breast-feeding problem was caused by the surgery or whether the patient was eventually going to experience the difficulty regardless.
Moreover, he said a patient gets admitted for three days in hospital, though it can be longer. He said once a patient is discharged, they should be home for a full two weeks and not work, and it would take a month for them to fully recover.
“However, it differs because people are not the same and it also depends on what the doctor who has performed your surgery tells you.”
He said Inkosi Albert Luthuli works together with St Aidan’s Regional Hospital. He added that the surgery can be performed at Grey’s Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.
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