Breast Reduction

The science bit

What Is Breast Reduction?

Breast reduction is a procedure whereby excess tissue and skin are removed and the breasts reshaped to a more modest size. The procedure can help women who are unhappy with the shape, weight or droop of their breasts by making them smaller and more lifted.

Breast reduction is suitable for women with larger breasts who:

  • Are suffering neck, back or shoulder discomfort or grooves in the shoulders from bra straps.
  • Feel self-conscious about the size of their breasts.
  • Have one breast which is noticeably larger than the other.
  • Suffer from excessive sweating.
  • Rashes and skin infections under the breasts.
  • Play sports but are hindered by their breasts getting in the way.
Before
After

What Can I Expect from Breast Reduction?

The operation takes around three hours and is performed under a general anaesthetic and involves an overnight stay in hospital.

The procedure involves repositioning the nipple and areola to create a natural result. The main scar is a ‘T’ shape, with a circular scar around the areola and a vertical scar from the nipple to underneath the breast. Sometimes a curved scar remains in the fold under the breast.

What Are the Side Effects?

As this involves removing breast tissue and creating a better shape there are scars that need time to heal.  There is always bruising and swelling and it is imperative that you wear the special support garment during the recovery period.  Most women’s breasts are slightly asymmetrical anyway so while we try to achieve symmetry there can sometimes be a slight difference in the size.  On some occasions we need to insert small drains to take away any surplus fluid but these are normally removed before you return home.  Painkillers and antibiotics would always be given to help with the discomfort and prevent infection.

What is the Recovery Time?

Breast reduction always involves a longer recovery period and we recommend at least two weeks and also that you need to not do any heavy lifting or exercise apart from gentle walking.  You will have a support garment to wear which will help you to stay mobile and you will regularly attend the clinic at 2-week intervals for the first 6 weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Lasting are the Effects?
This is a permanent procedure and usually does not ever need to be repeated.
What are the Alternatives?
There are really no alternatives except wearing supportive minimiser bras.
How Does it Make Me Feel?
This is an incredibly satisfying procedure and many patients express they wish they had it done sooner as it improves the posture and pain in their back. It also gives immense confidence and they say it reduces unwanted attention to the breast area.
Disclaimer: Results and patient experiences may vary. These are dependent on a number of factors including age, medical history, lifestyle and more.
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