Patient care comes first, we listen to your individual needs to help you make the safest choices, as well as to achieve the best possible result.

Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. Kahlil Gibran

Breast Reduction

Why do patients request a breast reduction?
Patients normally want a breast reduction because their breasts are too large. This causes both psychological and physical problems. The psychological problems range form embarrassment to untoward attention to the breasts. Physical problems relate to neck pain, back pain, bra straps cutting in and general discomfort with the size of the breasts

Are there any reasons not to have a breast reduction?
Breast reduction is a significant operation that divides the connections between the nipple and breast tissue. This means that patients who have had reductions are unlikely to be able to breast feed. So patients who wish to breast feed usually wait for surgery until after their family is complete.

Smoking and certain medications are contraindications to surgery as are some long term illnesses. The options regarding these can be discussed with the surgeon.

What does the operation involve?
The operation involves removing both skin and breast tissue. The result of the operation is to leave a scar around the nipple and, depending on the method used, a vertical scar running down the breast or an inverted T shaped scar. The type of scar will be discussed with you by the surgeon. The operation decreases the size of the breast and also lifts the breast upwards to give a more youthful appearance.

Before the operation a series of measurements are made and markings made on the breast as guidelines for the surgeon performing the operation.

What you need to know

How long does the operation take?
The operation is performed under a general anaesthetic and takes from 2.5 to 4 hours to perform depending on the technique used and the size of the reduction.

How long am I in hospital?
The patient is normally in hospital 1 night but occasionally if drains are used after the operation a 2 night stay can be required.

What happens when I go home?
The patient is discharged from hospital following breast reduction surgery wearing a tight fitting support bra. This remains in place for two weeks and is only removed for bathing. After two weeks patient can wear the bra just during the day and are able to wear normal bras after around 4 weeks. Patients are seen 2 weeks after the operation and at 3 months.

How long do I need of work?
The period of time that patients take off work depends on the individual but patients are back to completely normal activities after 4-6 weeks.

Will the operation need redoing in the future?
It is unlikely that the operation will require repeating but asymmetry can arise after the operation which may need correcting. Drooping of the lower part of the breast can occur which may need correction as can an insufficient reduction.

What are the risks and complications of the operation?

  • The commonest complication of surgery is bleeding and haematoma formation.
  • Scars normally heal very well but can become thickened and lumpy
  • Wounds can breakdown and small areas of skin can be lost
  • The blood supply to the nipple can be altered and lead to the nipple dying (very rare)
  • Fat necrosis where the blood supply to the fat is changed can also occur.
  • Pain post operatively and changes in nipple sensation.
  • Breast reduction surgery can stop breast feeding, and does not cause breast cancer
  • Asymmetry.