Breast reduction surgery
While some people choose to have cosmetic surgery to increase the size of their breasts (breast augmentation), surgery to reduce breast size is also a valuable operation and can help to significantly improve the quality of life of people who have it.
Larger breasts can cause a number of problems, including back and neck pain, rashes under the breasts and skin irritation. People can often find their larger breasts stop them from taking part in certain sports as movements are just too uncomfortable for them. It can also be a struggle to find clothing that fits nicely.
Breast reduction surgery (also known as ‘reduction mammoplasty’) is an operation to reduce the size of large and often droopy or ptotic breasts.
Your reasons for considering breast reduction surgery will be personal to you. I know that there is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ reason for wanting surgery, and I believe that any treatment options should be tailored to what is best for you.
Some people who see me have struggled with larger breasts for years and have now decided that the time is right to finally do something to change this. Others may have found their breasts became larger following pregnancy and never returned to their previous size again. Whatever your experience, help is available at Circle.
Any surgery should only be carried out once you have a clear understanding of the benefits and any potential risks. To help with this, I will meet with you at Circle for at least two pre-operative consultations. These consultations are your opportunity to talk about your reasons for wanting breast reduction surgery. I’ll talk you through every step of the process so that you know exactly what to expect before, during and after surgery.
There are various ways breast reduction surgery can be done. The approach I use will be determined by a number of factors, including the size and shape of your breasts. During the operation, I will make surgical incisions in the breast and remove excess skin and breast tissue as needed. Once I have reduced the breast size sufficiently, I will reshape the breast and elevate the position of your nipples to ensure that your breasts are aesthetically pleasing.
The operation is done under general anaesthetic, meaning you will be asleep. It usually takes around four hours and you will need to stay at Circle for a couple of nights afterwards so that we can monitor recovery and help ensure you are as comfortable as possible.
Breast reduction surgery is big operation and you should expect your total recovery to take between 4-6 weeks. You will be a bit sore for the first week or two and it is sensible to avoid heavy lifting, regular sporting activities or exercise. Depending on your job, you may need to have 3-4 weeks off work. We recommend that you wear a support bra for at least 6 weeks after surgery (we can let you know about which type to use).
Following your surgery, I will see you at Circle at regular intervals to check you are healing well and are happy with the results of the surgery. Of course, if there are every any problems, or you have any concerns at any stage, we are only ever a phone call away.
It’s important to note that breast reduction tends to cause quite a lot of swelling in the first three months, so the size of your breasts will change gradually over this period of time. Once the swelling goes down, the full effect of the surgery can be seen.
The Royal College of Surgeons has a cosmetic accreditation process. To gain this advanced accreditation, a surgeon has to submit a body of supporting evidence and references for their work and go on a professional skills course to demonstrate that they have the ability, the skills and the values that are in keeping with what the Royal College of surgeons think are important for patients seeking cosmetic surgery.
I’m delighted to say that I am one of the very few specialist breast cosmetic surgeons who have this accreditation (you can find my details on the website for the Royal College of Surgeons by clicking here and searching for me). My NHS work also provides ongoing clinical oversight and governance.
The decision to have breast reduction is yours alone. I am very happy to talk with you about the options available to you and to give you my advice and recommendations, but there will never be any pressure put on you to have surgery if it is not absolutely right for you.