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Breast reduction

Very large and heavy breasts aren’t necessarily an asset. As well as feeling psychological distress, you may experience neck, back and shoulder pain or discomfort and suffer from poor posture. Your bra straps may chafe and the skin beneath your breasts may become sore. Or you may simply feel that your breasts are out of proportion with the rest of your body.

Breast reduction very effectively addresses these problems. While adding to your general comfort and boosting self esteem, a breast reduction can create a more uplifted and firmer appearance and help restore proportion to your body.

Simple, safe and quick

Performed under general anaesthetic, breast reduction involves removing fat, excess skin and breast tissue, as well as lifting the nipple, to improve the size and shape of your breasts and create a natural appearance.

The length of the operation will depend upon the size of your bust, but normally takes between two and three hours. At the Royal Free, our surgeons are among the most experienced breast surgeons in the world, with hundreds, often thousands of successful procedures to their credit.

A few operations may be performed as day case procedures, but most breast reductions involve an overnight stay. You will need to wear a surgical support bra for a fortnight or two. Stitches are removed a week or 10 days after surgery, coinciding with your first post-operative check-up with your surgeon.

Long term

Before you decide on a breast reduction, think carefully about what you expect it to achieve, and discuss your expectations with your surgeon, particularly with regard to the size of your breasts after the operation. It can be difficult to guarantee precise post operative cup size. The aim will be to reduce your breasts to a size and shape that is proportionate to the rest of your body. Breasts are seldom exactly the same and after surgery they may not be identical in size and shape. Minor asymmetries are natural and to be expected.

The amount of post-operative scarring will depend on your individual case, but will be explained to you. Very rarely, breast reduction alters nipple sensation, either temporarily or permanently and, if you are young, you need to be aware that breast feeding may not be possible after breast reduction surgery.

If your breasts contain a considerable amount of fat, liposuction alone may be used to reduce their size, potentially resulting in less scarring and faster recovery. However, the excess skin retained may cause your breasts to droop. Breast liposuction can sometimes be performed as a day case procedure.