Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery, otherwise known as mammoplasty is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of large breasts. This procedure reduces the volume of the breast, balancing your body’s proportion and reducing the health problems associated with overly large breasts.

What does breast reduction surgery involve?

Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthetic meaning that that you will spend approximately two nights in hospital.

Every surgeon will have a preferred technique, however, the basics of breast reduction involve removing excess breast tissue, reshaping your breasts and repositioning your nipples which will enhance their ‘pert’ appearance.

During the consultation, your surgeon will discuss the process and technique involved. They will also be able to show you where the incisions will be made.

Benefits of breast reduction

Breast reduction surgery not only improves aesthetic proportion but also relieves a variety of symptoms ranging from backache to skin irritation. Supporting the weight of your breasts alone can lead to symptoms like chronic back and shoulder pain and poor posture. Breast reduction surgery is one of the most rewarding cosmetic procedures which has the potential to seriously improve quality of life not only for aesthetic reasons but also for a multitude of health reasons.

Recovery after surgery

Recovery after breast reduction can vary but as a general rule, full recovery can take anywhere between two to six weeks. We recommend that you resume normal day-to-day activities after about two weeks. It is very important to rest during this time and limit any movement that requires lifting your elbows above your shoulders.

This article was written by The McIndoe Centre, in collaboration with Paul Banwell BSc MB BS FRCS (Eng) FRCS (Plast) Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. All information, advice and procedures were updated on 17th September 2019.

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Breast reduction FAQ's

Is there any scarring after breast reduction?

In the immediate days and weeks that follow surgery, you will experience reddened and raised scar tissue. Around six months post-operatively, scarring will be drastically reduced, or in some cases completely faded. Regular massaging and moisturising will help to reduce the appearance of scarring, your consultant will advise you on how best to do this.

What are the possible complications of breast reduction surgery?

As with all surgical procedures, there are some risks to be aware of, however, this is a very well-practiced procedure by our consultants and we do everything to minimise the chance of any complications. Scarring is a natural part of the healing process, but sometimes scars can become quite thick. This is either down to the skill of your surgeon or your body’s reaction to the wound healing.

You could be left with some excess skin (commonly known as ‘dog ears’) around the scars which can be easily removed with surgery. If you have gone through periods of weight gain and weight loss this increases the chance of excess skin forming. Your consultant will go through all the possible complications with you during your consultation.

Can I combine breast reduction surgery with other procedures?

Compared to having separate surgeries, combining treatments has the advantage of saving time and having only one recovery period. Having said this the recovery period could become longer and you could be in a little more discomfort than having separate surgeries. If you are thinking about combining treatments, you can definitely discuss this with your surgeon during your initial consultation. It is popular to combine breast reduction surgery with breast uplift and asymmetry correction.

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