Leah Gavin | Breast Reduction

Patient Story: Leah Gavin

Planning your wedding day can be full of exciting decisions. But what happens when the insecurity and discomfort of having large breasts means finding your dream dress feels impossible? 

Leah Gavin, 29, from Maidstone, knew the feeling only too well, until she embarked on a breast reduction journey at The McIndoe Centre.  

She explains: “I had always been uncomfortable about the size of my breasts and they made me feel quite insecure.  

“I’m an optometrist, so I have to get quite close to patients and I always felt my breasts were in the way. It affected how it made me feel and it was a challenge to find clothes that fit.  

“Every time I went to the gym I always had to wear two sports bras for support. I would come back home with cuts on my shoulders from where the straps would dig in.  

“I’m getting married in July and I had been for dress fittings, but was always unhappy with what I tried on. I felt like my breasts made me look bigger than I was and it looked like I didn’t have a waist.” 

Leah attended a consultation with a plastic surgeon she had researched but felt unhappy upon leaving the appointment.  

With the help of her fiancée, Leah researched breast reduction surgery consultants and discovered Mr Oliver Harley, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at The McIndoe Centre.  

After reading a number of reviews and patient stories, she felt confident to book a consultation with Mr Harley. 

Breast Reduction Surgery at The McIndoe Centre

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

Leah says: “My partner was able to come to the appointment with me, which was great. Mr Harley was very good at managing my expectations and made sure I understood how small he would want to go as he emphasised the importance of choosing a size that suits my frame.  

“It had been a while since I’d had a bra fitting. Mr Harley advised me that my right breast was a G-H cup and was one cup size bigger than the left. 

“I felt at ease and very comfortable throughout the consultation. We agreed to go to a DD-cup and to create more symmetry in the breasts.  

“On the day of the surgery I didn’t feel nervous. I felt very calm and totally trusted the whole team. Everything was brilliant. I had a 7am surgery and stayed one night, before my partner drove me home the next day.” 

“I am over the moon with my breast reduction. Since the operation, I have found the dress of my dreams and feel amazing in it. I am not going to wear a bra on my wedding day, which is something I would never have dreamed of.”

Leah Gavin

Leah returned to The McIndoe Centre approximately one week later for the dressings to be changed, before being able to change them at home throughout her recovery. She was off work for four weeks and had to wear a post operative bra and surgical tape for eight weeks. 

Mr Harley says: "Like many patients in her situation, Leah found that the size and weight of her breasts made life difficult and uncomfortable in many ways.     

“The operation takes approximately three hours with some careful design, usually an overnight stay in hospital and then a couple of quiet weeks at home.  

“It aims to reduce the size of the breasts whilst still creating a natural shape and often also getting a better match as the breasts can be very different sizes and shapes."   

Before & after - front view


Before & after - side view


"It has been lovely to meet Leah and it is a privilege to be able to relieve these problems for her by doing breast reduction surgery. I am delighted we have been able to achieve this for Leah and I wish her every happiness for her wedding and beyond."

Mr Oliver Harley

Oliver Harley is a fully qualified, GMC-registered specialist Plastic Surgeon. He is also a member of The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), The UK Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (UKAAPS-CAPSCO) and The British Society for Surgery of the Hand (BSSH). Mr Harley specialises both in cosmetic surgery and hand surgery.

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