Breast reduction in London
Breast reduction surgery in London with a free Mammoplasty consultation at Centre for Surgery in Marylebone. Women have breast reductions for a number of reasons as having large breasts can be a cause of a number of medical problems such as poor posture, lower back and shoulder pain. Heavy breasts can increase the discomfort from bra straps pressing into the skin. Large and heavy breasts also make sporting activities more challenging and going to the gym becomes less enjoyable. There can also be psychological harm from unwanted attention and from unpleasant remarks being made which affect self-confidence. Fortunately, there is a robust solution in the form of breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction also involves a simultaneous breast lift to improve the shape of the breasts.
View our breast reduction patient education video
Breast reduction surgery is one of the most commonly performed cosmetic procedures in the UK, with roughly 15% of all cosmetic surgery being a breast reduction procedure. Some of our surgeons are fully trained in the use of computer 3D imaging to help you visualise how you could look after your breast reduction procedure. The images generated should be seen as an approximate guide of the potential appearance and not a guarantee of the final result. Enquire with one of our coordinators to determine if 3D computer imaging is available for your procedure.
Our London breast reduction surgery services are a way to ensure you appear more in proportion and have smaller, lighter breasts.
The procedure can be considered life-changing in nature. There are many benefits to a breast reduction, including:
- An increase in self-esteem
- Reduction in lower back or shoulder pain
- Improvement of posture
What is included in my treatment package?
- As many preoperative consultations with your surgeon as you like to make sure the breast reduction procedure is right for you
- Treatment at a specialist day surgery facility recently rated ‘Good’ by the CQC
- Enhanced same-day discharge with the added benefits of recovering in your own home
- 24/7 clinical support from your surgeon for the first 48 hours and our expert postoperative support team
- Your very own dedicated patient coordinator
- In-depth preoperative medical assessment to make sure you are fully fit for your procedure
- Exceptionally high standards of postoperative care described as ‘outstanding’ by the CQC with regular telephone and face to face checks
RealSelf Top Doctors
RealSelf top doctor status is awarded to less than 10% of the RealSelf doctor community. This status is earned by achieving consistently high patient satisfaction (from RealSelf reviews), getting excellent feedback on expert answers to patient questions, and investing significant time in Q&A and other doctor activities. RealSelf top doctors are rated among the very best surgeons in the United Kingdom and the USA.
|Breast reduction||Fast facts|
|Procedure time ⏳||2-3 hours|
|Anaesthetic type 💉||General anaesthetic|
|Length of stay 🛏||Day case|
|Up and mobile 🚶🏻♂️||Same day|
|Washing 🛁||1 week|
|Travel ✈️||4 weeks|
|Sexual activity ❤️||4 weeks|
|Driving 🚗||4 weeks|
|Back to work 📅||1 week|
|Postoperative garment 👕||6 weeks|
|Sleeping 😴||On back 2 weeks|
|Exercise 🏃🏽♀️||6 weeks|
|Full recovery 🕺🏻||6 weeks|
|Final results 😃||3 months|
Why have breast reduction?
The size of female breasts is related to a number of factors including genetics, body mass index and the effects of hormones. Female breast size can also be influenced by pregnancy and childbirth which gives rise to an undesired increase in breast size and also a potential increase in breast sagging.
Women with particularly large breasts can experience a number of problems that can impact their quality of life. These include an increase in self-consciousness and difficulty in finding good fitting sports bras which can result in pain and discomfort when undertaking physical exercise. In more severe cases, women can experience significant problems affecting the spine including low back pain and neck pain from poor posture which is caused by overly large breasts. The skin can be become irritated from rubbing and this is most commonly found in the lower breast fold. Women may fear social situations from the potential embarrassment and unwanted attention caused by very large breasts.
The decision to have a surgical breast reduction often comes from when women give birth. Pregnancy and breastfeeding are strongly associated with changes to the breast which lead to an unsightly change in breast shape often with breast sagging. Many women will have had a breast reduction before having children and may be concerned about the potential impact of the breast reduction procedure on the ability to breastfeed. Your surgeon is highly skilled in surgical techniques to preserve important milk duct channels as much as possible during surgery to minimise any impact upon future breastfeeding.
Why choose Centre for Surgery in London for your breast reduction procedure?
- Significant experience in all types of reduction mammoplasty surgery – anchor lift, lollipop lift and breast reduction with liposuction
- We own and manage our own surgical facilities. Properly performed reduction mammoplasty surgery takes time and should not be rushed. Our surgeons perform a maximum of two reduction mammoplasty procedures in a day. We do not cram 4-5 procedures into one day like other providers. You want your surgeon to be well-rested and mentally and physically sharp to perform breast reduction which is a very physically demanding procedure to get the very best results.
Our London breast reduction clinic at 106 Crawford Street was recently inspected and rated as good across all 5 domains.
- Our surgeons live and work in London. We don’t work with ‘fly-in, fly-out’ surgeons. This is very important because whilst your surgeon takes all precautions to minimise complications, complications can and do occur and our surgeons are readily available to manage any issues if and when they arise. The surgeons are renowned experts in breast reduction surgery and have many years of experience between them in all types of reduction mammoplasty. All our surgeons are fully qualified and experienced plastic surgeons with the skill to perform all types of aesthetic breast surgery
- Our surgeons are full members of:
The Centre for Surgery approach to aftercare
Our aftercare programme was recently described as ‘outstanding’ by our regulator, the Care Quality Commission.
Our postoperative support team phones all our patients the day after their breast reduction procedure and then every other day thereafter for the first two weeks. The proactive nature of our postoperative support gives every patient the best opportunity for a smooth postoperative recovery free of complications. In many cases, if complications were to occur, their impact is markedly lessened by early detection, prompt clinical assessment and correct treatment. Where a patient expresses concern to our team over the phone, then we often call patients on the same day for assessment with one of our expert nursing team. Even if there is no significant issue, the careful explanation and calm reassurance provided by our team can help to alleviate any worries you may have experienced.
Causes of large breasts
- Breasts often during puberty
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Weight gain
- The menopause
- Conditions affecting the immune system
- Certain medicines
Reduction mammoplasty Expected Results:
- Reduce the size of the female breasts
- Ability to simultaneously correct the droopy breast with a breast lift
- Reduce the size of large areolas which get bigger with large breasts
- Improve the aesthetics of the female chest
I wrote a review a few hours post op regarding my excellent experience from first contact to procedure with CFS. I thought it important to people researching clinics and fair to the CFS team that I update my review a few weeks after my operation.
I’m now exactly 3 weeks post op and couldn’t be happier. My results aren’t yet final as still healing and slightly swollen but my aftercare albeit remote due to long distance, has been great! Scars are almost none existent, pain extremely manageable haven’t used even half the pain medication I got. I’m booked in for a face to face post op appointment with my surgeon in 2 weeks to see how things are.
Everyone has continued to be so helpful when I have called or emailed. I’ve had no complications which I am aware vary from person to person but I’m healing nicely and everything has gone swimmingly. So 100% NOT Quasimodo!
A****** from me for the whole team at CFS!
Ideal candidate for a breast reduction
Women who experience difficulty with excessively large breasts are excellent candidates for reduction mammoplasty surgery. Breast reduction can be performed at any age but the ideal age is when a woman has completed her growth and development as a young adult. This is when the breast tissue is most developed.
All patients should have good physical and mental health with realistic expectations of what the procedure can achieve. A good understanding of the breast reduction procedure and recovery process is optimal. To reduce the risk of complications, all women are strongly advised to stop smoking as smoking has a detrimental effect on the healing process with breast reduction surgery. Your surgeon may refer you to your GP for consideration of referral to a smoking cessation service if deemed necessary.
Appropriate candidates for surgery include those who:
- Experience pain in the neck and back, which can also result in posture problems
- Have lower self-esteem or confidence
- Find themselves restricted in the physical activities they can partake in
- Have breast asymmetry
- Experience skin irritations
It is recommended that you do not undertake this procedure until you are at least 20 years old, as your breasts will still be developing prior to this age.
Before undergoing a breast reduction, you will need to have a consultation with one of our surgeons. They will be able to assess your eligibility for this procedure, and which surgical method is the best for you.
Questions to ask at your breast reduction consultation
At your consultation for a breast reduction, you will have the opportunity to ask key questions to help you form a better idea of how the procedure can benefit you and whether it is the right procedure for you. The consultation with the plastic surgeon is the most important part of the decision making process.
The following are possible questions you could ask your surgeon:
- Is the breast reduction procedure right for me?
- Do I have realistic expectations based on my breast shape
- Is one procedure enough to give me the shape I want?
- Do you have before and after pictures I can view of similar patients?
- What is the recovery period like after breast reduction surgery?
- Do you offer continuous nursing support after the procedure?
- What side effects can I expect to have in terms of bruising, swelling and numbness?
- What happens if I am unhappy with the outcome?
Things to consider before having breast reduction surgery
1. In deciding on the right clinic for you, always carry out extensive research and choose a well established and reputable clinic. Centre for Surgery are specialists in cosmetic surgery and breast reduction and have been established for many years. Our patient coordinators and surgeons are here to answer any questions you may have to empower you with the right information.
2. Your choice of plastic surgeon should be based on their qualifications, experience and having a record of good patient feedback. You should know who you will be seeing before the consultation. At Centre for Surgery, our surgeons are specially selected after a rigorous appointments process to ensure they have the right skill set to perform breast reduction surgery.
3. When choosing to have a cosmetic surgery procedure, you should not base your decision on price alone. It is important to make sure you are having treatment in a safe and regulated environment by staff who are both fully trained and caring to look after your needs – before, during and after your breast reduction procedure.
4. Avoid clinics that offer a ‘hard-sell’. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Centre for Surgery have never used PIP implants unlike many of the commercial chains and always only choose the highest quality FDA approved implants for breast enlargement surgery.
We believe patient safety and happy satisfied patients are the bedrock of our reputation as an ethical provider of cosmetic surgery. Our doctors are known for giving straightforward honest advice and you can be assured that your journey with Centre for Surgery for breast reduction will be a positive experience on the path to renewed self-confidence.
Ideal age for breast reduction
Our surgeons often get asked if there is an ideal age for breast reduction. In our practice, we treat a wide age range from those from 18 years of age through to women in their 30s, 40s or 50s. A breast reduction can significantly improve quality of life for many women and can reduce or eliminate the discomfort from having overly large breasts.
For our younger patients, there are a number of valid clinical reasons to have the breast reduction procedure.
Breast reduction clinical indications in younger women:
- Significant back or neck pain
- Rashes or fungal infection beneath the breast folds
- Pain from bra straps
- Development of a suboptimal posture with stooping
- Interruption to sleep
- Are unable to find the correct size clothing for their frame
- Are keen to do sports and the problems which large breasts can cause with activities such as gymnastics
Read testimonials from our amazing patients
Our surgeons love what they do and having a happy patient at the end of the journey is what we aim for with every patient.
Having considered cosmetic surgery for the best part of ten years I’m thrilled I found Centre for Surgery. There was no pressure selling (which would have put me completely off), the guys in the clinic are so friendly I had my procedure done before lockdown and it’s been amazing . Actually buying clothes that fit my shape is great and I’m actually looking forward to a late summer holiday! I didn’t have much bruising after the procedure. Some swelling but nothing major. Genuinely a very positive experience.
Breast reduction for men
It is not only women who can benefit from a breast reduction. Men also cite enlarged breasts as a common complaint that affects their confidence. Centre for Surgery specialise in the male breast reduction procedure, also known as gynaecomastia to reshape, contour and flatten the male chest. Gynaecomastia causes the male breasts to increase in size and there are a number of common causes including obesity, hormonal disturbances, puberty and advancing age. The condition can also occur without any obvious cause. Gynaecomastia can be a very socially disabling condition with many men unable to expose their chests when on a beach holiday due to embarrassment. Gynaecomastia removal surgery using the techniques of liposuction, gland excision and/or skin reduction is an excellent way to treat this common condition.
Unlike breast reduction surgery in women, the priority is to reduce overall scarring while contouring the chest. Although liposuction is great for men with a primarily fatty chest, it is not enough for those who have glandular enlargement which is often the cause of ‘puffy nipples’. Surgical excision is also necessary in this case. For men with very large nipples, the procedure of nipple reduction is an excellent treatment for this common complaint.
How To Prepare For A Reduction Mammoplasty
At Centre for Surgery, we strongly believe that the success of any procedure including breast reduction can be improved with proper patient preparation. We strive to go above and beyond to make sure that all our patients are prepared as well as possible for surgery – physically, mentally and emotionally.
Before your breast reduction, you will need to:
- Stop smoking a few weeks before your surgery. It is vitally important to stop smoking at least 4 weeks prior to the procedure as the risk of nipple areola necrosis is much higher in those who continue to smoke up to the day of their procedure.
- Avoid taking blood-thinning medication, aspirin and herbal supplements
- Undergo a medical evaluation
- You may need to have a baseline mammogram to detect any future changes in breast tissue
Scheduling a Mammogram prior to your breast reduction
A mammogram is an x-ray examination that may be performed before or after your procedure to identify any changes to breast tissue. If you have a personal or family history of breast cancer or any other risk factors for breast cancer, your surgeon may recommend a baseline mammogram to be done before your procedure.
Breast Reduction Surgical Techniques
Breast reduction is performed at one of our specialist outpatient surgical centres in London or Watford as a day case under TIVA general anaesthesia meaning you will be admitted and discharged on the same day. This means you can recover in the comfort of your own home. Day case surgery has been shown to result in better postoperative outcomes when compared against traditional inpatient surgery with a reduced incidence of postoperative complications.
How Breast Reduction Surgery Is Performed
The reduction mammoplasty takes on average about three to four hours to complete, depending on the extent of correction, and if any additional procedures such as supplementary liposuction for the axillary region are required. You will be placed under TIVA general anaesthesia. After careful preoperative marking, the procedure involves making an incision, after which the glandular tissue, fat and skin will be removed from the breasts. This will help to reshape the breasts, as well as reduce volume. During this procedure, the nipples may also be repositioned, however, the nipples and areola will remain attached to nerves and blood vessels. In very large breast reduction surgery, it may be required to detach the nipple and areola completely before moving them upwards. In this case, nipple sensation and the ability to breastfeed will most likely be permanently impaired.
There are a number of techniques for performing a breast reduction.
Inferior Pedicle Technique (Inverted-T, anchor and wise pattern) breast reduction
The inferior pedicle method preserves the nerve supply and blood vessels to supply the breast and nipple. The breasts are elevated to create proportion with the rest of the body. Breast function and the ability to breastfeed are maintained with this method. This method produces an anchor-shaped scar that encircles the areola with a vertical scar that connects with a horizontal scar in the IMF or inframammary fold. The technique is particularly effective for reducing the size of very large breasts.
Vertical Scar Technique (lollipop) breast reduction
The vertical scar method provides less scar burden and creates breasts with good projection through the use of a pedicle that maintains nerve sensation and blood supply to the female breast. The lollipop technique removes a smaller amount of skin and smaller volumes of internal breast tissue compared with the inferior pedicle technique. The resulting lollipop scar involves a scar around the areola and a vertical scar extending down towards the inframammary fold or breast crease. The vertical scar technique is commonly performed at Centre for Surgery.
Periareolar or donut breast reduction
This method is suitable for those who only require a modest reduction. The benefit of this method is the scar will only be around the areola. This method involves making an incision around the areola, and another ovular incision further out. This excess skin is then removed, and the incision is then pulled closed. This causes the breast to lift and the skin will tighten.
Liposuction breast reduction
Liposuction breast reduction is carried out with PAL or power-assisted liposuction to reduce the enlarged breasts and remove smaller amounts of breast tissue compared with a surgical breast reduction. Smaller breast reductions are thus possible without the scarring of traditional breast reduction. This technique may be more suitable for older women with low-density fatty breasts and good quality elastic skin and who may not be able to tolerate a longer anaesthesia duration. The liposuction method produces a much-reduced scar burden which can be hidden in the breast crease for the liposuction cannula access. The recovery after liposuction breast reduction is much quicker compared with surgical breast reduction.
Breast reduction step by step
Step 1 – incision placement – the inverted T incision is made – encircling the areola, running vertically downwards from the nipple and then horizontally along the base of the breast in the natural breast crease
Step 2 – Any excess skin and fatty tissue will be removed. This includes breast glandular tissue, fatty tissue and excess skin
Step 3 – Areola positioning – the surgeon will resize the areola to achieve an optimal aesthetic appearance and a location higher up on the breast
Step 4 – the incisions will be closed with advanced barbed sutures to create optimal scar cosmesis
Step 5 – A surgical bra will be fitted at the end of the procedure to provide optimal support for the newly reduced breasts
Following the procedure, you will notice a reduction in breast size and volume. Over time, this will help to alleviate any issues you were experiencing prior to the procedure.
You may choose to combine breast reduction with a breast lift which will raise breasts that are sagging. Breast liposuction may also be necessary to ensure there is no excess fat surrounding the breasts.
Areola reduction during breast reduction surgery
In order to achieve optimal breast symmetry, the size of the areola may be reduced with bilateral areola reduction. Many patients have breast asymmetry that requires correction in breast reduction surgery. The size of the areola will be reduced to reflect the new breast size creating natural-looking breast aesthetics.
Recovery after Breast reduction
Following reduction mammoplasty, you should avoid undertaking any strenuous physical activity, including heavy lifting, for at least six weeks.
You may notice bruising and swelling, which will last around four weeks. You will be able to reduce this by using a cold compress, particularly during the first two days. You will also be provided with a prescription of painkillers to alleviate any discomfort.
Most women are ready to return to work in five to seven days, sometimes less, depending on the type of breast reduction they had.
Breast reduction surgery results in the formation of scars on the breasts. These will be located around the areola, down the breast and across the breast crease. Over time scars undergo maturation with resultant fading – this differs for each individual although scarring never disappears completely. The vast majority are extremely pleased with their new breasts that any scars are accepted and can often be concealed undergarments very well. In cosmetic surgery, breast reduction has one of the highest patient satisfaction rates.
The final breast size can take anywhere to finalise from 6 months all the way to 1 year after your procedure. There are a number of factors that can influence the duration including your overall state of health, smoking and nutritional factors.
Swelling of the breasts can last for many months. Centre for Surgery recommend complying with all postoperative instructions to ensure the recovery process is smooth with minimal risk of complications and achieve the best results.
Top Tips for improving scar cosmesis after breast reduction
Correct post-procedure care coupled with Centre for Surgery scar management strategies will help to optimise the appearance of scars after breast reduction. You may see redness initially in the scars in the first days after your procedure. With time, these scars will become darker and flatten. Incisions in the breast crease may be less obvious due to the discreet location beneath the breast. With patients of colour, there is always a risk of hyperpigmentation and abnormal scarring such as hypertrophic scars and keloid scars. Smoking and sunlight can also worsen scars. It is important to keep the new scars out of direct sunlight and apply a high SPF sunscreen to avoid hyperpigmentation.
Centre for Surgery are experts in scar management using techniques including medical-grade brown tape, silicone gel, sunscreen, laser and Morpheus8 RF microneedling.
Breast reduction before and after
Bilateral breast reduction + 360 liposuction of abdomen and flanks + liposuction of upper arms
Bilateral breast reduction with 750g of tissue removed from both sides.
I just want to say thank you so much to all working in the London Centre for Surgery for your kindness and support throughout the process that lead to my final operation. You even went the extra mile and booked my garment in emergency the day before the op, when we learnt that the one I found initially was unsuitable.
A special thank you to my Patient Coordinator, Yasmin, for her friendship and constant availability. I was very nervous, but Yasmin supported me emotionally and, when uncertain, she liaised with the doctors to answer my every single doubt (and with the admin team for my late payments too).
Five stars from me x
Large volume Breast reduction before and after
Our surgeons are also very experienced in performing very large breast reductions as shown in the before and afters below. Large volume breast reductions are performed by only the most experienced breast surgeons. The first 2 cases below have had reductions of over 2kg per breast. The impact on quality of life is huge with significant relief of back pain and elimination of recurrent infections under the breast folds as well as a more aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Risks and complications of breast reduction
Reduction mammoplasty has been successfully performed for many years with an excellent safety profile. Women should only choose a reputable provider with years of experience in breast surgery. With a fully certified plastic surgeon at Centre for Surgery, you can be confident in having made the very best choice for breast reduction coupled with an outstanding package of aftercare to reduce the risk of complications.
Risks of Breast Reduction
As with any surgical procedure, breast reduction has potential risks. These include:
- Anaesthetic risks
- Venous thromboembolism
- Delayed wound healing
- Nipples that lose sensation
- Breastfeeding difficulties
- Need for revision surgery
Breast reduction cost
There are a number of factors that will determine the overall cost of your breast reduction procedure and the final quotation will be given after your face to face consultation with your plastic surgeon.
- Inverted T or vertical scar reduction
- Breast reduction combined with liposuction or other procedures
- Previous breast surgery
Why not call 0207 993 4849 and speak to one of our expert patient coordinators who may be able to give you a rough costing prior to your breast reduction procedure.
Always remember that price should never be the determining factor when it comes to choosing your provider. We feel that safety and quality of service should be your number one priority and instilling in you the confidence that our team will look after you before, during and after your procedure to the best of their ability.
Spread the cost of breast reduction surgery
Centre for Surgery are fully approved to offer breast surgery finance via our specialist finance partner, Chrysalis Finance. You no longer need to use your savings to pay for your treatment – you can apply to spread the cost of your procedure with Chrysalis Finance using their simple 1,2,3 application to pay for your procedure. Don’t wait until you have enough money for your treatment, apply today and (subject to status) pay for your procedure easily in monthly instalments, using one of their payment options. Chrysalis Finance is the only ethical provider who focuses solely on the provision of specialist financing for medical procedures.
I had the most amazing experience at Centre for Surgery. They all are really caring and competent. From the booking to the surgery I never got any issues. Everything has been handled perfectly by all the staff. A special thank you goes to Gregory, which I kept contact with. He’s been very helpful and patient. The surgeon and his lovely nurse are the best. I can’t complain about anything. He literally made a little miracle for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Breast reduction specialists
The first step in your journey towards breast reduction surgery will initially involve an in-depth consultation with one of our specialist plastic surgeons. The surgeon will take time to listen to your concerns and will perform a thorough physical examination before arriving at a bespoke treatment plan customised for you. The different techniques of breast reduction will be explained and any questions you may have will be answered. If reduction mammoplasty is deemed to be suitable for you, a detailed treatment plan will be created. A written quotation will be sent the next working day after your face to face consultation. Your patient coordinator will run through with you all the payment options available including finance options exclusive to Centre for Surgery.
Schedule a Breast Reduction Consultation
Centre for Surgery in London are well known as leaders in plastic and cosmetic surgery. Centre for Surgery has been serving patients in London, the south-east for a number of years. Centre for Surgery differ from other providers in that our surgeons are recognised sub-specialists in their field of practice. Patients choose Centre for Surgery when they want an expert on a particular procedure. Contact Centre for Surgery for more information or to book a consultation.
What is breast reduction surgery?Breast reduction surgery is a cosmetic surgery procedure designed to reduce the size the volume of the breast and at the same time to alter its shape to look more aesthetically appealing. Breast lift and breast reduction surgery are similar in that they both involve removal of the overlying breast skin envelope and the resulting scars are also identical. A breast reduction, in addition, involves the removal of the underlying breast tissue to reduce the size of the breast.
Am I a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?If you have large and heavy breasts that cause back or shoulder pain with changes in posture then the surgery could be a good choice for you.
Patients must also be in good health with realistic expectations about what the procedure can achieve.
How should I prepare for a breast reduction?Before undergoing a breast reduction, you should:
Stop smoking two weeks prior to surgery.
Avoid medications that increase the risk of bleeding.
Use an antiseptic wash to reduce the risk of infection.
Is breast reduction only for women that have large breasts?Women that are keen to improve their self-confidence and want to change the size or shape of their breasts and have an athletic body frame are also candidates for breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction effectively addresses pain and discomfort caused by breast asymmetry and breasts that lack proportion with the rest of their body. Women who have undergone significant weight loss may notice a distinct difference in size and shape between their breasts and body. The breasts may still be large despite overall weight loss from the rest of the body. When you are assessed by an expert surgeon at Centre for Surgery, your surgeon will take this into account when determining your suitability for breast reduction surgery.
How is breast reduction surgery performed?Breast reduction surgery at Centre for Surgery is carried out as a day case under a type of anaesthesia known as TIVA, or Total Intravenous Anaesthesia. TIVA anaesthesia results in a much faster recovery with minimal risk of nausea, sickness and grogginess. You will be recovering in the comfort of your own home later the same day. This has been shown to result in better outcomes following surgery compared with traditional inpatient surgery.
There are a number of recognised breast reduction methods but they all share the same principle of removal of breast tissue coupled with a precise reshaping of the breast mound to elevate the nipple into a higher more lifted position whilst at the same time preserving the crucial blood supply to the nipple to minimise the risk of nipple necrosis. The breast assumes a more youthful and perkier position. The most common incision pattern is known as a Wise pattern skin excision or the anchor incision.
The surgeon will advise on the best method for reduction based on a thorough physical examination of your breasts and your preferences for treatment. The placement of the incisions and whether any surgical drains are required will also be explained.
How long does breast reduction surgery take?Breast reduction surgery takes about two to three hours to perform, depending on the size of the reduction. Larger breast reductions may longer to perform as there will be more breast tissue to be surgically removed.
Will I be in pain after a breast reduction?Compared with breast augmentation surgery, breast reduction is associated with very little in the way of postoperative discomfort as there is no stretching of the skin envelope from an underlying breast implant.
The following can help reduce any pain and discomfort experienced throughout the recovery period:
- Simple painkillers which can be purchased over the counter
- Cold compresses help with the swelling and discomfort
- Sleeping in an upright position with pillows for one week, which will help to reduce any swelling
What is the aftercare for breast reduction?We would recommend about 1-2 weeks off work after having a breast reduction. Any swelling that develops is often most pronounced for the first 2 weeks and having a period of 2 weeks to rest may lead to better healing. We would advise avoiding strenuous physical activity including the gym for the first 4 weeks after surgery and avoiding driving for a minimum of 2 weeks. You should not remain immobile however and the best prevention against DVT is to keep mobile and well hydrated. You will have a postoperative wound check with one of our nursing team at the 2-week mark to make sure you are healing well.
The dressings from the procedure will be removed and the wounds will be cleaned and if they are healing well, may not require further dressing. Patients should continue to wear a well-fitting sports bra for optimum support until the bulk of the swelling and discomfort has settled. After this point, you may wear normal bras in a new reduced size to reflect the new size of your breasts. This can occur at the six-week mark. It is important to massage the breasts and your nurse will show you how to do this effectively. Applying a suitable moisturiser to the incision sites will also help in the formation of healthy-looking scars. As always, our expert team are on hand to assist you with any advice to facilitate a good recovery.
What is breast reduction recovery like?The recovery after breast reduction depends on a number of factors but most women are back to normal activities of daily living after approximately two weeks. With any surgery and especially breast reduction, it is important not to do too much too soon to avoid any wound complications which could result in wound separation or postoperative wound infection. Your surgeon may advise you on a temporary restricted basis to avoid gym sessions and any physical activities that involve lifting your arms up too much as this can exert undue tension on the delicate healing incisions. You should be mindful of any activity that involves raising the elbows above the level of the shoulders for optimum recovery.
Breast reduction surgery involves making skin incisions and all incisions however meticulously placed will result in a visible scar. The visibility of the scar will be more evident during the first few weeks and months following the breast reduction procedure before lightening in colour to a pale white and flat scar. Our surgeons are skilled in minimising the appearance of scars with the use of gentle surgical techniques and in combination with proactive nursing support. Your surgeon will place skin incisions in unobtrusive locations and preferably in natural skin folds where possible. We have access to the full range of scar reduction treatments including fractional laser and RF microneedling using the Morpheus8 device. Simpler techniques including massage and application of skin moisturiser are also highly effective and our skilled nurses will be able to demonstrate these techniques to you at your postoperative follow-up appointments.
For patients who are not keen on surgical breast reduction and the increased scar burden it entails, our surgeons are also experts in liposuction breast reduction. Liposuction for breast reduction involves only very small 3mm incisions placed in the breast fold which have given rise to its commonly used name of a 'scar-free breast reduction'. Liposuction breast reduction is ideal for patients who are not too concerned with their breast droop and are more interested to reduce the weight of large and heavy breasts in a minimally invasive manner and with minimal downtime.
What is the best sleeping position for breast reduction?We recommend that you do not sleep on your front for up to the first two weeks after breast reduction surgery. It is recommended to sleep on your back in a position of mild elevation which helps any surgical swelling to subside more rapidly. Many patients often place pillows on either side of them which minimises the possibility of turning to sleep on one's front during the night. Sleeping on the front after breast reduction surgery may increase the risk of further swelling and possible disruption to the delicate healing wounds.
Can I breastfeed after breast reduction surgery?A breast reduction procedure does not involve cutting the milk ducts which are the conduits for milk to exit onto the nipple from the milk-producing glands. It is therefore possible to breastfeed normally after the procedure. With a breast enlargement procedure with the placement of a breast implant, the breast implant is often inserted in a subglandular position (below the breast tissue). With the standard inframammary incision for breast enlargement, the milk ducts are not disrupted. The peri-areolar incision for a breast reduction procedure preserves the vast majority of the milk ducts which preserves the ability to breastfeed.
With a breast reduction procedure, both the skin and the underlying breast tissue are surgically removed. The removal of excess breast tissue during the procedure is not known to interfere with breastfeeding as the milk ducts are still patent to the remainder of the newly reduced breast. Older methods of performing breast reduction had a higher chance of disrupting the milk ducts but with more modern methods, this is no longer a problem. Your surgeon will be able to address your concerns at the consultation. Patients with very large breasts often have difficulty breastfeeding to begin with and so surgery is not something that can be a cause of the inability to breastfeed if function is impaired from the outset. In cases of very large breast reductions for women with very large breasts, all surgeons will tell you of an inability to breastfeed when the nipple and areola have to be detached fully from its wound bed. This leads to the complete division of the milk ducts.
The nipple and areola are sutured into a new higher position. In a very small number of cases, patients may be able to breastfeed after free nipple-areola grafting for very large breast reductions. Your surgeon will discuss with you the potential options available for breast reduction surgery and which is the right option for you. Different techniques will result in slightly different appearances depending on the degree of lift required. When considering the potential for future breastfeeding, it is key to consider if the intended breast reduction procedure will impact this. In general, women with very large breasts may require nipple-areola grafting and this will impair both nipple sensation and ability to breastfeed.
What are the risks following breast reduction surgery?The risks following breast reduction surgery include bleeding, infection, swelling, prominent scars and DVT.
The surgeon will take special precautions to prevent any complications from developing following your procedure.
What measures are in place to reduce the risk of infection after breast reduction?Centre for Surgery is a proud supporter of OneTogether.
OneTogether is a collaborative partnership between leading UK professional organisations with an interest in the prevention of surgical site infection (SSI). The mission of OneTogether is to promote and support the spread and adoption of international best practice guidelines contained in 7 key recommendations to prevent SSIs across the entire breast reduction surgery patient pathway. Our surgeons actively put into action their 7 key recommendations at all stages of your breast reduction from start to finish. This includes everything from the recommended preoperative chlorhexidine body wash to the type of dressings used after breast augmentation surgery. Our clinical support team will be able to explain in further detail the 7 key recommendations for your total peace of mind.
What is the possibility of breast symmetry following breast reduction?All women have a degree of preoperative asymmetry and having a breast reduction will not restore perfect symmetry. The objective of breast reduction surgery is to achieve optimal breast aesthetics with a good breast shape and areola appearance. With certain breast reduction techniques such as the inferior pedicle method of breast reduction, there is a possibility of women developing a square-like shape to the breasts or a boxy appearance. Depending on the amount of breast tissue to be removed, our surgeons have expertise in the vertical scar breast reduction technique for optimal size, shape and symmetry.
What scars can I expect after a breast reduction?All surgery involving an incision will result in a visible scar and a breast reduction procedure carries a significant scar burden with the inverted T incision pattern used by your surgeon. Breast reduction scars do improve with time however the appearance of scars is dependent on a number of factors including skin type. Women with darker skin types may be prone to developing more prominent scarring. It is difficult for your surgeon to predict how you may scar after breast reduction surgery. The scar will be located around the nipple and areola with a vertical component that extends down to the lower breast fold. A horizontal component runs across the breast fold.
In smaller breast reductions, the surgeon may perform a vertical breast reduction (lollipop skin incision pattern). In this case, there will be no horizontal component. This method is not suitable for women with very large breasts and the horizontal incision will be needed for large breast reductions. Patients with darker skin have a higher risk of developing prominent scars called keloids and these most commonly occur in the middle of the chest area and your surgeon takes this into account with incision placement during breast reduction surgery.
At Centre for Surgery, our surgeons are experts in scar revision techniques both surgical and non-surgical. Most scars respond very well to silicone gel or sheets applied to the incisions from 4 weeks after the breast lift procedure once the incisions have fully healed. The silicone sheets act to flatten the scars over time. Duration of silicone gel sheet application can be for up to 6 months. We have access to the full range of scar management strategies including ablative erbium fractional laser, RF microneedling using the Morpheus8 device and pulse dye laser for optimal scar cosmesis. We also offer scar treatments for patients who have had procedures elsewhere and are unhappy with the appearance of their scars after surgery.
How long will the results last after breast reduction?Generally speaking, breast reduction surgery results are permanent in nature. Factors such as weight gain or pregnancy will lead to increased breast size, and weight fluctuations may also affect their size and shape. As is the case with all women, your breasts will lose tone and elasticity as a consequence of the normal ageing process.
Why do I need to wear a support bra after breast reduction surgery?Breast reduction surgery changes the shape of the breasts and this needs to be kept in position with a well-fitting support bra to maintain the new enhanced shape. The bra needs to be worn continuously for at least 4 weeks after the procedure and 6 weeks is recommended. Most surgeons will agree despite having slightly different protocols that the bra should be worn for at least 4 weeks following surgery. Both a sports bra and a specialist surgical support bra made from lycra are equally suitable.
Our surgeons prefer the specialist support bras as they support the newly reduced breast more effectively. The surgical support bra is designed to support the healing and protection of the new breast reduction incisions while they are healing. For women who are physically active, the support bra functions effectively to protect the breasts. Our clinical support team will be able to advise you of the different brands for support bras and which could be best for you.
Will sensation be affected after breast reduction surgery?Alteration of sensation is usually a temporary phenomenon after breast reduction surgery. For women with very large breasts, they have very often have had little sensation in the nipples even before surgery. With breast reduction, any changes in sensation are therefore unlikely to be noticed. For very large breast reductions, the nipple and areola will need to be moved upwards significantly and in most cases, the surgeon will need to perform free nipple-areola grafting to facilitate this. By detaching the nipple and areola completely from their original position will almost certainly lead to a permanent loss of sensation as part of reducing very large breasts. This is a trade-off that is almost always accepted as very large breasts can lead to many functional problems including back pain, poor posture and infections under the breast folds.
Is breast reduction suitable for heavy breasts?Breast reduction surgery is an excellent treatment for reducing the weight of heavy breasts for women affected by having overly large and prominent breasts. Most women agree that heavy breasts are uncomfortable and result in pain and discomfort which can affect activities of daily living including physical exercise. The breast reduction procedure is designed to remove extra breast tissue from women who have large and heavy breasts with an associated reduction in physical discomfort. The breast reduction procedure also results in a marked improvement in psychological well-being. For women who prefer not to have a surgical breast reduction and prefer a shorter recovery period, there is the option of liposuction breast reduction which is ideal for older women with heavy breasts and are not too concerned with the shape of their breasts.
Will having breast reduction alter my risk of having breast cancer?Breast cancer can occur at any stage of a person's life. There is not known to be an increased risk of developing breast cancer after having had a breast reduction. Many surgeons would agree that by surgically removing breast tissue as part of a breast reduction then the likelihood of potentially cancerous breast tissue developing into subsequent breast cancer may be reduced as it has been removed.
It is vitally important for women with a personal or family history of breast cancer to have a baseline mammogram performed. If there is any cause for concern in future then radiologists may more effectively assess any suspicious areas when compared against the preoperative mammogram. Your surgeon will advise you at your consultation if a preoperative mammogram is required.
What is liposuction breast reduction?Breast reduction using liposuction is a minimally invasive technique to reduce the size of heavy breasts without the incisions of a surgical breast reduction. Liposuction breast reduction is ideal for women who are not concerned with the possibility of further breast droop after the procedure. Liposuction breast reduction is ideal for the older woman where the breast tissue has a higher fat composition. In younger women, the breast has a higher glandular content. The procedure involves the creation of small 3mm incisions which are placed in the natural breast fold to make them less visible. This also explains the other name for this type of procedure - the 'scarless breast reduction'.
The surgeon first injects a dilute local anaesthetic solution to soften the fat cells and to reduce postoperative discomfort after the procedure. The surgeon will then use power-assisted liposuction to gently separate the fat cells before aspirating the fat using a suction cannula. Volumes of up to 1L per breast are possible although it is important not to remove too much to reduce the risk of significant breast sagging. At the end of the procedure, the surgeon will apply a sterile dressing followed by a supportive breast garment. Breast reduction using liposuction can in many cases be performed under light IV sedation or even local anaesthetic with oral sedation for women for prefer not to have a general anaesthetic.
Can I view breast reduction before and after photos?There are examples of breast reduction before and after images on this page to give you an idea of what can be achieved with breast reduction surgery. You can also view many more images at a face to face consultation with your surgeon who will be able to show you more relevant images based on your size of breasts. We believe that all patients can gain an in-depth understanding of what can be achieved with reduction mammoplasty by viewing before and after images of patients who have had reduction mammoplasty procedures with breasts that are similar to yours.
Are there any alternatives to a breast reduction?Breast reduction involves the surgical removal of excess skin and underlying breast tissue to permanently reduce the size of the breasts. There is no non-surgical alternative to a breast reduction and you should steer well clear of any provider who claims to offer a breast reduction without surgery. Liposuction breast reduction is an excellent alternative surgical procedure for women who are not keen on the scars, risks and downtime of a traditional surgical breast reduction.
Can I get a breast reduction on the NHS?The NHS has recently tightened up their guidelines on performing breast reduction for functional reasons such as back pain and poor posture to such an extent that it is now all but impossible to have breast reduction on the NHS. Breast reduction is considered a type of cosmetic surgery and even breast reduction for back pain and social embarrassment is performed much less commonly in the NHS.
What To Expect
When you have a consultation with your surgeon for breast reduction, a number of measurements are taken of your breast dimensions and an assessment will be made of the nipple-areola position and the soft tissue quality. Your surgeon has is skilled in all types of breast reduction including the traditional surgical method and also liposuction breast reduction. The most appropriate choice will be made based on your preferences. For older women who are keen on avoiding scars and mainly want smaller breasts for a functional limitation then liposuction breast reduction may be ideal. For surgical methods, the surgeon will also give information on the location of the incision for the breast reduction. The inverted T incision is the most common incision type for breast reduction surgery. For women with smaller breasts, a vertical scar reduction without the horizontal scar in the breast fold may be possible.
High-resolution photos will be taken and your surgeon may also use computer digital imaging. Your surgeon will take time to discuss the important risks and potential complications of breast reduction surgery and what you can expect in the postoperative period.
The surgeon will also take a full medical history which includes previous operations, current list of medicines taken and any potential allergies. This information will be used to decide on your fitness for the breast reduction procedure. If you are deemed to be a suitable candidate for surgery then we would recommend to spend a period of time to reflect on all the information given. We always recommend a minimum of a '2 week cool off period' for to weigh up your options. In some cases, if you have a personal or family history of breast cancer, your surgeon may recommend a preoperative mammogram of the breasts. The mammogram acts as a baseline record which is useful for your radiologist when it comes to breast screening and interpreting any areas which require further investigation.
All our prospective patients are more than welcome to have as many follow-up consultations after their initial consultation to make sure you are fully empowered with all the information to make an informed decision for proceeding with breast reduction surgery at Centre for Surgery.
Before your procedure
Once you have decided that breast reduction is right for you, our preoperative assessment team will be in contact to prepare you for the procedure.
The following are recommended actions to take:
- For 6 weeks beforehand, it is highly recommended to stop smoking as active smoking is associated with a number of risks including delayed wound healing which could result in wound infection and also the risk of nipple necrosis
- You should also avoid aspirin and all medicines containing aspirin for at least one week prior to the procedure to reduce the bleeding risk. Postoperative bleeding after the procedure could result in a haematoma (collection of blood beneath the skin)
- For 6 hours before the breast reduction procedure, you should refrain from eating any food or any type of drink apart from sips of clear fluid (water and tea/coffee without added milk) which is allowed for up to 2 hours before the procedure
On the day of your breast reduction procedure
Please aim to arrive for your procedure at the scheduled time. One of our nursing team will admit you for the procedure and will carry out a number of tasks including checking your blood pressure and other vital signs including pulse and temperature and then getting you changed into single-use clinic wear. The anaesthetist will then come in to assess you to make sure you are fit for the TIVA anaesthetic and will also prescribe a number of pre-medications which are given by your nurse to help your recovery after the breast reduction procedure. You will then be seen by your surgeon who will confirm the procedure to be undertaken and you will sign the informed consent form. Skin marking and photos may be taken at this point. The preoperative skin marking for breast reduction is a very important part of the preoperative surgical assessment and your surgeon spends a good deal of time in getting the markings as accurate as possible.
Breast reduction surgery is a very commonly performed procedure at Centre for Surgery and is carried out under TIVA general anaesthesia as a day case. TIVA anaesthesia has been demonstrated to result in a lower risk of postoperative nausea and vomiting and with less dizziness and grogginess when compared with a traditional general anaesthetic. The procedure takes approximately 2-3 hours to carry out depending on the scale of the reduction. Larger breast reductions will take longer to perform. During breast reduction surgery, your surgeon will make incisions around the nipple and depending on the degree of lift required, place vertical and horizontal incisions beneath the breast. The planned amount of breast tissue is surgically removed and the remaining breast tissue is repositioned to a more elevated position before closing the skin with dissolvable sutures. Certain breast reduction techniques may be combined with liposuction to the lateral chest wall to reduce any potential fullness in this area which may be more common in those who are having very large breast reductions and have a higher body fat content.
Once you have woken up from the TIVA anaesthetic, our nurses will closely monitor you for 1-3 hours afterwards to make sure you make a full recovery. You will be given a fruit juice drink or a hot drink as you prefer to build up your energy levels. Once you are assessed as fit for discharge, you will require a responsible adult escort to take you home in a car or taxi and to look after you at least 24 hours after the procedure.
After your procedure
After your procedure, our dedicated postoperative support team are available round the clock to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Our team will call you regularly for the first 2 weeks after your procedure to make sure your pain levels are well controlled and your healing is progressing as normal.
Compared with breast enlargement surgery, the recovery after breast reduction surgery is very rapid with very little in the way of discomfort and the majority of our patients are very comfortable by the end of week 1. Your doctor may recommend a period of approximately one week off work. You should minimise any excessive movements of your arms for the first 2 weeks after surgery to help with the healing of the incisions.
You will be required to wear a supportive surgical bra for a full 6 weeks to make sure healing is optimal, breast shape is preserved and so that scars heal with best results. Exercise involving the upper body should be stopped for a full 6 weeks to avoid any potential complications.
You will attend a postoperative check-up with one of our nursing team at 7-10 days to review your surgical wound sites and ensure proper healing is taking place. Recommendations on treatments for scar healing may be given for optimal cosmesis. At 6 weeks you should begin to see your final results and you will see your surgeon for a comprehensive review and make sure your results are in line with your expectations. The satisfaction rates for breast reduction surgery are very high and our surgeons are proud of their excellent reputation in performing all types of breasts to the highest standards.