Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery is also known as reduction mammoplasty. It refers to the process of removing excess tissue, fat and skin from breasts in order to reduce size, reshape and bring breasts into proportion with the rest of the body.

Breast Reduction Surgery – FAQs

Should I choose breast reduction surgery?

Some women can experience a number of physical, psychological and emotional issues as a result of having large breasts. These issues can involve:

  • Back pain, neck pain and postural issues as a result of the weight and size of large breasts.
  • Acute self-consciousness and unhappiness from the appearance of large breasts in clothing and swimwear.
  • Issues with participation in physical activities and sports.
  • Skin complaints underneath the breasts and discomfort from bra straps digging into shoulders.
  • Depression and emotional distress.
  • Feeling like breasts are out of proportion to the body.

Breast reduction surgery can help relieve these difficulties and provide a dramatic boost in self-esteem and self-confidence. It can help bring the proportions of the body into alignment and additionally, it can help even out the silhouette of women with one breast larger than the other.

Chest reduction surgery is also available for men with gynaecomastia.

If you are affected by any of the issues detailed above, breast reduction surgery may be appropriate for you.

However, if it is not the size of your breasts that are causing you distress but issues with sagging skin due to the weight, a more suitable measure might be a breast uplift procedure (mastopexy).

What is the breast reduction surgery process?

Your surgeon will ensure you are given appropriate information and advice before making the important decision to undergo breast reduction surgery. You will also decide on the size of your new breasts – this can vary according to your preference, needs and individual circumstances. Some women only want to reduce the size of their bust a little, others want a more noticeable reduction.

Breast reduction surgery takes place under general anaesthetic so you will be asleep during the procedure. The operation will generally last from two to four hours.

Although there are several breast reduction surgery techniques, the process typically involves the removal of excess fat and tissue through incisions on the underside of the breasts. The incision will reach from the nipple to the crease below the breasts.

Your surgeon will then reshape the remaining tissue and skin into smaller breasts and reposition your nipples to complete the procedure.

The incisions will be closed with stitches and your breasts will be dressed in gauze. You may have drainage tubes fitted initially until you leave the hospital.

If you also require a breast uplift, your surgeon may suggest that you incorporate this into your breast reduction surgery procedure.

What sort of after care is there?

After breast reduction surgery, you will be required to spend one or two nights in the hospital. Your new breasts will feel swollen and sore to begin with so it is essential to take time off from work and to avoid exerting yourself physically whilst your body heals.

You will be given advice on how to care for your dressings and stitches and you will need to wear a special, surgical bra that gives extra support during the recovery process.

Although there will be scarring, the incisions are located on the underside of your breasts and around the nipple so scars will not show in bras or bikini tops. Additionally, they will fade with time and you will be advised as to how best to support this process.

Will my breasts change size again?

It can take up to six weeks to fully recover from breast reduction surgery. As they heal, your breasts will become softer, more natural looking and the swelling will diminish to reveal their true, new size.

Your breasts will not grow back again. However, should you experience a pregnancy or gain weight, they may naturally increase in size.


This page is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.