Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammaplasty)

Breast reduction, or reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure in which the size of a women's breasts are surgically reduced.

The overall size of women's breasts is influenced by a number of factors including:

  • her weight
  • her genetic makeup
  • hormones

A women can be affected by the problem of overly large breasts at any stage of her life, and problems that they can cause include back ache and self consciousness. Indeed, large breasts can have psychological consequences to women who attract unwanted remarks and sexual references. They may also have difficulty in find clothes that fit, and finding adequately supportive bras for taking part in sporting activities.

Women may also seek this procedure if they have asymmetrical breasts.

What happens during the operation?

The surgeon removes excess fat and skin from the breast and reshapes it. The nipple is repositioned in a higher position than before. There are different surgical methods of doing this, which can lead to different scarring patterns, so you should discuss this with your surgeon in advance of the procedure.

breast reduction - before photo breast reduction - after photo
Breast reduction - before Breast reduction - after

What else should I be aware of?

All the options will leave some scarring on the breasts, although as much as possible the scars are designed to be hidden under the bra line.

In addition, young women should think very carefully about having this procedure done as they are unlikely to be able to breast feed afterwards. Residual affects of the procedure also include nipple insensitivity, and possibly a degree of numbness over part of the breast tissue.

The operation will take place under a general anaesthetic and you will need to spend at least two nights in hospital post surgery. You will need to have time off work for recovery, and you will need to wear a specially supportive bra in the first few weeks after surgery.

What are the risks?

Risks associated with this surgery can include:

  • Chest problems and deep vein thrombosis, especially if you smoke or are taking the contraceptive pill. This is a risk connected to having a general anaesthetic, and is not specific to this procedure.
  • Infection, which can worsen the final appearance of the scars.
  • Heavy bleeding post surgery which may require further surgery to correct or a blood transfusion
  • Thick, red scarring