Medically Reviewed April 2023, by Claire Clarke - Head of Surgical Services for The Harley Medical Group
What is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty and boob reduction, is a procedure to reduce the size of your breasts. It is ideal if you have oversized breasts that cause discomfort or inconvenience. It removes excess fat, skin, and glandular tissue from your breasts; reshapes the remaining breast tissue; and repositions your nipples.
Women with overly large breasts often have physical discomforts such as back and neck pain and rashes under their breasts. They may have difficulty finding comfortable clothes, bras, and swimwear to fit properly; are less likely to participate in physical activity; and may have lower self-esteem. A breast reduction can alleviate these problems.
Having smaller, lighter, and more shapely breasts can bring you comfort in your body and clothing choices, allow you to enjoy a more active lifestyle and have a profoundly positive effect on your self-confidence.
Breast reduction surgery is one of the most common procedures in the UK. Hundreds of women visit our clinics and opt for breast reduction surgery with one of our highly trained and experienced cosmetic surgeons.
Breast reduction before and after
These are breast reduction before and after shots of our clients. Some results are breast reduction with breast uplift. You can see more images of procedures carried out by your Surgeon at your consultation.
Breast reduction before and after images
Benefits of breast reduction
Often there are many reasons, both medical and cosmetic, why our patients choose to have breast reduction surgery. This surgery to make breasts smaller and more proportional offers significant benefits and many patients say it changes their lives.
- Improved aesthetic appearance and self-esteem with shapely, perky, and proportionate breasts
- Relief from chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain and the distress of heavy and pendulous breasts
- Reduced rashes, irritation, and chaffing of large boobs
- Improved posture
- Easier and more active lifestyle that large breasts may inhibit
- Wider clothes choice and improved fit
- Ability to wear strappy tops or no bra
- Comfortable bras that don’t dig into your shoulders and cause pain
- Improved comfort and confidence in clothing and swimwear
- Better sleep
Breast reduction process
- Free initial consultation with an experienced Patient Advisor. Virtual consultations are available.
- Surgeon consultation
- Pre-operative assessment with your Nurse
- 24hr pre- and post-op wellness calls
- 7 days and 6 to 8 weeks post-operative appointments
- Comprehensive care every step of the way
During your consultation you will discuss:
- Your reason for a breast reduction
- The changes you want to make to your breasts
- The results you would like to achieve
- Any lifestyle changes needed before surgery including smoking and medications
Your surgeon will mark your breasts in preparation for surgery.
Most commonly, an anchor-shaped incision is made to your breasts, that is around your areola and down underneath your breast. Your surgeon removes excess breast tissue, fat and skin to reduce the size of each breast and then reshapes them. Your areolas are then repositioned and the incisions closed. Your areolas usually stay attached to your breast but if you have very large breasts, your surgeon might remove them and place them in a new position.
You will awake with dressings, a supportive bra in place, and possibly drainage tubes.
You can expect to be in hospital for one or two days.
Your new breasts will require a good amount of support in the following months. You will need to wear a post-surgery bra or sports bra for up to three months both day and night.
Expect to feel tired for the first week and arrange support for household tasks and childcare.
Your Cosmetic Surgeon will advise how much time you will require off work, typically between two to four weeks depending on your occupation.
Attend your follow-up post-surgery appointment which will be made for you to help care for your wound and ensure that you are healing well.
Types of breast reduction
There are different types of breast reduction. They make different cuts and scars but these should not be visible when wearing a bra or bikini top and will fade over time. Your surgeon will discuss the best type of breast reduction for you based on the size of your breasts and how much you want them reduced.
Anchor-type or inverted-T breast reduction
The most common type of breast reduction. The cut is around your areola, straight down and along the crease under your breast. If you have very large or pendulous breasts, your nipple might be removed completely and placed in a new position.
Vertical-pattern breast reduction
The cut is around your areola and straight down. There is no cut underneath your breast. It leaves a smaller scar. This type is not suitable for very large breasts.
The cut is only around your areola. It can only be used to remove just a small amount of tissue and may be used to reduce one breast to match the other one.
Breast Reduction Cost
Breast reduction costs vary depending on requirements. Fees at The Harley Medical Group include:
- your surgeon consultation appointment
- pre-operative assessment
- your procedure
- hospital stay and aftercare.
There are no hidden costs.
At The Harley Medical Group, we have a number of payment plans available to suit individual budgets, including a 0% finance loan paid over 12 months.
A breast reduction is most suitable for adult patients who experience discomfort from their breasts or who feel self-conscious about their size.
There are many reasons why people choose to have breast reduction surgery including:
- Heavy, large, and pendulous breasts which cause discomfort, distress, and breast pain
- Backache from supporting the extra weight
- Shoulder marks from the pressure of bra straps
- Difficulty buying clothes due to disproportionate chest size
- Difficulty buying underwear
- Inability to wear strappy tops or even the choice to not wear a bra
- Desire to look better in your clothes and swimwear
- Inability to take part in physical sports.
You will need to have realistic expectations of what your surgery can achieve. Your cosmetic surgeon will discuss this with you and together you will make a final decision.
If you plan to lose weight, you should do it before breast reduction surgery. This makes it easier for your Cosmetic Surgeon to match your new breasts to your body shape. Also, it can also help to reduce the sagging of breasts following surgery. When we perform a breast reduction your weight should be stable.
We follow best practice guidelines and operate on patients with a BMI of less than 30.
If you have overly large and heavy breasts, breast reduction surgery reduces their size by removing excess fat and skin. This prevents back pain, neck pain, rashes, and other discomforts.
If you are mainly concerned about your breasts sagging, then a breast lift will reshape and support the breast tissue and remove excess skin in order to give you a more youthful appearance.
Breast reduction and breast uplift
A breast reduction is commonly combined with a breast uplift procedure. This combined surgery makes your breasts smaller and lighter as well as shaping and lifting them to their optimal position.
For some women, liposuction can achieve smaller breasts. Liposuction can only remove the fatty tissue from your breasts and not the glandular breast tissue which can only be removed through breast reduction surgery. Therefore, it cannot offer the level of correction that breast reduction surgery can.
- Over 35 years of experience in delivering the highest quality cosmetic surgery.
- Audited by the independent regulator Care Quality Commission (CQC).
- Competitive pricing and payment options including 0% finance loans payable over 12 months.
- GMC-registered Surgeons licenced to practice in the UK specifically for plastic surgery.
- Conveniently and locally available at our 9 clinics across the UK.
- Expert team of Nurses, Surgeons, and Doctors who are passionately dedicated to enhancing people's lives.
- Professional, ethical and safe with patient wellbeing always being our top priority.
- Virtual consultations available.
- A Breast Safety Charter to ensure our patients receive the very best care.
- Performed almost 1000 breast surgeries last year (July 2021-22).
- 24-hour experienced Nurse helpline available 365 days a year.
- We put you, your goals, your results, and your entire experience at the forefront of what we do.