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What are the benefits of breast reduction? | A full guide to the reconstructive surgery

What are the benefits of breast reduction? | A full guide to the reconstructive surgery


In 2022, there were over 5,600 breast reduction surgeries performed in the UK, which was an increase from preceding years. For several reasons, many women (and men) are unhappy with the size or the shape of their breasts; a study in 2020 found that 71% of women worldwide were unhappy with their breast size. Those with larger or droopy (ptosis) breasts may experience discomfort in daily life, and may want to consider breast reduction surgery.

This guide will explore the benefits of breast reduction surgery, both for women and men (Gynaecomastia), and the benefits of going to a private cosmetic plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic consultant.

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What is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is for anybody who is unhappy with the size, shape, or dropping (ptosis) of large breasts. The surgery can be done in a variety of ways in order to remove excess skin and breast tissue. The specialist surgeon will typically lift the nipple and then reshape the remaining breast tissue for a smaller and uplifted shape.

scar position diagram

There are different methods of breast reduction, which depend specifically on the patient. Each approach will slightly alter, and produce varying scarring and results. The type of breast reduction that is most suitable will be determined during the consultation with the surgeon.

Find out more about the different breast reduction operations here.

What are the benefits of breast reduction?

There are several advantages to undergoing breast reduction surgery, including:

Can help reduce backache, shoulder and neck pain, and improve posture

Larger breasts can put pressure on the surrounding areas, such as the shoulders, back and the spinal discs. This has the risk of changing the shape of your spin; causing back pain and increasing the likelihood of bad posture. Having large breasts can also affect neck muscles, due to the heaviness, and shoulder pain from the bra straps.

Reducing the excess breast tissue, and therefore the weight of the breasts, can relieve this pressure on the chest, neck, shoulders and back; restoring a better posture as well.

Breast reduction can also help reduce irritation, chafing and rashes, where the larger or drooping breasts may rub against the skin.

Asymmetrical breasts

It is normal for women to have some difference in the size of each breast. Typically, this will not be noticeable, and surgery is often not required. However, in certain circumstances, the difference of the asymmetrical breasts may be severe; affecting a woman’s confidence and causing issues with fittings of bras and clothing.

Breast reduction surgery may be utilised to treat asymmetrical breasts, as typically a suitable candidate may have one small conical (pert) breast and a larger one with droop (ptosis). A patient, after consulting with a specialist surgeon, may decide to reduce the larger breast to give symmetry, and provide aesthetically pleasing results.

Similarly patients with drooping large breasts on both sides but of different sizes can achieve smaller symmetrical breasts with breast reduction.

Helps improve self-esteem and confidence

Larger breasts may affect how you view your body, especially if it makes your figure appear disproportionate. This may make you feel embarrassed and alter how you dress, making you wear baggier clothes to try and hide.

Breast reduction can help address these issues, and improve overall self-esteem and confidence. By reducing excess breast tissue, the breast size and shape will help define a more symmetrical figure and help patients wear the clothes they want; not defined to certain styles.

Other benefits:

  • More movement for exercise

  • Lets you wear the clothes you want

  • Includes a breast lift

  • Can help reduce restore the breast shape and size after pregnancy or breast feeding

  • Short recovery period and long lasting

If you are considering undergoing breast reduction surgery, make sure to speak to a specialist surgeon today.

Contact Stephen McCulley and his team here.

What are the benefits of male breast reduction (Gynaecomastia)?

Although breast reconstruction is often linked to women, males also have breast tissue under the nipple that can enlarge, causing discomfort and self-esteem issues. This may be a result of a hormonal imbalance or a side effect from certain medications. To rectify this, many men may choose to undergo breast reduction surgery (or Gynaecomastia).

nipple scar diagram

Benefits of male breast reduction includes:

Creates a firmer and more masculine chest appearance

Men who have excess breast tissue may experience issues with how they view their body, particularly if they are wanting a more masculine appearance. One benefit of gynaecomastia is the removal of breast tissue to flatten the chest and help create a firmer look.

Can help increase self-esteem and confidence

Gynaecomastia affects men not just physically, but mentally as well. There has been a strong link between the male body image and mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, which may be affected by gynaecomastia. These insecurities may affect how men act, especially when dressing, meeting new people, and taking part in activities.

Undergoing male breast reduction may help with these concerns, and improve self-esteem and confidence.

Find out more information on male procedures offered by Stephen McCulley here.

Helps with back pain

The weight of the excess breast tissue may also cause discomfort on the chest and back. Male breast reduction addresses these issues, and helps relieve pain. This can help improve daily life activities, and sports.

Typically, male breast reduction (or Gynaecomastia) is not available on the NHS, as it is often linked to obesity in men. Therefore, men looking to undergo breast reduction may need to look privately for this procedure.

Contact Stephen McCulley today for more information.

What happens during a breast reduction consultation?

During the consultation, the cosmetic surgeon will discuss the most suitable type of procedure based on the patient’s breast size and specific needs. This is the time to ask any questions on the procedure to ensure complete understanding of what is expected and what will happen post-surgery.

Many people choosing to have breast reduction may opt for a private clinic. At a private clinic, with specialist surgeons, patients can choose a particular surgeon; assessing their qualifications, speciality, and previous surgeries. Treatment is also generally more available and typically, will not have a long waiting list.

Stephen McCulley is a specialist surgeon, working extensively in the cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery fields. Stephen and his team provide a range of cosmetic treatments, such as breast reduction.

Contact Stephen McCulley today to find out more information, or to book your consultation.

Frequently asked questions

How long does it take to recover from breast reduction surgery?

Recovery from breast reduction lasts between four and six weeks; patients can expect bruising and swelling for the first two weeks. After this period, the breasts will continue to shape and improve over the following six to twelve months.

Find out more about recovering from breast reduction here.

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