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A full guide to understanding the breast reduction procedure

A full guide to understanding the breast reduction procedure


Breast reduction is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, with over 5,600 surgeries performed in 2022. Before undergoing a breast reduction, and choosing the right surgeon, it is important to completely understand what to expect before the procedure and what will happen on the actual day.

This guide will summarise all information in our breast reduction hub, including what to consider and expect during the procedure, and how to choose the right plastic and cosmetic surgeon.

Click on one of the links below to jump to that section:

What are the benefits of breast reduction?

Breast reduction surgery is for anybody unhappy with the size, shape, or dropping (ptosis) of large breasts. There are many reasons why somebody may want to undergo a breast reduction, and several advantages that may be experienced after the procedure.

diagram showing breast reduction

Potential benefits of breast reduction include:

  • Reducing backache, shoulder and neck pain, and improving posture

  • Addressing asymmetrical breasts

  • Help improve self-esteem and confidence

  • More movement for exercising

  • Long-lasting results

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. Many men decide to undergo breast reduction surgery, known as Gynaecomastia. Potential benefits of male breast reduction include:

  • Creating a firmer and more masculine chest appearance

  • Can help increase self-esteem and confidence

How do you prepare for breast reduction surgery?

Preparation is a crucial aspect of ensuring a successful breast reduction surgery. For smokers, it is recommended to quit smoking three months before the surgery, and during the recovery aftermath. Also, avoid taking aspirin and any other anti-inflammatory pain medication, as this can increase bleeding.

Before the surgery, prepare your home for a comfortable recovery. Stock up on necessary supplies, including loose-fitting clothing, pillows, and any prescribed medications, and create a cosy and accessible space where you can rest and recover. Ensure you have somebody to help you during the first week, especially if you need to drive anywhere. It is recommended to book time off work, preferably in the first two weeks, to relax, or implement a hybrid working schedule.

Most importantly, choosing the right cosmetic surgeon is vital for a successful breast reduction procedure. Research and consult with a plastic surgeon specialising in breast reduction, and ensure they have sufficient experience in cosmetic and plastic surgery.

Contact Stephen McCulley today to find out more about breast reduction surgery.

What should you consider before undergoing a breast reduction?

Before undergoing breast reduction, you must be fully aware of what the surgery will involve and the various factors that may alter the decision. It is recommended to consider the following factors:

  • A breast reduction will cause significant changes to the body

  • There will be scarring and possible loss of nipple sensation

  • Potential surgical risks and complications

  • It is harder to get a breast reduction on the NHS

  • How much the breast reduction will cost

  • Women may lose the ability to breastfeed

Ensure you are discussing your options with a specialist surgeon who will provide honest feedback and act with your best interests always in mind. During your breast reduction consultation, you can raise any concerns and have your questions answered before deciding whether to go ahead with the procedure. The potential risks will be highlighted by your plastic surgeon, and they will outline what will happen during the surgery.

What can you expect during breast reduction surgery?

For your breast reduction consultation, you should expect to supply a complete history of your medical history, as this may affect your suitability and alter the plastic surgery techniques used. You should also expect:

  • Discussing your desired breast size

  • Talking about any risks and side effects of the surgery

  • X-rays or mammograms may need to be taken

Breast reduction operations will be performed under general anaesthesia by a qualified and registered anaesthetist. During the operation, fat, tissue, and skin are removed from the breasts to reduce their size and weight.

The operation typically takes between one and a half hours to three, depending on the type of plastic surgery technique utilised and the size of the initial breasts. For this, patients can expect to stay in the hospital for one to two nights.

Choosing a plastic surgeon for breast reduction

There are several factors that may determine your choice of plastic surgeon for breast reduction. In this specialist field, a high level of expertise is required and minimum training that the surgeon should undergo before performing any breast surgeries. When looking for the right plastic surgeon for breast reduction, pay attention to the following:

  • Positive customer feedback and testimonials

  • That they have the right credentials

  • The required training of the surgeon and anaesthetist

  • If they are trustworthy

Your breast reduction consultation is a great way to gauge the trustworthiness of the plastic surgeon, their team, and the overall clinic environment. Also, look at their past experiences and any “before and after” images.

Find out more about how to choose a cosmetic and plastic surgeon for breast reduction with our expert guide here.

If you are interested in the breast reduction procedure, finding the right plastic surgeon is important. Stephen McCulley believes in honest approaches to give realistic and achievable aesthetic results.

Book your initial consultation with Stephen McCulley here.