breast reduction surgery mammoplasty surgical reduction of breast size
  • Surgical Breast Reduction, or Mammoplasty, is to reduce the size of breasts
  • Long-lasting and life-changing results
  • Performed by renowned plastic surgeons based in the UK
  • 0% Finance Available

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Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer for The Private Clinic of Harley Street, London.
Last Reviewed November13th 2023

Breast Reduction

If your breasts are causing you health or cosmetic problems, Surgical Breast Reduction (Mammoplasty) might be the best option for you. Overly large breasts are not only a cosmetic nuisance to some women, but also the cause of physical discomfort, pain, and for some, a lack of confidence and self-esteem. Surgical breast reduction at The Private Clinic is a popular and effective procedure for large, heavy and sagging breasts.

Surgical Breast Reduction, or Mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure performed under general anaesthetic. Fat, glandular tissue, and skin are removed from your breasts, which are then reshaped and the nipples re-positioned. It is therefore suitable for a wide range of candidates, regardless of age. A breast reduction is a more invasive procedure and can require an overnight stay in hospital, as well as a resting period of 2-3 weeks and 6 weeks in total for recovery following surgery.

The biggest advantage of a breast reduction is that your surgeon is able to completely change the shape of your breasts and lift them. Your nipples can also be re-positioned in proportion to your new smaller breasts.

Find out more about Breast Reduction Surgery in our latest webinar here.

Surgical Breast Reduction is ideal for those whose breasts contain more glandular tissue than fat. If you have sagging or empty breasts or are unhappy about the shape of your breasts or the positioning of your nipples, a Mammoplasty and Mastopexy procedure may be the best way forward. Other patients may require both a reduction and augmentation using implants.

It is not uncommon for men to have an enlarged chest area, known as gynecomastia. Read more information about male chest reduction.

Breast reduction surgery for smaller breasts at The Private Clinic is performed by some of the UK’s top consultant plastic surgeons. Our specialised breast surgeons are for consultation at our clinics in: London Harley Street, BirminghamBuckinghamshire, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Northampton.

Breast Reduction or Mammoplasty at a glance

Procedure Time
2 hours

Anaesthetic Type
General Anaesthetic

Hospital Stay
Daycase or Overnight (Case specific)

1 week

1 week

Up & Mobile
1 day

Sexual Activity
4 – 6 weeks

Back to work
1-2 weeks

6 weeks

6 weeks

Full Recovery Time
6 weeks

Final Results
6 – 12 months

Support Garments
Surgical Bra to be worn for 6 weeks

Sleeping on back for 2 weeks

The Reasons for Choosing a Breast Reduction

Breast reduction procedures are performed to reduce the size, weight and volume of your breasts, while enhancing their shape and overall aesthetic appearance. A Mastopexy or breast uplift, procedure is performed in conjunction with the reduction procedure.

You might consider a breast reduction due to the physical discomfort you may be suffering from having large breasts. Common physical problems associated with large breasts are:

  • Backache and neck pain
  • Grooves on the shoulders from bra straps
  • An inability to take part in sports
  • Poor posture
  • Excessive sweating, rashes and skin infections under the breasts

What are the advantages of a breast reduction?

  • Exercise more freely, for example, go jogging with little pain or discomfort
  • Dress in more shapely clothing and wear fashionable clothing
  • No more back and shoulder aches and pain
  • Easier to shop for bras and more selection to choose from

Patient’s Story

Patient Victoria shares her experience of Breast Reduction surgery 6 weeks following her procedure. Find out more about Victoria’s Patient Story here.

Breast Reduction Before & After Photos

Our expert surgeons offer leading breast surgery procedures.
Take a look at the Before and After photos to see how we have helped change our patients’ lives.

What to Expect

The Private Clinic has been treating patients for over 40 years with thousands of women placing their trust in us each year. We pride ourselves on being able to offer a personalised service. We have a team of friendly nurses and expert breast surgeons who understand the importance of this decision and will support you throughout your journey with us.

The Consultation

All breast reduction procedure journeys will start with an expert surgeon-led consultation.

During this consultation they will:

  • Give detailed information about the breast reduction procedure
  • Review your medical history
  • Examine and measure your breasts
  • Discuss your expectations from surgery
  • Detail the risks and complications of breast reduction surgery
  • Go through the aftercare and recovery process

You will then be allocated a dedicated patient coordinator who will be your point of contact should you wish to go ahead with the procedure.

During your journey you may decide to have several consultations with your plastic surgeon and their nursing team before deciding to go ahead with surgery.

Consultation Image 1

Pre-Operative Appointment

In the interests of patient safety all our patients are assessed against our patient selection criteria. Following your breast reduction consultation your medical history will be reviewed and the pre-operative nurse will advise on pre-operative tests. Most breast reduction pre-operative assessments include a blood test, MRSA swabs, urine test and a blood pressure test.

They will also advise you of any precautions you need to take in the days or weeks leading up to your breast reduction procedure and advise on any medication that you should stop taking ahead of your procedure.

Consultation Image 1

Breast Reduction Surgery

You will be given information ahead of your procedure detailing an arrival time for surgery which is usually an hour before your scheduled surgery start time. Breast reduction procedures are performed under general anaesthetic and usually take around 2-3 hours. Patients may be required to stay overnight following surgery, but this will be confirmed ahead of your surgery date.

On arrival:

  • The nursing team will record your blood pressure and prep you for surgery.
  • You will meet with the surgeon who will go through the procedure again and answer any questions.
  • Pre-operative photos will be taken.
  • Your chest will be marked up ready for surgery.

The Procedure:

  • General anaesthetic will be administered by the anaesthesiologist.
  • Your surgeon will either use an anchor, vertical or circumareolar incision depending on the technique they have selected to use.
  • Excess breast tissue, fat and skin are removed to reduce the size of each breast.
  • The nipple and areola are re-located higher up on the chest to give a more uplifted appearance to the chest.
  • The breast is then reshaped to result in a smaller breast size.
  • The incisions are closed with absorbable stitches and tape is put in place to protect them.
  • A surgical bra will be put on for you to wake up in.
  • You will then be taken back to your room where you may be required to stay overnight for observation.
  • Once the surgeon and nursing team are happy that you are safe to return home, you will be discharged and allowed to leave accompanied by a family member or friend.
Consultation Image 1

After your breast reduction procedure

A member of our nursing team will call you usually the day following your procedure to ensure you are well following your procedure. You will have information on how to contact your clinic or on-call nursing team should you have any worries or concerns at any point 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during your recovery time.

When you are discharged from the hospital, you will be provided with aftercare information from your surgeon to follow.

We recommend that you take at least 2 weeks off work and avoid strenuous exercise for at least 6 weeks. You should be resting and taking it easy, however, it is important to keep active and make sure to get up for regular short walks but do not try to do too much. You should arrange for someone to help you around the house and to help with childcare if necessary.

An appointment will be made for an incision and wound check usually 4-12 days following your breast reduction procedure. A 6-week follow-up appointment will then also be arranged with your surgeon. At this stage you should be back to your everyday activities, but your surgeon will be able to advise you on anything that you are unsure of.

Consultation Image 1

The Private Clinic have collaborated with Chrysalis Finance to offer 0% finance for our patients.*

*Acceptance is subject to status. Terms and conditions apply.


What is breast reduction surgery?
Breast Reduction surgery is a procedure that reduces the size of large breasts, also known as a mammoplasty.
What happens at a Breast Reduction consultation?

A consultation is the best way to find out more about the breast reduction procedure. You will be able to discuss your goals and your surgeon will be able to go through what can realistically be achieved. Your surgeon will take a look at your breasts and may take some measurements before sitting down to go through what the procedure entails and the risks and complications associated with breast reduction procedures.

What anaesthetic is used for breast reduction surgery?

A breast reduction is performed under general anaesthetic.

How long does a breast reduction procedure take?

Breast reduction procedures usually take 2-3 hours.

Will I have to stay in hospital?

You may be required to stay overnight in hospital for one night so your surgeon and the nursing team can make sure you are recovering well.

What happens during a breast reduction procedure?

The technique used during your breast reduction will vary depending on the size of your bust. An incision will be made usually around the areola and down the breast either ending at the inframammary fold or in some cases the incision may run along the inframammary fold too. During the procedure the nipple will usually remain attached to its original blood and nerve supply. Skin and/or tissue is then removed from the breast before it is then lifted and reshaped to a smaller size. The incisions are then closed before bandages and a surgical bra are put on.

Is breast reduction surgery painful?

You will experience no pain during the procedure as you will be under general anaesthetic. After the procedure you should not feel a great amount of pain as local anaesthetic will have been administered during the procedure. As this starts to wear off in the hours following surgery you may start to feel some pain, but you will be prescribed a course of painkillers to help reduce this. Usually any pain will subside after a week.

What will my scar look like after breast reduction surgery?

There are two types of scars associated with breast reduction surgery, the lollipop scar and the anchor scar. The lollipop scar goes around the nipple and down the length of the breast; the anchor scar is the same as the lollipop scar but also continues down along the inframammary fold along the underside of the bust. If you take care of your scars these should eventually fade from being red to more a silvery colour. Scar care advice will be given to you by your surgeon post-procedure.

How long will I need to wear the surgical bra for?

We usually recommend that you continue to wear the surgical bra for at least 6 weeks post-surgery. At 6 weeks your surgeon will see you and let you know if you are okay to go back to wearing underwired bras.

What should I expect after breast reduction surgery?

It is common to have swelling and bruising after a breast reduction procedure but these usually subsides after 1-2 weeks. You may also feel a little numb or tingly in certain areas which are down to nerve irritation which again should stop after 1-2 weeks.

How long will I need to take off work after breast reduction surgery?

We recommend that you take at least 1 week off work; some patients like to take 2 weeks off work so they are recovered fully. It does all depend on the nature of your job however, if your job involves manual labour and heavy lifting then we would suggest that you take more time off until you are fully healed to avoid any complications.

When can I exercise again after breast reduction surgery?

We recommend that you wait 4 weeks before taking part in moderate or low body exercises. You should not participate in any strenuous activities until 6 weeks post-surgery, or until your surgeon gives you the all clear.

Will I be able to breast feed after breast reduction surgery?

There is a chance that breast reduction surgery can reduce your ability to breast feed. We recommend that if you are planning for a family and want to breast feed then you should wait to have your procedure until after this time.

Is a breast reduction permanent?

Although rare, it is possible for your breasts to become larger again after a breast reduction. If you gain wait after surgery then the fat in your breasts is likely to increase or if you were to become pregnant then hormonal changes can increase the size of your bust. It is possible to perform a second breast reduction, although, as previously stated this is rare.

What are the risks with Breast Reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery carries risk just like any surgical procedure would do. The common risks are infection, excessive bleeding or reaction to the anaesthetic. Your surgeon will discuss all risks and complications in more detail at your consultation.

For information on Breast Implant Safety and risk please see;

What does a free breast reduction consultation mean?

We are able to offer a free breast reduction consultations eaither over the phone or via a video call with one of our experienced patient coordinators. Our knowledgeable team of coordinators will provide information on the procedure and the best breast reduction surgeons to suit your requirements.

In order to secure your timed breast reduction phone or video consultation we will ask you to pay a £25 refundable deposit. This is refunded once the consultation takes place. You can change your appointment time up to 48 hours before.

Am I suitable for breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is not commonly performed on anyone under the age of 18 this is because your breasts are still growing before this stage and it best to wait until they have stopped before having the procedure. If you are struggling with the size of your breasts then this procedure can reduce the size making things like buying clothing and playing sports a lot easier as well as helping with back pain issues that may be caused by the weight of your breasts.

What symptoms suggest that a breast reduction procedure may be necessary?

Patients with large breasts may experience;

• Pain in the back, neck and shoulders

• Drooping of the breasts

• Low self-confidence about having larger breasts

• Difficulty getting clothing to fit

• Poor posture

• Bra straps digging in

• Sweating underneath the breast

• Difficulty participating in sport activities

If any of the above symptoms relate then a breast reduction procedure may be able to help resolve it.

When will I be able to see the results of my breast reduction surgery?

You should notice a change to the size and weight of your breasts immediately after surgery. There will be swelling for the first couple of weeks which will alter the appearance of your breasts. The best results can be seen after at least 6 weeks.

How much does Breast Reduction Surgery cost?

The Private Clinic sees over 15,000 new patients every year and perform over 10,000 procedures, with one of the highest –patients’ satisfaction in the sector, Trustpilot 9.4, 5 star rating, 98% would recommend us to their friends and family. We are a multi award winning provider and have been voted the Aesthetic award for Best UK Clinic Group 2017.

The Private Clinic prides itself on its commitment to Medical Expertise, Patient Care and Satisfaction, Honest advice and most importantly results. We are above all committed to Quality. Please feel free to contact us for any advice or to book a consultation with one of our expert Breast surgeons. Breast Reduction Cost can be part of your decision to undergo a procedure but it should never be the deciding factor. For more information about The Private Clinic, our experience and medical expertise click here

The cost of a bilateral breast reduction procedure starts from £8,850. We don’t follow a one-price-fits-all policy and prices are quoted on a case by case basis. You will be given an accurate quote for your requirements following your consultation.

Consultations with our expert breast surgeons are £100 at our clinics in London Harley Street, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester and Northampton clinics.

We also offer consultations with our highly experienced Patient Coordinators which require a £25 refundable deposit to secure your place. These are available in BirminghamLeedsManchester and Northampton.

Patient coordinators are able to offer you all the information you require prior to meeting a surgeon.

Please note all consultations available at our Harley Street clinic are with a surgeon.

Is there a Breast Reduction clinic near me?

The Private Clinic has clinics nationwide so we are sure to have an expert breast surgeon located near to you.

Our clinics are in;

London – 98 Harley street, W1G7HZ

Manchester – 25 St John Street, M3 4DT

Birmingham – 88 Hagley Road, B16 8LU – West Midlands

Leeds – 45 Park Square North, LS1 2NP – Yorkshire

Buckinghamshire – Virtual Consultations only

Northampton – 82 Billing Road, NN1 5DF – East Midlands

To find out more about booking a consultation at a clinic near you, contact us here.

Things to Consider

Our advice on what to consider when deciding to have a breast reduction procedure:

1. When choosing a clinic, you should always do your research, and only go to an established, reputable clinic.

The Private Clinic has been in the cosmetic surgery industry for over 40 years. We are here to answer all of your questions and give you peace of mind.

2. When choosing a surgeon, make sure you know who you’ll be seeing. Their expertise, qualifications and patient satisfaction rate are important factors to take into consideration.

At The Private Clinic, we only source the most experienced and specialised surgeons. Find out more about our plastic surgeons here.

3. Price should never be the deciding factor when choosing where to have your treatment. Safety should be your number one priority and feeling confident that they will look after you – not only before, but also after your procedure

4. When it sounds too good to be true, it often is. Always find out what your clinic’s reputation is.

Our excellent reputation for patient safety and satisfaction, honest advice and outstanding care means your journey with The Private Clinic will be an exciting experience to a newfound shape.

Breast Reduction Patient Stories

“I don’t have any body hangs ups now, I feel very confident again and can wear whatever I like.”

Hear from more patients in our Breast Reduction Webinar recording.

Why Choose The Private Clinic

  • The Private Clinic has been treating patients for over 40 years with thousands of women placing their trust in us each year.
  • Top UK specialised best breast surgeons with decades of experience.
  • Dedicated care with your expert breast surgeon and nursing team, and a 24 hour help line.
  • We have state of the art hospital facilities.
  • Comprehensive Breast Reduction Patient Guide provided to all patients.
  • 5 Star Trustpilot Rating
  • Find out more about Breast Reduction surgery in our informative blogs.
  • All of the breast options are discussed. So you will be happy with your shape.
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Meet our Surgeons

We have a dedicated Plastic Surgeon and medical team who will be with you throughout your journey.

At The Private Clinic breast reduction surgery is performed by some of the UK’s top consultant plastic surgeons who have decades of experience.