Surgical Breast Reduction, or Mammoplasty, is a surgical procedure performed under general anaesthetic to reduce the size of breasts.
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What’s on this page
- About this Treatment
- Before & Afters
- What to Expect
- Our Clinics
- Things to Consider
- Patient Stories
- Why the Private Clinic
- Meet the Surgeons
- Related Blogs & News
Medically reviewed by Lorcan Sheppard BSc MBBS FRCA, Chief Medical Officer and the Medical Advisory Committee for The Private Clinic.
Last Reviewed July 12th 2022
Related Cosmetic Surgery
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 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 anesthetic. 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 breast size.
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 gynaecomastia. Read more information about male chest reduction.
Breast reduction surgery at The Private Clinic is performed by some of the UK’s top consultant plastic surgeons. Our specialised breast surgeons are available to meet at our clinics in: London Harley Street, Birmingham, Buckinghamshire, Manchester, Leeds and Northampton.
2 – 3 hours
Up & Mobile
4 – 6 weeks
Back to work
Full Recovery Time
6 – 12 months
Surgical Bra to be worn for 6 weeks
Sleeping elevated on back for 6 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. It is quite common for women to have a Mastopexy or breast uplift, procedure 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
as seen in
Before & After
Our expert surgeons and medical staff 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 35 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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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 35 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.