Aesthetics & CosmeticsConditions & Treatments

10 Things You Should Know About Breast Reduction Surgery

Also known as 'reduction mammaplasty' among plastic surgeons

Most of us these days probably know of someone who has undergone breast reduction surgery – whether intimately or through a friend. And that’s because it has become such a popular and even pretty commonplace procedure.

Women undergo breast reduction surgery for several reasons – and the most popular reason certainly isn’t cosmetic. It’s usually more about health, for example to reduce chronic neck, back or shoulder pain.  That’s because large breasts can cause a woman to bend over from the weight, resulting in all sorts of spinal and cranial injuries.

Then there are the psychological reasons too – the despair at never being able to find clothes that fit, and the embarrassment of every man’s eyes in the room turning to your cleavage as soon as you walk through the door. It is unwanted attention that many women would rather avoid.

For many women then, breast reduction surgery seems not a ‘pie in the sky’ dream, but an affordable reality – something undoubtedly worth saving up for. And, at the approximate cost of £6,500 for breast reduction surgery in London, most women will have to save.

1. Your self-esteem will soar

Being proud of your body to the extent you want to show it off will do wonders for your confidence. Certainly, it’s far healthier psychologically to feel that way than to go around hiding your chest because you’re embarrassed it’s so big.

Not only that, but you will look terrific in clothes you couldn’t fit into before, such as tight-fitting tops and dresses, because you felt your breasts were too large. You will almost certainly go down a dress size, and your body will look more proportional overall.

2. Your breasts will look perkier

After breast reduction surgery, it will seem as if you’ve had a breast lift. And that’s because the surgeon will move your nipples up after the excess flesh has been cut away. That way it will make your breasts appear to have been ‘lifted.’ They may sag a little initially though as the skin readjusts, and after three months they will have settled into their permanent position.

3. You’re in good company

Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars have gone under the knife – to great aplomb afterwards. But, more importantly, to their own delight.

Hollywood’s favourite actress Scarlett Johansson underwent breast reduction surgery for health reasons. She had initially had breast fillers at the start of her career, which boosted her bra size to 36D.

Another famous face is Modern Family actress Ariel Winter who had breast reduction surgery and reduced her chest size from 32F to 34D. The surgery, she said, afterwards, made her feel like “a new person.” She added: “It’s amazing to finally feel right… this is how I was supposed to be.”

4. It’s not painful 

Unlike breast augmentation surgery, a breast reduction operation isn’t as painful. The reason for this is because only the breast tissue and skin are involved. With breast augmentation, the muscle is also involved, which can make the procedure painful for many women – especially when the anaesthetic they have been given during the operation begins to wear off.

5. You may not have to pay for it

Many women have received breast reduction surgery through their private medical insurance. That’s because it is a procedure that can be covered under medical problems, such as diagnosis related to back or neck pain we mentioned in the introduction of this article.

The challenge is that there are a lot of insurers who consider breast reduction an aesthetic and cosmetic procedure, similar to sculpting and breast augmentation, which are generally not covered. It is worth checking with your insurer before going ahead and booking an appointment.

6. If you’re overweight you may have to diet

Why? Well, it may be that you may not need a breast reduction operation after all. That is because your breasts shrink as you lose weight and they would drop a size or two anyway. According to Mayo Clinic, breast reduction surgery is generally not recommended for very obese patients and those with conditions such as diabetes or heart health.

7. You may not get the exact size you want 

The size your breasts will reduce to after the operation is something that you and your surgeon can discuss together. He or she will be able to advise on what the best size is for your body to remain in proportion – and that may not be the size you have in your mind when you first go to meet your surgeon. Typically, most women go down one or two sizes.

8. There will be scarring

Your breasts will look terrific when clothed, but there is no avoiding the fact that you will have scars for quite some time – up to a year afterwards. However, they should have faded quite a lot within that time. Similarly, any numbness you feel in the nipples following the operation will return. This time it’s quicker; the sensation should return to your nipples after around two months.

9. You won’t be at the gym for a month

Breast reduction surgery, like any operation, can take a lot out of your body. That means physical exercise (of the strenuous variety) is out for at least a few weeks and usually up to a month.

Your body will need the energy to heal itself, so vigorous exercise will probably be the last thing on your mind. You will be an out-patient and at home, so for the first few days you’ll need as much rest as possible. After that, you can start to move around and resume gentle exercise.

10. You may not be able to breastfeed

For some women breastfeeding years after a breast lift or breast reduction operation can prove challenging. Doctors say the chances of complications occurring with breastfeeding at a later stage are possible, and it is almost impossible to predict who will be affected in this way, and vice versa.

Before going ahead with booking breast reduction surgery, it’s always a good idea to talk it over with your doctor first. Changing your appearance should never be taken lightly, and it’s important to research the best aesthetic plastic surgeons, who would meet your requirements. At the minimum, you should expect reputable providers to be members of professional societies advancing the science of aesthetic and plastic surgery, such as the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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