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What Is A Breast Reduction?

A breast reduction, or 'mammoplasty', is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the volume of the breast, in order to make it smaller and – in some cases – more shapely.

Breast reduction surgery focusses on removing excess tissue in the breast, as well as fat and skin to lighten the weight and prominence of the breast. Your nipples will be reshaped or raised, along with the breast, which will create a perkier – and ultimately more aesthetic - breast shape.

Breast reduction surgery is one of the most common procedures in the UK, accounting for roughly 15% of all cosmetic surgical procedures in the UK.

The Breast Reduction procedure is ideal for patients with naturally very large breasts that cause discomfort or inconvenience, or those that have permanently increased in size following childbirth. Breast reduction is appropriate for both women and men (for male breast reduction please view our 'gynaecomastia' page) who feel that their breasts are oversized or are not in proportion with the rest of their body.

The Cadogan Clinic employ virtual imaging software to help you visualize potential outcomes in your individual case via Crisalix Imaging software, as well as carefully manage expectations and increase the chances of achieving your goals.

What can I expect from my surgery?

At A Glance

Breast Reduction

At A Glance

  • Surgery Time

    2 - 3 hours

  • Exercise Including Gym

    6 weeks

  • Time Off Work

    1 - 2 weeks

  • Bras & Garments

    Sports bra worn for 8 weeks

  • Hospital Stay

    Day case

  • Sexual Activity

    Restricted activity after 4 weeks

  • Washing

    Shower after 1 week

  • Full Recovery

    6 - 8 weeks

  • Reasonably Mobile

    1 day

  • Driving

    2 weeks

  • Sleeping Position

    Sleeping on back recommended for 1-2 weeks

Breast Reduction
Before & After Gallery

See what is possible by clicking the button below.

VIEW GALLERY
My Face My Body Awards Finalist 2017 Aesthetics Awards Winner 2017 Highly Commended 2018 My Face My Body Awards Winner 2016

Breast Reduction Surgeons

We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country.

Mr. Naveen Cavale

Plastic, Reconstructive & Cosmetic Surgeon / GMC: 4190952

Mr. Naveen Cavale is a fully qualified and fully accredited UK Plastic Surgeon who graduated from University College London and the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh...

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Mr. William Van Niekerk

Aesthetic Plastic And Reconstructive Surgeon / GMC: 4362791

Mr. William Van Niekerk is a consultant plastic, reconstructive, aesthetic, and burn surgeon with over 20 years of medical experience...

See Full Profile

Mr. David Gateley

Consultant Plastic And Reconstructive Surgeon / GMC: 2939470

Mr. David Gateley is a Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with a special interest in facial aesthetics, rhinoplasty and complimentary surgical and non-surgical rejuvenation techniques...

See Full Profile
See all Plastic Surgeons

Send an enquiry

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What Does It Involve?

The Breast Reduction, or mammoplasty, procedure is an invasive surgical procedure that is performed under general anaesthetic and takes between 2 -3 hours to perform.

The overall effect is to reduce the volume of the breast, and perhaps in some case, reposition the breast and nipple to generate the optimal aesthetic look. Whilst there are several techniques generally employed, each involves the reduction in the size of the breast via excision and reshaping of the breast mound and repositioning of the nipple.

The procedure is commonly combined with a breast uplift procedure to restore the optimal positioning of the breast post-surgery.

The blood supply is preserved to leave a fully functioning and proportionate breast post-surgery, hanging in the most regular position.

Recovery time tends to be between 1 – 2 weeks, during which time we recommend some time off work and reduced physical movement until the swelling has subsided. Regular physical activity and exercise can be fully resumed in roughly 6 weeks.

Breast Reduction For Men

We offer breast reduction for men to treat Gynaecomastia, which is a common condition that causes the male breasts to become enlarged. This can be caused by hormone imbalance, obesity, old age or puberty, or it can occur naturally without reason. Gynaecomastiacan cause men to feel self-conscious, and the treatment for this is an excellent way to regain that confidence and have your desired chest.

The surgery for men is performed in a slightly different method, with the focus on avoiding visible scars, and often liposuction alone is adequate to create the desired results. We also offer Nipple Reduction for men who suffer a condition called 'Puffy Nipple'.

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To enquire about a consultation with a Breast Reduction specialist, please complete the form:

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If you have any questions or queries please call to speak to one of our advisors or request a call back to speak at a time that suits you.

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Why Do People Have It?

Female breast size is determined by several factors, including genetics, body weight, and hormonal influences. Breasts can also be affected after giving birth, resulting in an undesirable change in breast shape and size.

Unfortunately, larger breasts can often be associated with a variety of problems, ranging from self-consciousness and inconvenience (especially if you are particularly sporty, or if you struggle to find flattering, well-fitting bras and clothes), through to more serious discomfort. This can include backache, neck pain and skin irritation such as rashes under the breasts. There are also issues that arise such as an inability to take part in certain sports or exercise due to overly large breast size.

Many women desire to have a breast reduction after giving birth when the breast begins to sag lower than before. However, many women have breast reductions prior to having children and are concerned about the ability to breastfeed after surgery. During the procedure, care is taken by your highly skilled surgeon to retain connections between the remaining breast tissue and the skin, in order to preserve breastfeeding capability.

Who Is Suitable

Cadogan Clinic considers individuals fit for the procedure, if all of the following are true of them:

  • An adult with fully developed breasts
  • Physically and psychologically fit and healthy
  • Concerned by the size or shape of at least one of their breasts, either for aesthetic or comfort reasons
  • Have realistic expectations of what can be achieved by surgery

Testimonials

The Process

The first step for all of our patients is to meet with the surgeon we feel is most suite to you and best placed to perform your procedure for a consultation.

At the consultation you will be able to discuss with your surgeon what your hope to achieve from the breast reduction procedure, as well as discuss in detail what may or may not be possible given your existing breast anatomy, bone structure and skin quality.

A comprehensive discussion regarding risks and complications will take place, alongside a discussion regarding the post procedure and recovery phase. Your previous medical history will also be recorded (including previous surgery, medications, allergies etc.) and an assessment of your fitness for surgery.

If your surgeon feels you are a good candidate for surgery, you are then invited to consider whether you would like to proceed for surgery or otherwise following a two week 'cooling off' period.

Within this period you are welcome to come in and discuss your potential surgery with your surgeon as many times as you like.

If you choose to proceed with surgery, the next time you come into the Clinic after your final consultation will be the day of your procedure.

Before admission the following behavioural changes are recommended / required:

  • In the 6 weeks before your procedure we recommend smoking is discontinued as patients who smoke have a higher risk of healing more slowly and complications
  • In the week before your procedure you must cease taking Aspirin or any medication that contains Aspirin
  • In the 6 hours prior to surgery you must not consume food or any drink, other than small sips of clear fluid (e.g. still water, black coffee, black tea) which are allowed up to 2 hours before admission

On the day of your procedure we ask that you arrive for your admission an hour before the agreed start time of surgery. At this point a nurse will come and record blood pressure and other relevant tests, you will meet with your anaesthetist and your surgeon who will make the final mark-ups.

The procedure itself is takes place under general anaesthetic over the course of between two and three hours. The surgery involves the placement of an incision underneath the breast, the excision of breast tissue and volume via this incision, and then finally the repositioning of the nipple.

Following the procedure, you will recover in our ambulatory recovery rooms for between two to three hours, dependent on the scale of the procedure. Once our specialist nursing team are happy that your initial recovery is complete and you are safe to return home, you will be allowed to leave the Clinic accompanied by a friend or member of your family.

Once home you will have access to our dedicated oncall nursing team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This team of specialists are dedicated to your comfort and recovery, and are there to field any questions you may have in the immediate post operative phase.

Breast Reduction recovery is fairly quick and any residual discomfort should subside in a matter of days. Patients are able to return to a normal routine after a week following the procedure. The full healing process is between 2 – 3 weeks. You will have some bruising and swelling, but it will be gone after a few days and you'll be able to get back to your normal routine.

We advise patients to take a week off work whilst swelling is at its peak. We ask our patients to be sensitive to their breast area during this time, and not try to do too much too soon. We also recommend avoiding UV light for 2 -4 weeks to aid the scarring process.

We ask that you come in and see our nursing team 1 week after surgery to ensure your incision sites have been properly reviewed. At this juncture we also recommend you meet with one of our on site aestheticians to discuss ongoing treatment to support the healing process.

You should start to see your results clearly after 6 week mark. We ask that you come in to see your surgeon after 6 weeks for a post procedure for a final check up.

Why come to The Cadogan Clinic for your Breast Reduction?



What are the risks

Complications are rare although, as with all surgery, possible. Your surgeon will discuss each of these risks comprehensively at your consultation. Read our FAQ section for more information.

What Can I Expect From My Surgery?

Our Surgical Patient Advisor, Ellie, answers our patients most frequently asked questions.

What can I expect from my surgery?

Frequently Asked Questions

Breast reduction surgery is usually performed under general anaesthetic as a day case procedure, meaning advanced sedation techniques are employed to enable you to recover more quickly after surgery and return home on the day of your breast reduction surgery.

Whilst there are several breast reduction surgery techniques, each essentially involves reducing a proportion of the breast volume via excision and reshaping the breast mound such that the nipple is lifted into a more normal position, while preserving the blood supply to the elevated nipple and areolar complex. The overall effect is a more ‘pert’ breast hanging in a more regular position.

Your surgeon will explain his or her preferred breast reduction surgery technique at your consultation and where the incision is to be placed accordingly.

You will need to wear a garment day and night for at least three weeks after breast reduction surgery, and may be for as long as 6 - 8 weeks.

Whilst different surgeons will operate according to slightly different protocols following breast reduction surgery, you will need to wear a garment for at least 3 weeks after your breast reduction surgery.

This might be a specialised lycra compression garment made specifically for those who have recently undergone breast reduction surgery, or simply a sports bra depending on your surgeons preference.

Either way, the compression garment is worn to support the breasts and protect the wounds. It is particularly necessary for when you are undertaking more vigorous activity and exercise.

Sensation loss is rarely an issue after breast reduction surgery, but on occasion can occur.

Women with very large breasts often never have significant feeling in the nipples and in the event that sensation is reduced after breast reduction surgery, it is unlikely to be missed.

General advice is to take two weeks off work following breast reduction surgery, since swelling is greatest during this time and it is advisable to give wounds time to heal.  During this period it is advisable to keep physical activity to a minimum or drive. It is, however, advisable to mobilise as soon as possible after breast reduction surgery.

If stitches need to be removed, this is generally carried out at about two weeks after the operation.  At this stage dressings are removed and women are encouraged to wear comfortable crop tops or sports bras for support until any swelling and discomfort has resolved, after which they can start wearing normal bras in their new size – this may take a few weeks longer.

Massage and moisturizing are a vital process of breast reduction aftercare and expert advice will be given on the best techniques from our dedicated team.

Following traditional breast reduction techniques, you should expect a small degree of scarring.

There are different techniques for breast reduction and the scars created will depend on the technique employed, as well as the patient in question and the size of the breasts being reduced. Most commonly you should expect some scarring around the nipple, across the bottom of the breast fold, and a vertical scar linking the nipple scar to the breast fold scar giving rise to the so-called ‘inverted T’ or anchor pattern. Some surgeons prefer to perform the operation omitting the breast fold scar giving rise to the ‘vertical scar’ reduction. Not everybody is necessarily eligible for this and it tends to be used for not such large breasts.

Due to our specialism in liposuction, it is possible in some cases to perform breast reduction using liposuction techniques only. This technique is often known as ‘scarless breast reduction’ since the incisions required can be made in less prominent positions, such as under the arms, where they cannot be seen.

Regardless of which technique you undergo, Cadogan Clinic is able to provide each and every one of its patients with access to one of London’s most advanced scar minimization programmes, led by our scar prevention team here at the Clinic. Our nurses have decades of experience and will provide you with the tools and techniques to support your healing process as effectively as possible.

Breast reduction surgery necessarily requires an incision that will result in a breast reduction scar that will likely be red and slightly raised in the weeks and months after your procedure, before it fades completely.

Breast reduction scar visibility can, however, be greatly impacted by the quality of the surgeon you choose, as well as the level of aftercare you receive.

In the hands of a skilled surgeon the breast reduction scar can be positioned very discreetly during your breast reduction surgery, whilst an expert scar minimization team can provide you with the tools and techniques to enhance the healing process. For example, the appearance of your breast reduction scars can be reduced by regular moisturisation and massage techniques, all of which our dedicated team will advise our patients in the days following your procedure.

Due to our specialism in liposuction, it is possible in some cases to perform breast reduction surgery using liposuction techniques only. This technique is often known as ‘scarless breast reduction’ since the incisions required can be made in less prominent positions, such as under the arms, where they can not been seen.

Breast reduction recovery time varies from case to case but you should be able to return to your normal day-to-day activities after about two weeks. However, we recommend our patients be sensitive to their body and try not to do too much too soon, ceasing activities after or during which any pain is experienced.

We recommend temporary suspension of activities such as going to the gym, and practicing aerobics and sports that involve using your arms. Any activity that requires lifting your elbows above your shoulders should also be carefully monitored.

All breast reduction techniques require an incision that will result in a scar that will likely be red and slightly raised in the weeks and months after your procedure, before fading completely.

Scar visibility can, however, be greatly impacted by the quality of the surgeon you choose, as well as the level of aftercare you receive. In the hands of a skilled surgeon the scar can be positioned very discreetly, whilst an expert scar minimization team can provide you with the tools and techniques to enhance the healing process. For example, scar the appearance can be reduced by regular moisturisation and massage techniques, all of which our dedicated team will advise our patients in the days following your procedure.

Due to our specialism in liposuction, it is possible in some cases to perform breast reduction using liposuction techniques only. This technique is often known as ‘scarless breast reduction’ since the incisions required can be made in less prominent positions, such as under the arms, where they can not been seen.

Breast reduction surgery is a highly effective technique to help lose breast weight and reduce the impact of large, heavy breasts.

Heavy breasts are uncomfortable and can cause both physical discomfort and pain, and psychological distress.

Breast reduction surgery removes excess breast tissue from naturally large and  heavy breasts and relieves the associated discomfort.

You can view breast reduction before and after images in our Breast Reduction Before and After Gallery on this page.

At your consultation, your consultant will also share more extensive examples of breast reduction before and after results they have achieved.

We feel strongly that you can best understand what might be possible for you and your breast anatomy by reviewing the results of previous breast reduction surgery

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