Breast reduction

Cosmetic breast surgery
Breast reconstruction
Breast reduction can be carried out for a number of reasons. It is commonly purely cosmetic, when a woman wishes to have both breasts made smaller to suit her overall build better. Other reasons to have breast reduction include shoulder or back ache due to the weight of the breasts; skin rashes or infections in the crease under the breast; failure of development of the other breast; congenital asymmetry (where one breast is naturally larger than the other); contralateral symmetrisation following surgery and revision surgery following previous cosmetic surgery. If you are considering having breast augmentation, please read the BAPRAS Guide to Breast Augmentation  and the Royal College of Surgeons advice regarding cosmetic surgery in general .

Breast reduction should only be carried out after having a clinical examination alongside mammograms and/or ultrasound scan to make sure there is no evidence of breast cancer. Once this has been done, our Consultant Surgeons will establish what you wish to achieve through having breast reduction, as each individual has different priorities - from achieving a more balanced or symmetrical appearance; making it easier to find clothes that fit, or increased body confidence. This will enable us to work towards an appropriate size to suit the individual. There will be plenty of opportunities to address any concerns and queries about the process of having breast reduction; the operation itself and likely recovery time as well as the short and long-term complications associated with having breast implants. It is important to remember that simply having an appointment to discuss breast reduction options does not commit either the patient or the surgeon to the procedure - sometimes a discussion about breast reduction that ends with a decision not to operate is the best outcome for both parties.

Complications and problems can occur following any operation. If you are considering breast reduction surgery, you should think about the following complications:

Surgical complications
Haemorrhage, haematoma, (chronic) pain, infection, seroma, need for further surgery, risk of anaesthetic, DVT/PE

Scarring & healing
Hypertrophic/keloid scar, hypo/hyperpigmentation, itching/tender scars, dog ear, wound breakdown, delayed healing, poor healing, flap necrosis, nipple necrosis, loss of nipple sensation/contractility, inability to breast feed, difficulty with interpretation of future mammograms

Cosmetic complications
Bottoming out, sunrise nipple, asymmetry, fat necrosis, unable to guarantee a particular cup size, failure to improve symptoms (including back/shoulder/neck pain), late shape change, dissatisfaction with appearance

This is not an exhaustive list but it is intended as a starting point for complications you may wish to discuss in more detail with your surgeon.
RCS Cosmetic Surgery
RCS Breast augmentation