Breast reduction


Reduction mammoplasty

Breast reduction surgery can reduce shoulder and back pain caused by large and heavy breasts, and improve confidence


If you feel your breasts are too big, it can be difficult to live with and affect your confidence. It can limit the clothes you can wear and the sports you do, along with causing shoulder and back pain. Breast reduction is a straightforward operation to remove breast tissue to decrease breast size. It can be carried out on women and men.

Need to know

  • What happens icon plus

    A breast reduction is done under general anaesthetic, so you'll be asleep. It can be carried out on women and men.

    There are different ways for the surgery to be done, but usually it involves moving your nipple, removing excess tissue and skin, and reshaping your breast. All procedures will leave a scar.

    The operation takes between one and four hours, depending on the extent of your surgery.

  • How to prepare icon plus

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you. Make sure you chat through any concerns you have about the procedure with your consultant beforehand.

    As you'll be having a general anaesthetic, your consultant will tell you how long you should avoid eating and drinking before your operation. You won't be able to drive following the procedure so you should arrange for someone to help you get home afterwards.

  • Afterwards icon plus

    You'll be cared for in hospital for one to two nights following your operation. You will have dressings on your breasts and plastic drains to remove any fluid. You may need a couple of weeks off work to recover.

    Your consultant will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including driving, exercise and work. It can take up to six weeks to fully recover.

    A breast reduction operation does leave scars, around the nipple and under the breast. They will fade within 18 months but they'll never go away completely. Your scars may be red to start with but they should fade to white over time.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.

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