Breast Reduction
Tuesday 27 September 2016

In a world where many women want to have larger breasts to improve their self-esteem and body image, many others find that large breasts are a source of discomfort or embarrassment.  

Often it is the case that patients endure many years of discomfort or unhappiness before deciding to have breast reduction surgery.  Large breasts can also make it difficult to choose clothes, to exercise or to do certain jobs.  Examples of my cases include a lady who needed to wear uniform in the military, one who had been repeatedly teased about her breasts and another who wanted to fit into a beautiful antique wedding dress.  If you have a particular event or date in mind, (wedding, travel, new job etc) it is advisable to have surgery at least a couple of months in advance and, of course there is some lead-in time for consultations and booking surgery so it is sensible to start planning 4-6 months in advance.

Breast size can be reduced with an operation which can be done as a day case or an overnight stay.  Usually patients asking for breast reduction will be a DD cup or larger although it is possible to reduce smaller breasts as well.  

The operation is designed to lift and reduce the breasts whilst leaving a natural and pleasing shape.  Great care is taken to understand and assess each individual case so that the desired outcome can be achieved and a number of measurements (a bit like being measured for a dress!) are taken in order to achieve this.  

Typically there is very little discomfort from the surgery and patients can return to most activities within 3 weeks; much sooner in many cases.  Driving a car and simple, light activities can be started as soon as it is comfortable to do so, maybe within a few days.  

It is necessary to cut around the nipple and in an upside-down T-shape below the nipple in order to do the surgery.  The stitches are all hidden and dissolvable – so there is no need to have them removed.  Shower proof dressings are used and the objective is for patients to enjoy the minimum possible disruption to daily life and activities.

Research has consistently shown very high levels of satisfaction with body image, quality of life, back and shoulder symptoms, function and posture.

If you are considering a breast reduction you may wish to seek advice from Mr Oliver Harley, Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon at North Downs Hospital.


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