Breast Reduction

Breast ReductionBreast Reduction

For women and men alike breasts can seem large due to the presence of fatty deposits. The easiest way to reduce breast size is by losing excess weight through a suitable diet and exercise, but surgery is a possibility too.

Breast Reduction in Women

Breast reduction in women is also referred to as reduction mammoplasty. It is an operation performed in order to reduce the volume and weight of the breasts.

Throughout the procedure glandular tissue, fat and skin are eliminated from the breasts. Afterwards, it is necessary to reshape and reposition the nipples.

The size of your breasts is basically determined by a combination of hormones, genes, weight and body frame. For the majority of women, the size of their breasts is directly proportional to their body. However, in a few cases there are women whose breasts are exceptionally large.

The hormone oestrogen has a great influence on breast size. Breasts naturally grow throughout adolescence or after menopause, or in some cases when hormone replacement therapy is used.  Some women develop an asymmetry between their breasts, which means they don’t look alike.

Surgery to reduce breast size can help women who are not happy with the weight, shape or alignment of their breasts and they can be given more uplift and made smaller. Breast size can alter if body weight changes, so your breasts may grow in size if weight is put on or pregnancy takes place, even after breast reduction surgery.

Men and Breast Reduction

For a number of perfectly natural reasons, some men experience an enlargement of their breasts. This is usually due to overeating, but sometimes it is because of a hormonal abnormality. Men can also have breast reduction surgery if their breasts are too big. This is known as gynaecomastia.

Cosmetic breast reduction

If breast reduction is conducted for appearance reasons and not to solve a health related issue it will not normally be available on the NHS. You will need to pay for private treatment.

If you think that you may qualify for NHS assistance then you will usually have to be referred by your GP. You will also need to see a plastic surgeon or breast surgeon and you may require a report from a psychologist or psychiatrist. You may be eligible if your breasts are causing you to have significant mental health problems or your breasts are particularly painful.

Risks with Breast Reduction Surgery

All surgery has some risks attached to it but with breast reduction surgery the possible complications are lack of uniformity in the shape of the nipples and breasts, scarring, the loss of sensation in the nipples, the inability to breastfeed permanently and difficulty in the healing of the wound post-surgery.

The Breast Reduction Operation

You will have to go through some pre-surgery health checks before the commencement of the procedure. If you are a smoker you will be told to stop some time before the operation. Smoking tends to elevate your risk of wound and chest infections and may slow down the healing process. This applies to being overweight, too, so you may be advised to shed some kilos before the operation.

Breast reduction surgery is normally conducted while under a general anaesthetic and you will be told to abstain from drinking and eating for six hours before the operation. The operation will then take between 90 minutes and 4 hours to complete. A short spell in hospital of around 2 nights is required in order to safely recover from the operation.

The surgeon normally uses a pen to place marks on the areas of the skin where the incisions will be made. Breast reduction surgery normally starts with the nipple which is shifted to its new position. It is normally kept attached to its blood supply. If your breasts are extremely large, the nipples might be removed and then repositioned by using a skin graft. They will develop their blood supply naturally.

Surplus breast tissue and skin tissue are then removed. The breast tissue that remains is reshaped to form more elevated and smaller breasts.

Breast reduction surgery can also be performed on men if their breasts are too big, a condition called asgynaecomastia. There are various reasons for larger than normal breasts in men, as has already been mentioned. One is to do with obesity and the other is to do with a hormone imbalance. There are other reasons which are too much alcohol intake, use of drugs like anabolic steroids, the onset of cancer and liver failure. If you feel embarrassed by the appearance of your breasts you can undertake breast reduction surgery. If a man has enlarged breasts, it is important that the reasons for the abnormality are discovered first, before surgery as the breasts may simply grow again if the underlying cause is not dealt with.

Unless you can convince your GP to recommend you for breast reduction surgery on health grounds you will need to consult with a private breast reduction surgeon who is fully qualified to perform the operation in the UK. You can find a list of suitable surgeons at

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