Most breast reductions are carried out in the private sector but may be available on the NHS in some circumstances, such as suffering pain. A breast reduction can help improve the shape, size and position of your breasts or correct asymmetry, by removing skin and breast tissue.
Breast Reduction Procedure
Breast reduction surgery is carried out under general anaesthetic and takes around 4-6 hours depending on what is required. Your surgeon will remove excess tissue, reshape your breasts and reposition your nipples.
Immediately After Breast Reduction Surgery
After your surgery you will have drainage tubes to remove excess fluid and blood as well as dressings. Your breasts will most likely be swollen and painful, and feel a bit lumpy.
It is likely that you will have to stay in hospital for a few days following the operation.
The First Few Weeks After Your Surgery
You should be able to return to your normal routine within 2-3 weeks after your surgery, it is unlikely that the swelling and bruising will completely settle though for a number of months. You may experience painful breasts during this time, requiring the use of over-the-counter pain relief. Any scarring around your nipples and incision areas will start to reduce in severity. If you notice severe scarring, infection, lumpiness or numbness, be sure to contact your surgical team.
You can resume light sporting activities within a few weeks but more vigorous training with significant upper body movements should be avoided for at least a month. It is also important to wear a supportive sports bra in order to preserve the best possible results from your breast reduction surgery.
If you are planning children post surgery you may find it difficult to breast feed. With modern breast reduction techniques, surgeons aim to preserve the milk producing ducts to the nipple, which means most women are able to breast feed their children, but it is good to be aware that you may have issues.
It is also helpful to remember that if you do become pregnant after your breast reduction surgery, your breasts are likely to become larger, which may affect the results.
Any scarring typically fades but this can take up to 24 months. Regular moisturising and massaging of the scars helps.