Breast reduction

I don’t really consider the surgery I’ve had to be "cosmetic" as it has made such a difference to my health too. I had had back pain since the age of 17, and had physiotherapy, sessions with a chiropractor and had used a Tens machine regularly.

I feel great! My shape is completely different, my back pain has gone and I have more self-esteem.

Over the months before the surgery the pain had spread from my back to my neck. I had to purchase a different car that had a very upright seat to try and help. My whole life was being affected by my back.

Initially I didn’t even think that the reason could be related to my chest size but when I questioned my chiropractor she said that in her initial assessment she had noted that she could never cure the back pain completely due to my chest size.

I began to consider the amount of jokes constantly being made about my chest, the way that people constantly looked at them and felt able to make comments, and the fact that the sores under my breasts were uncomfortable. Consequently I began thinking about surgery and came to the conclusion that there was not going be a 'down side' to having a breast reduction.

I looked up practices in Essex offering this type of surgery and found that I could have it done at the Spire Hartswood Hospital. I had had some minor surgery there a few years before and the staff and the cleanliness were amazing so it was my first choice. I contacted the hospital and found out that Mr Sood was hosting an information evening about cosmetic surgery. I attended this and spoke to Mr Sood afterwards about my needs and then booked a formal appointment.

Mr Sood was able to offer more than the NHS. I was able to have a complete breast augmentation including having my nipples carefully moved whilst still attached to their nerves, protecting the long term sensitivity of the breast.

With this in mind, and the benefits I would get from not having chronic back and neck pain, I simply didn’t have any doubts. Mr Sood could undertake the surgery within my short time scale and I was booked in within a month, in my holiday time.

When I went in for surgery, all the staff members were amazing. They reassured me so that I had no worries, as well as having a laugh with me. All my previous health conditions were carefully considered to ensure that my health was protected. My family were looked after so they didn’t worry. The doctors were incredible and I had no doubts at any point.

After the surgery, I had to wear a support bra and was fairly restful in the two weeks after the surgery, however I did still go walking and go out and enjoy life. I didn’t drive for a couple of weeks to protect my stitches and I didn’t move the dressings in any way to ensure the wounds would have the best possible speed of recovery.

When I returned to see Mr Sood after two weeks, the results were incredible. The wounds had healed well with only a couple of areas where healing was still visible. The shape looked great and whilst the breasts were still swollen it was clear that they were going to be fantastic. I was on hardly any painkillers and all of my back pain had already gone.

I feel great!  My shape is completely different, my back pain has gone, my breasts are something that no longer get in the way of my life. I have more self-esteem and have come off my anti-depressants. It is also easy to exercise now as I have no bouncing breasts interfering with any exercise I do!

For anybody else who is in a similar position, I say don’t hesitate! Be open and honest with your doctor and be clear about what you want. I made it clear what size I wanted to be and whilst the doctor said that was a large reduction and they might not quite reach it, the end result was they spent longer in surgery and I got what I wanted. I have gone from 38GG to 38D.

I lost three pounds off my chest in the surgery and all back pain vanished!

The consultant's view, by Consultant Plastic Surgeon Mr Manu Sood


Ms Pringle's experience is quite typical of ladies who have very large breasts. They are not just physically uncomfortable with back ache and neck ache but also quite significantly psychologically affected by unwelcome attention that they receive and their inability to dress in a manner that they would consider appropriate.


Breast reduction is a relatively straightforward procedure which very effectively addresses the problems. There are many misconceptions about this operation, the most frequent of which is that the nipple and areola have to be taken completely off and then put back on – in my practice it is extremely rare to have to do this. 


Although it is not possible to guarantee that back ache and neck ache will disappear following a breast reduction, the procedure does confer significant benefits. Not only does the loss of extra weight help with neck ache but in addition patients are able to exercise, strengthen their back muscles and lose weight resulting in better posture and an improvement in symptoms.


A procedure like a breast reduction which involves one night in hospital, a relatively quick recovery and the ability to return to work a couple of weeks after surgery, can be very beneficial for the physical and psychological problems that patients with a large bust experience.

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