Let’s talk about breast reduction surgery

01 March 2019

Anthony Armstrong, who has 18 years of experience of breast surgery under his belt, says: "If you have concerns about your breasts being too large, droopy or one is a different size to the other, then it may be worth considering corrective surgery.

"A great number of patients come to see me because they have pain in their neck, back or muscles over the shoulders from the weight of breasts or grooving from bra straps. If this sounds like you then, it may be time to take back control!  I receive referrals from physiotherapists who have been treating patients with long-standing musculoskeletal problems around the shoulders, neck and back – but the underlying problem is that the breasts are too big or have dropped after childbirth or with age and are now uncomfortable."

If you have any concerns, having a consultation to determine what can be done in terms of the breasts can help. During this consultation, a surgeon will make an assessment of your suitability for the operation and if any weight loss is advisable. For new mums, breast reduction can affect the ability to breastfeed; less so with a mastopexy (breast uplift) and not usually at all for breast augmentation with implants. However, he says, this is dependent on the surgical approach and technique the surgeon employs.

Mr Armstrong explains: "I have certainly had patients who have breast fed after a breast uplift and breast implants. Of course, we need to remember that not all women can breastfeed successfully, even if they haven’t had any cosmetic breast surgery."

So, how will we know how much to reduce them by?

Anthony says: "We will discuss where you are now, and where you think you would like them to be in terms of cup size. However, there are several factors that may influence the final breast size and these need to be discussed fully – hence the need for face-to-face consultations in order to go over the relevant points. In my practice, we decide this together so that your expectations are realistic and achievable."

Costs can vary but, after a consultation, a good surgeon should provide an inclusive ‘package price’, including hospital, surgeon, anaesthetic costs. There should never be any hidden extras.

An important component of breast reduction surgery is lifting the smaller breast to a more natural position. Having a smaller, better shaped and elevated breast helps not only with a great breast shape but also means that the force on the neck, shoulders and back is considerably reduced. This results in pain relief from musculoskeletal strain in these areas.

Mr Anthony Armstrong is one of our consultant plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeons here at Spire Thames Valley Hospital. If you would like to book an appointment to discuss your concerns, learn more about any procedures or have any questions, please call us on 01753 665 404 or email us.

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