Decrease breast size to ease back pain or to increase self-confidence.
Many women suffer physical discomfort such as back pain, bra strap pressure and chest rashes as a results of having large breasts. For others it can affect their self-esteem, the clothes they wear and some are unwilling to take part in any vigorous physical activity, which has a knock-on effect on their mental and physical health.
The operation is a straightforward procedure during which excess tissue is removed through incisions in the lower part of the breast. The nipples are then moved to suit their new shape and size.
Common physical problems associated with large breasts are:
But it’s not just about physical issues. Many women’s confidence is severely affected, because they feel embarrassed and self-conscious about their big breasts or because they can’t find bras and clothes in conventional high street stores that fit properly.
Whatever your reason for considering this procedure, it can help you:
We pride ourselves on our clinical excellence, you'll be looked after by an experienced multi-disciplinary care team.
Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They’ll be with you every step of the way: from giving advice at your first consultation, through to offering on-going support after your treatment.
All of our surgeons are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well equipped hospitals.
Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. A number of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.
A cosmetic surgeon’s reputation, qualifications and experience are vitally important, so we only work with consultant grade specialists. These are highly experienced consultants who have completed years of medical training. All our consultants are on the specialist register of the General Medical Council (GMC), and many are also members of the UK’s leading cosmetic and plastic surgery associations.
Cosmetic surgery can be a life enhancing decision and we’re here to help you make the right one. Our experienced cosmetic surgeons will guide you through every step of the way.
It’s important to meet with your chosen consultant before treatment so that you are completely comfortable with them and they know what you want to achieve. It’s helpful to bring in some pictures and a friend or family member to your initial meeting to help articulate your thoughts. You should also ask to see some of the surgeon's recent before and after pictures of similar operations they've performed.
This is an important decision and we're here to listen and help you achieve your goals.
If you decide to go ahead with the procedure, we'll give you at least two weeks between consultation and operation date. This is because we want you to be really happy and confident with your decision.
We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.
For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.
Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.
We understand that surgery can be a cause of anxiety – even if it’s a relatively straightforward procedure like this one. That’s why our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you every step of the way.
Your consultant will have explored the different options with you at your previous meetings, as well as the look and feel you want to achieve. The size of the reduction will be agreed with you beforehand.
You will be put under a general anaesthetic during the operation, so you won’t feel a thing. During the procedure – which lasts two to three hours – the doctor will remove any excess tissue through incisions on the lower part of the breast.
Your nipples will be repositioned to fit the shape and size of your new breasts and the skin will be reshaped, before the cuts are closed with stitches.
After the procedure, you will be taken from the operating theatre to a recovery room, where you will come round from the anaesthesia under close supervision.
You may experience some pain, swelling and tightness of the chest immediately after the procedure. This is perfectly normal. We will give you pain relief medication while you’re with us and we will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.
You will go home with bandaging in place and wearing your supportive bra which helps prevents the weight of the breasts pulling on the wound and slowing the healing process. You will be given a contact phone number for the hospital and a date for a follow-up appointment with your surgeon, when the dressing and stitches will be removed. This is usually about a week later. Dissolvable stitches will disappear on their own in about seven to ten days.
Your consultant will advise you on how to make your recovery as quick as possible but when you get home you’ll need to take things easy at first.
You should arrange at least a week off work and you should gradually be able to return to normal activity within four to six weeks.
Avoid stretching, strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for up to six weeks after your operation. You should keep your breasts supported by wearing a well-fitting, wireless sports bra for up to three months. If you don't have something suitable ask your consultant for advice.
You should avoid driving until you no longer experience any pain when wearing a seatbelt, which may be several weeks. Check with your car insurance company to see what their policy is on driving after surgery.
You may feel that your breasts look unnatural at first, but this is almost always temporary - they will start to look and feel better within a few months. You should continue to wear the supportive bra for four to six weeks after the operation. The scarring will continue to fade for several months after your surgery. Occasionally some women are left with small folds of skin at the end of the scar, both between and at the sides of the breasts. These can be removed in a further small operation a few months later.
Once you’re ready to be discharged, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home because you won’t be able to drive. You should also ask them to help with shopping and cleaning for a few weeks.
We’re with you every step of the way through your recovery, even after you’ve left hospital. After a breast reduction typically our consultants will want to see you a week after your procedure to see how you are doing.
The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health. We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns about your recovery, we're ready to help.
We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.
The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.
Spire Thames Valley Hospital is only a 10 minute drive from both the M4 and M40 motorways and we are less than half an hour from central London by train.
Main Switchboard: 01753 662241
Self-pay treatment enquiries: 01753 665404
COVID-19 testing or antibody tests are not available as a standalone service at Spire Thames Valley Hospital.