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Having well-shaped, full breasts is widely regarded as being ideal. However, some women feel uncomfortable if they develop very large breasts, medically known as symptomatic macromastia. 

Breast reduction surgery may become necessary if the size of the breasts causes physical problems, such as backache or emotional distress. The cosmetic procedure removes excess skin from the breast area, to make them smaller, lighter and more lifted.

The London Clinic offers breast reduction for women who are distressed about the size of their breasts or who have developed physical symptoms such as back or neck pain. Our world-leading plastic and reconstructive surgeons will share their in-depth expertise and tailor each service to your needs, ensuring the procedure is performed to the highest standard.


Breast reduction benefits women who are distressed about the size of their breasts or to lessen the risk of back or neck pain, if suffering from bad posture, or may have one breast larger than the other. Breast reduction also allows you to wear a wider selection of clothing, which will also benefit women wanting to play sports activities.


Women who are not overweight but who have breasts that are large in proportion to their frame may experience the following physical symptoms:

  • Bra straps cut into the shoulders, causing bruising and soreness.
  • Constant and severe backache, usually between the shoulder blades.
  • Breasts feel heavy and make exercising and moving around difficult.
  • The weight of the breasts does not allow air to circulate underneath the breast tissue, causing soreness and rashes. The skin in this area can become prone to fungal infections.
  • Stretch marks or obvious veins appear on the breasts.
  • Sleep disturbances

The good news is that the diagnosis of symptomatic macromastia is straightforward and does not require any testing. See your GP or contact The London Clinic for an assessment if you are concerned.

Understanding your treatment

If you have decided that you would like to explore having a breast reduction you will need to come into The London Clinic, where you will have a detailed consultation with one of our plastic and reconstructive surgeons who offer this surgery.

They will examine you and take account of:

  • Your shape and size and the actual size of your breasts. These are measured carefully and your overall need for breast reduction surgery will be assessed.
  • Whether you have had nipple discharge, cysts, lumps or skin problems that have affected your breasts.
  • Your general health: whether you are being treated for any illness at the moment, if you have any allergies to medicines or foods or have ever experienced contact dermatitis.
  • Any previous breast surgery.
  • Whether breast cancer runs in your family.

Our surgeons will always be honest with you from a medical point of view, and we will either recommend that you go ahead and have breast reduction surgery or that you take other steps first. For example, if you are overweight, you may need to lose weight first. If you are still in your teens, you may need to wait for your breasts to mature before breast reduction is advisable.

If you smoke, you will be asked to give up at least 6 weeks before your breast reduction and to avoid smoking for several weeks afterwards as this can interfere with wound healing.


Breast reduction is a more extensive operation compared to breast augmentation. You will normally need to remain in The London Clinic for one to two nights afterwards. 

Surgery for breast reduction will be done under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make extensive incisions, before using special surgical instruments to remove the fat and skin from the breasts.

Generally, your surgeon will cut around the areola, down the breast and then underneath along the natural curve of the breast. The excess skin and tissue is removed and the nipple and areola are repositioned to fix the size and shape of your new breasts. The skin will be reshaped, before the cuts are stitched together. Excess fat can then be removed via liposuction through the armpit area.

Most techniques used in breast reduction surgery allow the nipples to remain attached to their blood vessels and nerves as they are being moved. In a few cases, generally where the breasts are very large or drooping, they may have to be completely removed and grafted into their new positions.


Recovery will take three-four weeks and the operation may make you feel quite sore. The London Clinic will provide pain relief in the first couple of days, and advise you about over-the-counter painkillers to use at home.

Swelling and bruising usually wears off over the next month. Our team will advise you in building up to your normal activities slowly, without putting any strain on your breasts or back.

Most women return to work after about a month, and it is important to wear a well-fitted and supportive bra. You will have a check-up about a week after you leave The London Clinic and then about a month after that to make sure that the incisions are healing well.

The scarring after breast reduction surgery is more extensive than after breast augmentation. You may wait six months before you see your final, settled shape. The scars will still be visible at that point, but they will gradually fade.

Breast reduction techniques that minimise scarring

Some women who have breast reduction at The London Clinic may be suitable for a procedure called the Lejour technique. A Lejour breast reduction involves smaller, less extensive incisions.

The surgery removes excess skin by means of smaller incisions around the areola, and in a vertical line from the areola down to the breast crease. The breast tissue and skin is then moulded and secured with stitching to give a smaller yet still natural breast shape.

This method of breast reduction generally produces better results in younger women who still have a great deal of elasticity in their skin.

Treatment cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments.

Patients have the option to spread the cost of treatment with Chrysalis Finance.

Please call +44 (0)20 3613 7502 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

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