Breast reduction surgery

Waterfront Hospital Edinburgh, Scotland

Breast reduction surgery, medically known as reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure designed to alleviate discomfort associated with overly large breasts. The goal is to achieve a breast size that is in proportion to your body, enhancing your ability to lead an active life and improving your self-image. This procedure has grown in popularity due to its significant positive impact on both physical and psychological health.

breast reduction


Breast reduction

    3 Hours
    Day surgery or 1 night
    1-2 weeks off work, 6 weeks before strenuous exercise
waiting area warterfront private hospital edinburgh

What the procedure involves

  • Initial Consultation: Patients first undergo a comprehensive consultation to discuss goals, expectations, and any concerns. This includes a physical examination.
  • Preparation for Surgery: On the day of surgery, patients are prepared for the procedure, which includes administering general anaesthesia for comfort and safety throughout the operation.
  • Surgical Technique: We tend to use the traditional anchor incision as this gives the most reliable results.
  • Tissue Removal and Reshaping: Excess breast tissue, fat, and skin are removed. The remaining breast tissue is lifted and reshaped to achieve a more youthful and uplifted breast contour.
  • Nipple and Areola Adjustment: The nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural height and size to match the newly shaped breasts.
  • Closing the Incisions: Incisions are closed with dissolvable stitches, usually layered deep within the breast tissue to support the newly shaped breasts. Surgical tape or skin adhesives are also used. We do not use any drains.
  • Immediate Post-Operative Care: After the surgery, you will be taken to a recovery area, where you will continue to be closely monitored. Pain management and instructions for home care will be provided before discharge.

Benefits and expected outcomes

Breast reduction surgery offers many benefits and transformative outcomes that extend well beyond the physical appearance.

  • Physical Health Improvements:
    • Alleviation of Discomfort: Significant reduction in back, neck, and shoulder pain, making daily activities and exercise more comfortable.
    • Improved Posture: Removing excessive weight allows for a more upright posture and reduces spinal strain.
    • Decreased Skin Irritation: Eliminates the skin irritation and infections that can occur under the breast crease due to excess moisture.
  • Enhanced Mobility and Lifestyle:
    • Increased Physical Activity: Many patients find physical activities easier and more enjoyable, leading to a healthier lifestyle.
    • Expanded Clothing Options: Ability to fit into a wider range of clothing and bras, making shopping a more pleasurable experience.
  • Psychological and Emotional Well-being:
    • Boosted Self-Confidence: A more proportionate figure often enhances body image and self-esteem.
    • Reduced Social and Sexual Anxiety: Patients frequently report feeling less self-conscious in social settings and intimate relationships.
  • Aesthetic Outcomes:
    • Youthful Breast Contour: Breasts are lifted, reshaped, and made more proportionate to the rest of the body, contributing to a more youthful appearance.
    • Symmetry: Improves symmetry between breasts that may have been uneven in size or shape.
  • Long-Term Satisfaction and Well-being:
    • Durable Results: While breasts may change due to factors like ageing, weight fluctuations, or hormonal changes, the positive outcomes of the surgery are generally long-lasting.
    • Overall Quality of Life: Many patients report an overall improvement in quality of life, including increased comfort in their bodies and enhanced mental health.

Expected Outcomes

Post-surgery, patients can expect to see immediate changes in the size and shape of their breasts. Swelling and bruising are normal in the initial weeks but gradually subside to reveal the final outcome. Scars will mature and fade over time, becoming less noticeable. Following post-operative care instructions closely is important to ensure the best healing and aesthetic results.

We are dedicated to supporting our patients through every step of their journey towards achieving the comfort, confidence, and aesthetic they desire. Our team ensures that each patient is fully informed about what to expect and feels supported from consultation through recovery and beyond.

Who is an ideal candidate?

Ideal candidates for breast reduction surgery are those experiencing physical discomfort or self-consciousness associated with large, heavy breasts. Candidates should be in good overall health, non-smokers, and have realistic expectations about the outcomes. If you’re facing challenges with physical activity, skin irritation beneath the breast crease, or if the weight of your breasts causes shoulder indentations from bra straps, this procedure might be suitable for you.

Risks and considerations

Specific Risks of Breast Reduction Surgery

  • Bleeding: There’s a small chance (less than 1 in 20 patients) that bleeding might require a return to surgery.
  • Infection: As with any surgery, there’s a risk of infection, though it’s typically manageable with appropriate care.
  • Delayed Wound Healing: Some patients may experience slower healing at the incision sites.
  • Fat Necrosis: This involves the loss of fat tissue due to a lack of blood supply.
  • Changes in Nipple Sensitivity: Some patients may experience increased or reduced nipple sensitivity post-surgery.
  • Pull on the Nipples: Adjustments made during the surgery may create a pull or tension on the nipples.
  • Nipple Loss: Although rare, there is a risk of partial or total loss of the nipple.
  • Breastfeeding: The ability to breastfeed post-surgery may be affected, depending on the extent of the surgery.
  • Asymmetry: While the goal is symmetry, perfect symmetry isn’t always achievable.
  • Scarring: Scars are an inevitable outcome of surgery but are strategically placed to be as inconspicuous as possible.
  • Under or Over Correction: There is a risk of not achieving the desired lift or shape.
  • Risk of picking up breast cancer: All patients over 40 years require an up-to-date mammogram before surgery.
  • Revision Surgery: A small number of patients (less than 1 in 30) may require minor revision surgery, usually under local anaesthesia.

Waterfront Private Hospital is committed to the highest patient safety and care standards. Understanding these risks and having a comprehensive discussion during the consultation helps ensure informed decisions and optimal outcomes.

Further reading: BAAPSBreast Reduction

Aftercare and recovery

Recovery varies among individuals, but most patients can return to work and light activities after 2 weeks and fully return to all activities, including exercise, within 6 weeks. We provide thorough aftercare guidance, including pain management and support garment information, to aid in your recovery. Follow-up appointments will be scheduled to monitor your progress and ensure you are healing as expected.

Detailed aftercare instructions

Frequently asked questions

What innovative techniques are used in breast reduction surgery at Waterfront Private Hospital?

Our hospital utilises advanced surgical techniques, including the traditional anchor incision, the vertical or “lollipop” incision, and liposuction for scarless reduction. These methods are chosen based on individual needs, minimising scarring and recovery time.

Can breast reduction surgery improve posture and alleviate back pain?

Yes, breast reduction surgery can significantly alleviate back, neck, and shoulder pain by removing the excess weight from your chest, often resulting in improved posture and overall spinal health.

What are the aesthetic benefits of breast reduction surgery?

Beyond relief from physical discomfort, the procedure offers aesthetic benefits, such as a more proportionate figure, lifted and reshaped breasts, and improved symmetry. These contribute to a more youthful appearance and enhanced self-confidence.

What other reasons might someone opt for breast reduction surgery?

Apart from the common reasons like physical discomfort and aesthetic enhancement, other benefits include improved ability to engage in sports, relief from migraines attributed to neck strain, and a decrease in unwanted attention, enhancing personal comfort and mental well-being.

How does breast reduction surgery impact physical activities and sports participation?

Many patients find a new lease of life on physical activities and sports after surgery, experiencing less discomfort and increased mobility. The reduction in breast size makes exercises and sports more enjoyable and accessible.

Do you have a BMI limit at your hospital?

Yes, our day surgery hospital does not operate on patients with a BMI above 30. We do have options to offer surgery elsewhere with an overnight stay for patients whose BMI is above 30.

How do you manage scars post-breast reduction surgery?

At Waterfront Private Hospital, we prioritise aesthetic outcomes alongside health benefits. Our surgeons employ precise techniques to minimise scarring, and we offer a comprehensive post-surgery scar management program, including recommendations for topical treatments, silicone sheets, and other options to enhance the healing process and improve the appearance of scars.

What should I expect during the first consultation for breast reduction?

During your initial consultation, you’ll discuss your medical history, objectives, and concerns with your surgeon. You will then be examined with a chaperone present. This session is designed to tailor the procedure to your needs and ensure you thoroughly understand the process, benefits, risks, and recovery expectations. You will also be shown several before-and-after images.

Are there any lifestyle changes I should make before undergoing breast reduction surgery?

To ensure the best possible outcomes, we recommend patients adopt a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and quitting smoking. These changes can improve recovery times and overall surgical results. Our team provides pre-operative guidance to prepare you physically and mentally for the procedure. It would be best to be as close to your optimal weight as possible.

If you have any questions or want to begin your journey towards a more comfortable and confident you, contact Waterfront Private Hospital today.

Fantastic results from a breast reduction and abdominoplasty, my life was miserable, I was unable to enjoy the quality of life I wanted.

It affected my confidence, my mental health and I wore shapeless dull clothes (mostly black) Awf and Omar Quaba changed all that last September, surgery went perfectly I recovered in hospital for 2 days getting up within couple hours of surgery, I was kept very comfortable and had no issues with healing. Within 6 weeks I was back to normal and able to rejoin the gym after 3 months. The difference in my life is outstanding, I am now more confident and love shopping for fitted clothes in all colours. I was a size 16/18 and now I’m size 12/14 something I never thought possible. My highlight was wearing a bikini on holiday for the first time aged 53.

Mrs M King
Nov 2023

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