Large breasts can cause both health and emotional problems. Physical discomfort, including a chronically painful neck, painful shoulders and upper back, skin irritations, deep grooves on the shoulders from bra-straps and poor posture, can restrict a woman’s ability to lead an active life.  Unusually large breasts can make a woman, or a young girl, feel extremely self-conscious.

A breast reduction could provide relief from these problems by reducing the size of the breasts and making them more harmonious with the rest of the body.

Suitable patients

Patients undergoing any cosmetic surgery procedure should be healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in their expectations.

Breast reduction surgery must be tailored to each patient, depending on their concerns and the anatomy of their breasts. 

Breast reduction surgery is not normally performed in young women whose breasts have not finished developing, although surgery might be considered in extreme cases. Candidates must be mature enough to understand the procedure and its potential risks and complications.

Patients should be near or close to their ideal weight before undergoing breast reduction surgery, as weight loss or weight gain is apparent in the breast and will influence the result of surgery.

You could consider this surgical procedure if:

  • your breasts are too large in proportion to the rest of your body.
  • your breasts have different sizes (asymmetry).
  • the size of your breasts limits your physical activity.
  • the weight of your breasts causes back, neck and shoulder pain.
  • your bra straps cause indentations from supporting heavy, pendulous breasts.

Alternate procedures, such as liposuction alone, can sometimes be used if the breasts are not too big and only fat needs to be removed. However, this can result in breasts that sag and have loose skin. A mastopexy, or breast lift, will then have to be performed. No reliable non-surgical means of breast reduction is possible.

Lifestyle changes, such as weight loss or weight gain, pregnancy and hormonal changes have an impact on breast size. Proper professional fitting of a bra can assist patients to reduce the physical discomfort associated with large breasts and to improve the appearance.

A breast reduction will last a lifetime. However, pregnancies and profound changes in weight can impact the results of this surgery. In addition, as you age, the breasts will naturally lose elasticity, and will start to sag.