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Conditions

Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction

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Breast reduction is carried out for a number of reasons, but the most common include discomfort, backache, neck pain and skin irritation. Sometimes reduction is used to balance out a noticeable asymmetry, but more often it is carried out on both breasts to reduce them in size.

It is considered a cosmetic operation by the NHS, which means that it is not normally available without going through a private healthcare provider. However, if there is a compelling sociological or psychological reason for the surgery to take place, a referral for assessment can be made through your GP.

The operation lasts anything upto 3 hours, and will involve the repositioning of the nipples and the removal of excess skin and breast tissue. The remaining breast tissue is remodelled to create smaller and more elevated breasts. There are 3 different techniques that are commonly used – an anchor reduction which leaves a scar down from the nipple and across the breast crease; a vertical pattern reduction which surrounds the nipple and goes down the lower middle of the breast; and a circumareolar reduction, which only leaves a scar around the nipple, but is only suitable for small reductions.

Watch the Live from the Clinic interactive case video on breast reduction >

Watch the Live from the Clinic interactive case video on weight gain and heavy breasts >

What the Men in White Coats Say

Comments and Questions

The EB doctors have been looking at your comments and have answered some of the common questions below. Remember that it is always best to check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I have flat breast and want to reduce skin and lift up nipple what can I do how I go through





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If I had my breast reduction can I take pain killers or not?





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Hi my name is Katie I'm 20 years old i got autism I am struggling with pains with my large beast I am a size 36g but I'm not happy with my size because everytime I got to town trying look for some bras not many shop haven't got mine I was really upset crying and my mum found a good website for me but it was really expensive because it's the size she has spent nearly over £100 and I told not her not to spent me with bras. I don't like the look my self I got veins on my breast I feel upset sad I get unwanted boys and people I cannot wear anything really nice clothes the the materials are not stretchy so I was really upset. My life is so difficult for me I want to be a smaller size so I can be happy. I do get pains in bed and the muscle get sore sometimes I feel tired weezy it hurt my top back. I went to the doctors twice if I can have it done at Worcester hospital then they got no funding I was really terrible crying my eyes out Please help me I feel really down a lot i feel shy





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I suffer from very bad red sweaty patchs under my breasts and the bruises over my shoulder and bk getting to the point where I can not were my bra





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I want to have a breast reduction as I suffer really bad with back ache and also causes swelling of my joints because of this I have a size 10 waiste and 16 top half so could you imagine van any tell me how I could be put threw to the show or speak to someone about this please





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My boobs are really saggy,it's really depressing me,and I don't know what to do about it please help





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Hi, I'm 18 and have 34k / 36J boobs. I am a hairdressers and have severe back and neck pain and also have very bad scared in between and under neith my boobs from where they rub. I have been to the doctor multiple times and they have told me to lose weight. I have gone down to a size 12/14 and have not lost anything off of my boobs, I need help.





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My sister Carrie has got big boobs and she gets a lot off backache and red under her boobs she has been to the doctors and they told her to lose Waite plz could u help my sis as she has to go on holiday to get her bra





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My daughter had a breast reduction on 11th June, all good. 4 weeks later she developed a very angry red itchy rash along the line of the scars. It only follows the line of the scars, underneath the breast up the middle and around the nipple. My daughter went back to the surgeon and he examined her, took a swab and said he had never seen anything like it. The swab came back negative, no infection. He did prescribe a course of anti biotics just in case it was an infection. She has finished this course, no change. She is now trying an ant allergy pill and cream, which seems to have made it less angry, however it is not going. Any ideas?





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I have seen a surgeon for possible cosmetic reduction (I am 38GG but am overweight). For private cosmetic surgery I had to have a BMI below 30 and didn't qualify. After two more problem years of heavy breasts, dug in shoulder straps and problems getting a bra on due to hemiarthroplasty on both shoulders. Just been back to the GP to ask for a medical reduction (which I offerred to pay for myself) but the surgeon says my BMI (now >30) is too high for complications and wound healing. I have had the hemiarthroscopies, a THR and orthopaedic op on 2 toes with BMI >30 and have healed well every time. On your programmes the women who get reductions seem to have BMIs >30 how do they manage to get the op??





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Content supplied by NHS Choices

Female breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a surgical operation to reduce the weight and volume of the breasts. During the procedure, fat, glandular tissue and skin are removed from the breasts, which are then reshaped and the nipples repositioned. Read More »

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