Breast Reduction Surgery


Anyone unhappy with the large size of their breasts for physical and/or emotional reasons may benefit from breast reduction surgery as long as they are in good physical and mental health.

Why do patients have breast reduction surgery?

Physical complaints related to large breasts include:

  • Neck, back and/or shoulder pain
  • Problems finding clothes that fit well
  • Indentations or irritation on the shoulders caused by bra straps
  • Difficulty moving the upper body or arms
  • Inability to sleep comfortably lying flat on their back
  • Discomfort during exercise, especially high-impact movements like jumping or running
  • Irritated skin where the breast touches the torso

Emotional, mental and cosmetic reasons for breast reduction surgery include:

  • Unhappiness with breasts that are unequal in size and/or shape
  • Dislike of unwanted attention drawn because of large breasts
  • A desire to change the look of the breasts
  • Unhappiness, discomfort or dysmorphia related to the size of the breasts

What makes someone an ideal candidate for breast reduction surgery?

As for any major operation, ideal candidates should be physically and emotionally healthy before having breast reduction surgery.

General Health Before Breast Reduction Surgery

Ensuring you are in the best possible health can increase the likelihood you are a good candidate for surgery.

Great ways to help optimise your health for surgery include:

  • Getting regular exercise
  • Eating a healthful diet low in salt and high in lean protein
  • Feeling mentally prepared for surgery & recovery
  • Reducing or stopping alcohol consumption
  • Stopping smoking
  • Stopping any nicotine use in e-cigarettes, patches, or any other form
  • Stopping any recreational drug use

If you need support to stop smoking, read this Medbelle blog article to find out why it’s so important to quit, speak to your Patient Care Adviser and reach out to your local stop smoking service provided by the NHS.

Your Medbelle Patient Care Adviser can also assist you with other pre-operative arrangements or support like arranging finance for your procedure.

Age and Weight Restrictions


The BMI or Body Mass Index is a number calculated using a patient's height and weight. Generally, healthcare providers believe this number can be used as one indicator of a patient's eligibility for surgery.

You can calculate your BMI via this site provided by the NHS.

Usually, a patient must have a BMI below 30 before having any surgery including breast reduction. This is because the likelihood of complications during surgery increases when a patient has a BMI higher than this.


In the UK, the minimum age for any elective surgery is 18 years of age.

Patient's as young as 16 may be eligible for breast reduction surgery if their guardian or guardians provide consent.

However, Medbelle surgeons strongly recommend younger patients wait until they are at least 18 years of age to have breast reduction surgery because the body is still developing and growing until around this age.

Results from breast reduction will likely last longer if the patient is completely physically mature before the surgery is performed. This is because there is a chance the breasts can continue growing after surgery if it is performed when the patient is still growing.

Pregnancy, Childbirth and Breastfeeding

Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding are not eligible to have breast reduction surgery.

Any person who has recently given birth must wait at least 3 to 6 months before having any breast surgery, including breast reduction.

Waiting a few months allows the body to completely heal after childbirth and pregnancy. This is important as it makes sure the surgeon has a clear idea of the changes and techniques they need to use in order to get the desired results because any residual swelling or injury has had time to completely heal.

If you have surgery too soon after having a child, there is a strong possibility that the results will not be stable and heal in the ways the surgeon predicts.

It’s also important to know that breast reduction surgery can potentially impact or completely stop the ability to breastfeed. This is a very important factor to consider before committing to having surgery if you want to have children but have not yet started.

For this reason, Medbelle surgeons recommend any breast reduction patient finish having children before having surgery. If you want to learn more about breastfeeding and breast reduction surgery, read this Medbelle blog article.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for breast reduction surgery, feel free to get in touch with your Medbelle Patient Care Adviser. You can also learn more about breast reduction eligibility requirements here on the Medbelle blog.