Breast Reduction Surgery FAQs

Breast Reduction Surgery FAQs

What Breast Size Qualifies for a Breast Reduction?

Breast reduction is generally reserved for patients with very large breasts who want them to be smaller.

Instead of breast reduction, patients with smaller breasts usually opt for a very similar procedure called a breast lift. This procedure mostly removes skin and lifts the breasts so they look perkier and sit higher on the chest without reducing their size very much.

If you have small or average size breasts for your frame and want them to be smaller, ask your surgeon for their opinion. They will be able to create a procedure plan for you that gets you results you want no matter what the procedure is called.

How Long After Pregnancy Can I Have a Breast Reduction?

It is recommended that patients wait at least 3 to 6 months after pregnancy before having a breast reduction. This is to allow enough time for your breasts to settle before you have your procedure.

If you are considering breastfeeding, you will need to wait until you have stopped breastfeeding and have stopped producing milk for at least three months before moving forward with the breast reduction surgery.

Patients may also want to consider the post-op restrictions they will have in terms of lifting and carrying infants. It's important to discuss your day to day with your surgeon in the consultation so you're able to understand what you can and can't do.

Are there any alternatives or things I can do to reduce the size of my breasts instead of surgery?

While there are some breast reduction pills and creams that claim to aid in breast reduction, there is limited to no existing research that suggests they actually work to reduce the size of the breasts. You can learn more about breast reduction pills and creams here on the Medbelle blog.

Some patients do have success reducing the size of their breasts by losing weight, however weight loss alone does not change the look of the breasts and can make the breasts look more saggy and lacking volume.

Breast reduction surgery is long-lasting and also lifts the breasts so they look perky and full. Learn more about breast reduction here.

How Long after Breastfeeding Can I Have Breast Reduction Surgery?

As with pregnancy, you should wait at least 3 to 6 months after you have stopped breastfeeding before you have your breast reduction procedure.

How Many Cup Sizes Can You Reduce Your Breasts Through Breast Reduction Surgery?

Cup sizes are difficult to use when estimating breast reduction because there is no standard to this measurement. Most surgeons can reduce breasts significantly during surgery without sacrificing shape for the breasts. The exact amount depends on your frame, breast shape and chest size.

It's also good to keep in mind that while the extent of your breast reduction is up to you, your surgeon cannot guarantee a specific cup size with breast reduction surgery. You should discuss your ideal size with your surgeon. Based on this information, they will suggest a surgery plan that gives you the type of results you want.

Can Breast Reduction Surgery Help Me Lose Weight?

Breast reduction surgery is not a type of weight loss surgery. While some weight is removed from the breasts, other areas of fat on the stomach and back remain untouched during the procedure.

Liposuction can be done in addition to breast reduction to reduce the look of unwanted areas of fat. Keep in mind that this will increase the price of the total procedure and increase the recovery time.

Some breast reduction patients do report that it is much easier to exercise after healing from breast reduction. The increased range of motion and mobility related to smaller breasts encourages many patients to get active and lose weight by eating healthfully and exercising regularly.

Will Breast Reduction Surgery Reduce or Relieve My Pain?

Many patients seek breast reduction surgery because they suffer from neck, shoulder and back pain related to the size of their breasts.

While it is not guaranteed to improve pain caused by large breasts, many patients report a reduction of their upper-body pain quickly after having breast reduction surgery. You can read the real experiences of breast reduction patients in their own words here on our patient story page.

Can I Get a Breast Reduction on the NHS?

Breast reduction is not generally offered for cosmetic purposes on the NHS. If you would like to find out more, it's a good idea to book an appointment with your GP, they will be able to advise you on this topic more accurately.

In some instances, it may be possible with a doctors referral if you are having chronic pains as a result of large breasts. However, the waiting times for breast reduction surgery can be as long as 2 to 3 years which motivates many patients to have their procedure with a private surgery provider.

Do I Need a GP Referral for a Breast Reduction?

Most surgeons are happy to see patients for an initial consultation for your breast reduction without a Doctor's referral. Generally speaking, most plastic surgeons will not require a GP referral. Your surgeon may, however, contact your GP to get details of your medical history.

Do I Have to Remove Any Jewellery Before Breast Reduction Surgery?

Yes, all jewellery and body jewellery for piercings must usually be removed before breast reduction surgery. This is especially true for any jewellery in the nipples or implanted sub dermally on the breast or chest area.

It is important to remove jewellery before surgery because it can get caught in important tubing, cause malfunctions in equipment, or generally cause an issue for your care team. While it is a small hassle for you, removing body jewellery makes it easier for your surgeon and nurses to do their jobs safely. In some cases, piercings can be safely refitted directly after surgery with either a plastic or silicone piercing retainer or your regular jewellery.

How Do I Find the Best Surgeon for Breast Reduction surgery?

When searching for a good surgeon for breast reduction surgery it’s important to consider how many years experience they have, their reviews, their before and after photos, and their field of specialisation.

You can also ask what professional organisations they are a part of. BAAPS/BAPRAS are the two leading associations for plastic surgeons in the UK. In order to be a member, surgeons are required to have over 10 years of experience and regularly training on the most up to date and medically approved methods and techniques.

Do I Have to Remove My Nail, Eyelash or Permanent Hair Extensions Before My Breast Reduction Surgery?

Always ask your surgeon or their nursing staff for their recommendations regarding pre-op grooming. Generally, hair extensions do not need to be removed for breast reduction surgery.

Eyelash extensions are also usually not a problem during breast reduction surgery, but your surgeon and anaesthetist have the final say. Definitely ask them during your consultation or preoperative assessment to find out if they must be removed before surgery.

If you have gel or acrylic nail extensions, you may need to remove the product from one nail to allow a pulse oximeter over your finger. This small device slides over your fingertip and painlessly measures your pulse as well as the oxygen level of your blood during surgery by measuring how light travels through your finger.

This device is very important for anaesthetist as they monitor you during surgery. Any product on the natural nail (including gel, acrylic, or nail polish) can get in the way of accurate readings. However, some pulse monitors can also be fitted to the earlobe, so it is always best to find out the type of monitors the hospital uses during surgery.

Reach out to your Patient Care Adviser if you want clarification on your surgeon’s recommendation regarding hair and nail extensions before surgery.

Published: Wednesday 10 November 2021

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