Breast reduction surgery: what to expect

Written by: Miss Sujatha Tadiparthi
Published: | Updated: 03/11/2020
Edited by: Robert Smith

Large breasts can cause neck, back and shoulder pain. Approximately 4,245 women took on breast reduction surgery via private practice last year according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ 2020 audit.


If you’re considering breast reduction, you will want to know more about this procedure. We spoke with Miss Sujatha Tadiparthi, a leading UK plastic surgeon based in London, to find out what to expect from this surgery.

In this first part of our discussion with Miss Tadiparthi, she informs us how surgery can improve symptoms of pain and change the shape of your breasts, whether it is possible to have surgery on the NHS and the requirements to have this procedure.

In the second part, we will find out how breast reduction surgery is performed, the potential scarring, the aftercare, risks and the price of the procedure.

What is a breast reduction?

A breast reduction removes sections of skin, fat and breast tissue to reduce the size of large breasts. The procedure also repositions the nipples and reshapes the breasts to give smaller, more youthful looking breasts.


Is breast reduction surgery done on the NHS?

Breast reduction surgery can be performed on the NHS if you meet the necessary criteria. However, there are restrictions on your existing breast size or the amount of tissue that will need to be removed from your breasts and your BMI (weight / height ratio). The restrictions vary according to regions in the UK and can also change over time. Your GP may be able to guide you on the local NHS guidelines and advise as to whether you qualify.


Can a breast reduction help with my neck, shoulder and neck pain? What else can the surgery improve?

Large breasts can reduce the quality of your life with neck pain, shoulder pain and back pain. Rashes can also develop under the breasts and these can be hard to manage. You may find it difficult to exercise or wear the clothes that you wish. There can be a feeling of self-consciousness about large breasts and you may feel that others may be only looking at your bust area.

Many women after a breast reduction get good relief from the neck, shoulder and back pain if the breasts were the cause of the discomfort. Rashes no longer develop under the breasts. You should be able to exercise and be a lot more active. Often, women have newfound confidence with regards to their body and when interacting with others either at work or socially.

Does breast reduction improve the shape of breasts?

Large breasts can seem flat, pendulous, ‘droopy’ or ‘saggy’. A breast reduction not only reduces the size of your breasts but also repositions the nipples and reshapes to give a ‘perkier’, more youthful appearance.


Can a breast reduction improve uneven and asymmetric breasts?

Breast reduction can correct differences in the breast size, shape and nipple position. It is a really natural way to correct asymmetry rather than using breast implants. If the breasts are both large as well as uneven, then both breasts can be reduced in size and the nipples can be relocated to sit at the same level with each other. If you are happy with the size of one of the breasts, then the other breast can be reduced in size and nipple area lifted up to match and correct the uneven breasts.

What are the requirements for surgery?

The main requirements include:

  • Smoking: if you are a smoker, it is critical to completely stop smoking 2 to 3 months before and after surgery. Smoking significantly reduces blood supply to tissues and increases the risk of poor healing, wound infection, fat necrosis and skin or nipple loss.
  • BMI (weight/height ratio) needs to be less than 36. If you wish to lose weight, it is best to do so before surgery and be stable in weight 2 to 3 months ahead of surgery.
  • Blood thinners such as, aspirin, warfarin, clopidogrel will need to be stopped ahead of surgery and if you have any medical conditions, these will be assessed to see if you are fit for surgery under general anaesthetic.

In part 2 of our conversation with Miss Tadiparthi, we will find out how breast reduction surgery is done, how much scarring the procedure leaves, the aftercare, risks and the potential price of the procedure.

If you would like to have breast reduction surgery, we recommend booking an appointment with Miss Sujatha Tadiparthi via her Top Doctors profile. Click here for more information.

By Miss Sujatha Tadiparthi
Plastic surgery

Miss Tadiparthi's personal website can be found here

Miss Sujatha Tadiparthi is a UK educated and trained, fully accredited plastic surgeon who has over 15 years of experience in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery. Based in Surrey, Kent, and Central London, Miss Tadiparthi specialises in breast reduction and augmentation, breast uplift (mastopexy), skin surgery (moles, skin tags, cysts, lypomas) and post-weight loss  and body contouring surgery, including tummy tuck, arm lift, thigh lift, lower body lift, and liposuction

Miss Tadiparthi graduated from Cardiff medical school in 2002. By 2008, she completed her basic surgical training and undertook additional surgical research. Miss Tadiparthi then completed her basic surgical training and undertook additional surgical research. Miss Tadiparthi then completed her specialist plastic surgery training in the UK and passed the plastic surgery examination by the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCS plas) in 2013. Following this, she gained further specialised training in breast surgery, breast and limb reconstruction and microsurgery.

A prestigious cosmetic fellowship at the London Wellington Hospital allowed her to work with some leading cosmetic surgeons in London and gain a wide breadth of training in cosmetic surgery including breast, facial and body contouring procedures. After gaining a Certificate of Completion of Training (CCT) in the UK, she was entered into the UK’s General Medical Council (GMC) specialist register for plastic surgery in 2014.

Miss Tadiparthi’s extensive specialist plastic surgery training in the UK has allowed her to gain considerable experience in both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgical techniques and she often combines these two complimentary fields to get the best possible outcome for her patients.

Miss Tadiparthi is one of the few female plastic surgeons offering private plastic and cosmetic surgery in London, Surrey, and Kent. Having a warm and friendly nature, patients often feel very comfortable in her presence and feel free to share their concerns and needs with her. At the consultation, she will spend time to go through your concerns and advise if surgery is appropriate and what surgical or non-surgical options are available to you. The procedures offered are individualised and tailored to suit your particular needs and expectations.

As a full member of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), she endeavours to provide the safest and best possible care to her patients.

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