How a breast reduction can help you physically and emotionally

Written by: Mr Haresh Devalia
Edited by: Laura Burgess

For some women living with larger breasts, it can leave them with persistent back pain, and also, psychologically, they may feel uncomfortable and unhappy with any unwanted attention being paid to their chest.


Here, Mr Haresh Devalia, one of our highly-experienced aesthetic breast surgeons, explains why some women may opt to have a breast reduction and the positive effect it can have on their mental wellbeing.

A woman staring into the camera

What common physical problems might women with large breasts face every day?

Women with large breasts may live with pain in their back and neck, poor posture and experience a fungal infection underneath the breasts.


Psychologically, they might be stressed and uncomfortable if they feel that people are looking at their chest during social situations.


What age is most common for women to have a breast reduction?

We have a lot of young girls with gigantomastia, which is the medical term for having abnormally large breasts. These girls want to have a breast reduction before they go to university as, for them, gigantomastia causes a postural deformity and they can feel embarrassed and uncomfortable socially.


We tend to perform breast reduction on ladies in their 30s or 40s, as well as those who suffer from recurrent fungal infection under their breasts.


Can a woman choose their breast size?

Yes, but within the limits. Normally, the reduction size women opt for is a C or D cup and keeping the breast bigger is not a problem. On occasion, some women with big breasts want to go to an E cup, whilst others want to go as small as possible.


Surgery is the easy part for us, which is performed using a number of techniques. The hard work, however, is understanding what the mental image of a size C or D means to the patient. The last thing that we want to do is reduce the breast to size B or D and for the patient to feel like they are too small after surgery. Their mental picture of a size B may be different from the actual size and, therefore, we try to assess it as best as we can.


Are there any complications women should be aware of?

The important thing is that there are no life-threatening complications from breast reduction surgery.


When we do a breast reduction, we mould the breast tissue and lift the breasts and nipples at the same time as making a reduction. We need to move the nipples to a new position so there is a risk, theoretically, to the nerves and blood supply to the nipple and therefore a lack of nipple sensation.


There is the risk of unfavourable scarring and wound failure when the breasts are healing. There is always a risk of asymmetry with the breasts although we try to make them equal in size. The patient may feel that one breast is slightly bigger than the other.


Overall, these risks are rare.


How long is the recovery?

Normally, the patient goes home the next day under our care. The breast is fully supported by a sports bra, which is provided by the hospital. The women can get back to normal the next day, however, internal healing can take between three to four weeks.


Therefore, it is commonly advised for ladies to keep their breasts supported by wearing a sports bra day and night. The sports bra helps to keep the shape and provides support after surgery. After this recovery period, they can then choose whatever bra that they want to wear.


How can breast reduction improve a woman’s emotional wellbeing?

Breast reduction surgery is a life-changing operation for women. Many patients find immense benefits of breast reduction, both physically and psychologically. These women are suddenly much more confident than ever before.


How can I get more information about breast reduction surgery with you?

Further information can be found here at We also have quite a few patients under our care who are happy to speak to new patients and show photos of the results of their own breast reduction surgery. We can securely show new patients these images if they ask.


If you would like to discuss your breast reduction surgery options with Mr Devalia, you can book an appointment via his Top Doctor’s profile here.

By Mr Haresh Devalia

Mr Haresh Devalia is a leading Breast Plastic, Oncoplastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Breast Surgeon who practices in London, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells. He takes pride in performing, as well as teaching, higher surgical training in saving breasts in order to avoid mastectomy, as well as in reconstruction. He specialises in breast augmentation, breast reduction, and breast lift among various other aspects of breast surgery.

Mr Devalia is one of the first ten breast surgeons certified in cosmetic breast surgery by the Royal College of Surgeons of England. He is Chair for Breast Cancer Kent (TSSG), responsible for providing guidelines and maintaining the high standard of care across the county.

Along with his partner in practice Mr Mohsin Dani, he won the ´Best Oncoplastic and Aesthetic Breast Surgeons in England´ award for exemplary work, including the advanced technique of breast conservative surgery using a local perforator flap.

Mr Devalia qualified from Bombay University in 1995, before completing his higher surgical training in the Oxford and London deanery, as well as at The Royal Marsden Hospital and St George's Hospital London. Mr Devalia was certified as ´Best Student at National Level´ in general surgery and was awarded a gold medal. He also serves as an educational supervisor for higher surgical trainees, training both cosmetic and constructive procedures. His work on the clinical management of breast cancer has been widely published in journals.

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