How is a breast reduction performed?

Written by: Mr Will Sarakbi
Edited by: Conor Lynch

In this article below, highly skilled and qualified consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon, Mr Will Sarakbi, talks about breast reduction surgery at length, including what breast reduction surgery entails, as well as the associated risks and benefits with the operation.

What is breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to achieve a breast size that is more proportionate to the body. This procedure is typically performed on women who have large breasts that cause physical discomfort, such as back, neck, and shoulder pain, or skin irritation under the breasts.


How is a breast reduction performed?

The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and usually takes between two to three hours. The surgeon makes an incision around the areola and down to the breast crease and across the bottom of the breast (anchor shaped scar). Then, the surgeon removes the excess tissue and skin.


The nipple and areola are then repositioned to a higher position on the breast. The incisions are closed using an absorbable (dissolvable) suture.


What are the benefits of breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery can have a significant impact on a woman’s quality of life. It can alleviate physical discomfort, improve self-esteem, and increase the ability to participate in physical activities.


What are the associated risks?

Like any other type of surgery, it carries risks. These include bleeding, infection, swelling, scarring, loss of nipple sensation, and inability to breastfeed.


What does recovery from breast reduction surgery entail?

After the surgery, patients are advised to wear a surgical bra for several weeks to support the breasts during the healing process. They should avoid strenuous activities for at least six weeks and follow the surgeon’s instructions for optimal post-operative care.


Who should avoid breast reduction surgery?

Breast reduction surgery is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as it can interfere with milk production.


To schedule in a consultation with Mr Will Sarakbi today, just head on over to his Top Doctors profile.

By Mr Will Sarakbi
Plastic surgery

Mr Will Sarakbi is a highly respected consultant oncoplastic breast surgeon. He specialises in both aesthetic and cancer breast surgery. He has over 10 years of experience in the field of aesthetic breast surgery and has performed over 1,000 breast augmentations and 600 breast reductions. His private practice is based at Shirley Oaks Hospital and the prestigious Cadogan clinic in Chelsea.

Mr Sarakbi qualified from St George’s, The University of London in 2001. After completing his basic surgical training in the South East of England, he spent some time in full-time research focusing on breast cancer biology and examining the role of molecular markers, such STS and OATP as prognostic indicators in breast cancer. He was awarded a masters degree in surgery from the University of London shortly after completing this research.

Impressively, Mr Sarakbi's research work has generated over 22 papers in peer-reviewed journals to date, and he has presented his findings in national and international conferences in the UK, Europe, and the USA. Mr Sarakbi continued his higher surgical training in the London Deanery, spending almost two years at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital. He was elected to the post of president of the National Breast Trainees Association (The Mammary Fold) in 2010, and subsequently to the post of president of the Surgical Oncology Trainees Association (SOTA) two years later.

Mr Sarakbi was notably selected for the prestigious national Aesthetic and Reconstructive Fellowship, which provided him with world-class training in both cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery. He also spent time training in France at the Leon-Bérard Centre in Lyon, working with internationally renowned reconstructive surgeons, where he mastered advanced techniques in breast reconstruction and cosmetic breast surgery, including lipomodelling (fat transfer).

He mainly specialises in breast enlargement, breast implant replacement, breast lift, breast reconstruction, breast reduction, and nipple reduction. Mr Sarakbi is a present member of the Intensity-Modulated Partial Organ Radiotherapy Trial (IMPORT) trial management group, one of the largest currently running radiotherapy trials in the UK funded by Cancer Research UK, investigating new techniques of delivering radiotherapy in breast cancer.

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