Preparing for a breast reduction

Written by: Mr Ahid Abood
Published: | Updated: 12/06/2023
Edited by: Lisa Heffernan

Identifying whether you are a suitable candidate for breast reduction surgery goes beyond simply wanting smaller breasts. There are a number of factors which will help to determine whether breast reduction surgery will be a safe and successful procedure. Mr Ahid Abood explains more about breast reduction surgery and offers his recovery tips to patients.


What factors must be taken into account for a breast reduction?

Most surgeons insist that you don’t smoke and are of an optimal BMI (Body Mass Index), usually less than 30, as these factors will have a significant impact on your body’s ability to heal. A consultation with a GMC registered plastic surgeon should identify all the areas that need to be discussed in advance of any surgery.


How painful will the breast reduction surgery be?

The experience of pain is subjective, so it’s difficult to say how much pain patients will feel. Most of Mr Abood’s patients say their breast reduction surgery was significantly less painful then they were anticipating, or indeed wasn’t painful!


Before the surgery, itself starts and during the procedure, Mr Abood uses quite a lot of targeted local anaesthetic which helps to keep patients as comfortable as possible. His anaesthetist is also great at anticipating pain relief requirements and will provide tailored analgesia during and after surgery which helps to keep any discomfort at bay.


What are your breast reduction recovery tips?

  • Plan to take it easy for a week or two.
  • Wear a non-underwired sports bra or post-surgical bra as advised by your surgeon.
  • Take your surgeon’s advice with regards to things like showering. Mr Abood advises his patients to shower from day five after surgery.
  • Stay hydrated and eat and drink healthily.
  • Don’t forget to massage the scars. This is a very important part of the breast reduction surgery process and done properly should encourage scars to soften and fade over time. Your plastic surgeon will advise you on when to start massaging the scars, what to use and how to go about it.


Can I stop wearing a bra after breast reduction surgery?

Mr Abood advises patients to wear a sports bra or post-surgical bra for the first six weeks after surgery. This helps to support the breasts as they are healing which makes patients feel more comfortable and helps to reduce swelling. After six weeks, you can change to underwired bras or other bras of your preference.


When can I return to work and exercise?

It will depend upon what sort of work you do and the kind of exercise you take part in. As a general rule, patients who have sedentary or desk-based jobs can usually return to work at two weeks post-surgery, although many go back before then.


If your work is more physical, then you may require longer as it’s not a good idea to stress yourself physically when recovering from surgery. With regards to exercise, most people can resume aerobic exercise such as cycling, jogging and running by six weeks but longer if planning to go back to resistance exercises, such as lifting weights. Everyone recovers at different rates so there will be flexibility around all of these timelines.


Plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon Mr Ahid Abood is an expert in breast reduction surgery. Contact him via his Top Doctors profile to arrange a full consultation.

By Mr Ahid Abood
Plastic surgery

Mr Ahid Abood is a highly esteemed consultant plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgeon with private clinics at 9 Harley Street, London,  Spire Lea Cambridge and Nuffield Health Cambridge. His areas of expertise include abdominoplasty, breast surgery, breast augmentation, blepharoplasty, breast reduction surgery and breast lifts.

After graduating from Cambridge University, Mr Abood trained extensively in all aspects of plastic surgery in the UK and internationally. He spent a year as a microsurgical fellow at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia and a further year as a microsurgical fellow at St. Andrews, Broomfield, Essex. He was also the Nagor Aesthetic fellow at the McIndoe Surgical Centre, East Grinstead, one of the few recognised training fellowships in cosmetic surgery in the UK. During his surgical training, Mr Abood also undertook research into the treatment of skin cancer for which he was awarded an MSc distinction from UCL. He also has a postgraduate certification in medical education and is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  

Mr Abood was appointed to his current NHS role back in 2014 and is currently the clinical lead for complex reconstruction following major trauma. Within the NHS he specialises in reconstructive surgery with a sub-speciality interest in microsurgical reconstruction. He also treats skin cancer, which includes the treatment of malignant melanoma for which he offers sentinel lymph node biopsy.  He was the speciality lead for Audit & Governance at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge and the divisional lead for Audit. Addenbrooke’s Hospital is part of the world-renowned Biomedical Campus. He is also an integral member of the Bone Infection Unit, which is a tertiary referral service to treat those with osteomyelitis. 

He also dedicates time to teaching trainee plastic surgeons and helped to establish the Wexham Park FRCS (Plast) exam course. He has also taught the Cambridge "lower limb flap course" and Mid Yorkshire "plastic surgery skills course". He has also produced, directed and edited "My New Ear" which aired on ABC news. 

Mr Abood has published thirty academic manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and has written a number of book chapters. He is an honorary research associate at The National Medial Laser Institute and is a member of The British Association of Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons. 

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