Reduction Mammaplasty: the benefits and what to expect

Written by: Professor Charles Malata
Edited by: Robert Smith

Many women wish for bigger breasts whilst others feel that theirs are just too big. Sometimes, if they are too large they can cause chronic back pain and even interfere with breathing when trying to sleep.

breast reduction

We spoke with leading consultant plastic surgeon, Professor Charles Malata, to find out exactly what a reduction mammaplasty is, the benefits, how the procedure is done and if it is painful. Read on to find out what to expect from a breast reduction as well as the benefits to having the procedure.

What is a breast reduction?

Breast reduction is an operation that reduces the size of heavy, large and pendulous breasts while reshaping and uplifting them to give smaller, lighter, more youthful, and aesthetically pleasing breasts.

How common is breast reduction surgery?

A breast reduction is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed, and it results in dramatic improvement in the quality of life of women.


Who benefits from breast reduction surgery?

You may benefit from breast reduction surgery if:


  • Your breasts look large compared to the rest of your body.
  • Your heavy and large breasts cause you back pain, shoulder pain and neck ache.
  • Your bra straps leave grooves/ indentations or even sores on your shoulders because of having to support heavy breasts.
  • You commonly suffer from excessive sweating under the breasts which results in skin irritation, rashes, redness and infections.
  • Your breasts give you a "dragging" sensation as they are so heavy.
  • Your areolae and nipples point downward rather than forwards.
  • Your breasts are droopy and pendulous.
  • You experience difficulties with fitting into bras, clothes, swimwear, etc. on account of your large breasts.
  • Your breasts are uneven, and one breast is much larger than the opposite one.
  • Your breasts make it difficult for you to run, exercise or engage in other physical activities.
  • Your breasts are so heavy that they interfere with your breathing when you try and sleep on your back.
  • You are very self-conscious of how large or pendulous your breasts are, and you are tired of the unwanted attention and attempts to camouflage the large breasts through wearing loose baggy or dark clothing.

Is breast reduction surgery painful?

Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthetic so that patients do not feel any pain during the operation.

How is breast reduction surgery done?

I prefer using the “Keyhole” Wise pattern superomedial T-scar technique for breast reduction surgery which results in a traditional anchor-shaped scar. For smaller breasts I opt for the minimal scar LeJour vertical mammaplasty which gives a lollipop-shaped scar.

During the surgery I carefully remove excess skin, fat, and breast tissue to sculpt the breast size that the patient choses. The nipple-areola is uplifted in position and the breast is also narrowed by removing tissue from the side.

For moderately large breasts in women with only moderate droop and good skin quality I use the LeJour vertical incision pattern breast reduction technique.

I discuss the pros and cons of surgical techniques with patients before surgery and assist them in determining the incision that suits them best.

For more information on having a reduction mammaplasty, you may like to book an appointment with a top consultant plastic surgeon such as Professor Charles Malata . Visit his Top Doctors profile today for more information.

By Professor Charles Malata
Plastic surgery

Professor Charles Malata is a British and American trained consultant plastic surgeon specialising in breast augmentation (boob jobs), abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), rhinoplasty (nose jobs), breast reconstruction after mastectomy (DIEP flap reconstruction), breast reduction, facelift and body contouring after weight loss. He is the most senior reconstructive breast plastic surgeon at the Cambridge Breast Unit at Addenbrooke's University Hospital, Cambridge and was also voted by his colleagues and peers as one of the top ten breast plastic surgeons in the country. He undertakes the full spectrum of cosmetic surgery both in Cambridge and Peterborough. His before and after photographs can be found in his extensive medical publications.

Professor Malata graduated from the University of Zambia Medical School in 1984 and then carried out his general surgical training on the Newcastle & Leeds University Hospital rotations. He underwent plastic surgery training at the prestigious and world famous Canniesburn Hospital in Glasgow obtaining the Intercollegiate FRCS in Plastic Surgery in 1997. He then took up substantive subspecialty fellowships in breast & cosmetic surgery at Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington DC and Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

He is a research professor (visiting professor) at Anglia Ruskin University School of Medicine and lectures both nationally and internationally on aesthetic and reconstructive breast surgery and free flap surgery. He was the President of the European Society for Surgical Research (ESSR) in 2011-2013 and has an active academic and clinical research interest with over 280 publications and currently supervises research projects for PhD & MSc students, registrars and medical students. In addition, he works as an associate editor for Frontiers in Plastic Surgery and is an editorial board member of the European Surgical Research Journal and Gland Surgery Journal. He reviews for multiple professional journals.

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