Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty)

Breast reduction surgery is performed to make breasts smaller and lighter. It also shapes the breasts in a natural position, making the body look better proportioned. Women who suffer physical discomfort, bad posture, embarrassment and low self-esteem will all benefit from breast reduction surgery. Most patients report immediate relief from back, neck and shoulder pain following a reduction procedure.

Breast Reduction Procedure

The most common breast reduction technique involves cutting around the areola, down the breast and underneath in the natural crease of the breast, leaving an "anchor-shaped" scar. The breast reduction is achieved by removing skin, fat and breast tissue and repositioning the nipple higher on the chest to give a better proportioned and more natural appearance. The operation is carried out under general anaesthetic and normally takes two to three hours. After the surgery it is usual to spend two nights in hospital.

Breast Reduction Recovery

The breasts will be tender, swollen and bruised during the first two weeks following surgery. It may take four to six weeks to feel normal again. Patients are advised to wear a well-fitting supportive bra during this period. It is normally possible to return to work two to three weeks after the surgery.

Breast Reduction Risks

With the use of the right technique, proper planning and meticulous surgery, risks are rare but may include bleeding, haematoma, infection, fat necrosis, scarring, wound healing problems, loss of nipple sensation, minor asymmetry between breasts, and an inability to breastfeed. The scars will be noticeable and may remain lumpy and red for several months, but will gradually become less obvious and fade to pale lines over a 12-month period.

Mr Prinsloo will explain how the possible risks will apply to you.

Due to the Data Protection Act etc. our supply of pre/post operative pictures is currently limited.

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Breast Reduction (Reduction mammaplasty)


Removal of glandular breast tissue, fat and skin to make breasts smaller, lighter and firmer.

Who are candidates?

Women who suffer physical discomfort, bad posture, embarrassment and low self-esteem due to large, heavy and oversized breasts.

How is it done?

Most common breast reduction technique is the ‘anchor’ method. Incisions are made:

  • Around areola
  • Vertically down from areola to breast crease
  • Horizontally in the breast crease
  • Excess breast tissue and skin are removed and breasts are reshaped higher on chest.
  • The nipples are moved to a higher and more youthful position
  • The areola may be made smaller to keep in proportion with breast

Length of surgery

2 hours

Hospital stay

Two night stay is recommended


General anaesthetic

Time to heal

  • Drains are removed within 48 hours
  • Driving possible after first week
  • Breasts will be tender and bruised, with swelling lasting several weeks
  • Return to work in 2-3 weeks
  • Support bra to be worn for 4 weeks
  • Normal activity in 4-6 weeks


Risks are rare but may include:

  • Bleeding, haematoma, infection, fat necrosis, scarring, wound healing problems, minor asymmetry between breasts, loss of nipple sensation, inability to breastfeed and risks associated with general anaesthetic (DVT, PE and chest infection).

Duration of results

Long lasting, although weight gain or loss and ageing can affect results over time.


  • Relief from back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Remove physical discomfort of large breasts
  • Body better proportioned
  • Improves symmetry of the breasts
  • Improves daily activities and exercise
  • Easier to find clothes that fit


  • Scars will be permanent and noticeable and may remain lumpy for several months
  • Complications are more common in smokers and obese patients
  • Ability to breastfeed may decrease

Answers to myths

  • Breast reduction surgery will not cause development of breast cancer
  • Breast screening is still possible following breast reduction

"Dear Mr Prinsloo, I am delighted with the new me. I feel more confident and more content with myself and would like to thank you for your expertise and excellent attentions. Thank you also for ensuring that my operation has been a pleasant and uncomplicated experience. My best wishes for the future."

SS - 14 March 2012 – Breast Reduction

"Dear Mr Prinsloo. Just a very quick note to say a very big thank you for making such a difference to my everyday life! It is coming up to the first anniversary of my breast reduction operation and I feel fantastic! Please carry on doing this really important operation on us over-endowed women. My operation was via the NHS at Stoke, and everything went brilliantly from start to finish no more back/neck ache, can now run with my grandchildren, take dancing lessons, feel fitter etc. etc.! Many thanks."

LL - 1 May 2010 Breast Reduction

"Dear Mr Prinsloo, I am CA's mother and I'm writing to say thank you very much for all you have done for my daughter (Breast reduction) . It took years of deliberation before finally taking the plunge but having taken it wishes she had it done before! She is over the moon with the result and is very grateful to you for that and for making her feel comfortable and carrying out the procedure so wonderfully. Thank you again it is most certainly very much appreciated and well worth the while."

TP (CA's mum) - 27 January 2010 - Breast Reduction

"Dear Mr Prinsloo, I am writing to express my thanks to you and your team for the amazing job you did with my recent breast reduction. To say I am delighted doesn't come even close! The physical relieve is easy to explain but the mental change is harder - suffice to say I feel 10 years younger. Please thank the theatre and recovery nurses who were so kind and all the staff on the first floor ward who were wonderful. If you ever have any patient who is concerned don't hesitate to put them in touch with me and I can tell them how fantastic it has made me feel. Kind regards."

JC - September 2009 - Breast Reduction

"Mr Prinsloo, I am really thrilled with the result of my procedure, and would like to take this opportunity to thank you. It has been a pleasure to meet you, and I wish you all the very best for the future. Kind regards."

AP - June 2010 - Breast Reduction

"Dear Mr Prinsloo, In May you performed my breast reduction operation at the Nuffield. I am writing to thank you and to tell you the difference the operation has made to my life. First of all, the way my breasts look. At the consultation you asked what size I hoped to achieve and I replied that I just wanted a pair of small, round, unremarkable breasts. They are small and round but they are certainly not unremarkable and I couldn't be happier! The symmetry is amazing! Perfect nipple alignment and a wonderful shape. Thank you so very much! Choosing what to wear is a constant thrill. What a difference to covering up with some dark, shapeless breast hiding garment. Last week I bought a beautiful fitted jacket, the first one in my life! My posture is so much better too, (although I have to make sure I don't stand in the old, arms folded across my chest stoop). The great thing about my improved posture is that the rest of my body looks so much better. I'm even getting muscle tone in my stomach! I could go on but I'm sure you have heard this all before so, in conclusion, please accept my heartfelt thanks and gratitude. Your skill, dedication and care have truly changed my life and, as I would recommend you to anyone thinking of having surgery. Thanks again."

AT - June 2006 - Breast Reduction

"Dear Mr Prinsloo, I would like to thank you for the care you have shown to me before, during and after my breast reduction surgery. I am so happy with the results and know I will be forever grateful. With many thanks.."

AH - February 2007 Breast Reduction

Who are candidates?

Women who suffer physical discomfort, bad posture, embarrassment and low self-esteem due to large, heavy and oversized breasts.

Length of Surgery?

Surgery is 2 hours under general anaesthetic.

Answers to myths

Breast reduction surgery will not cause development of breast cancer
Breast screening is still possible following breast reduction

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