Breast reduction surgery is a procedure that reduces the size of breasts to improve body proportion and reduce back pain. During breast reduction, the surgeon removes fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts and reshapes the breast mound to create smaller sized breasts.
Breast reductions can be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. The surgery typically takes between three and four hours, but will vary depending on your unique needs.
The most common reason for getting a breast reduction is physical pain caused by large, heavy breasts. Large breasts can cause neck, shoulder, and back pain due to the weight they carry. The goal of this procedure is to reduce this pain so you can live a more active life!
The most common reasons for wanting a breast reduction are:
-You experience neck pain or shoulder pain caused by your large breasts
-You have difficulty finding clothing that fits your body well because of your large chest
-You are self conscious about how you look in clothes or bathing suits
avoca clinic breast reduction
Breast reduction on the NHS
Breast reduction surgery can help women who are unhappy with the shape, weight or droop of their breasts by making them smaller and more lifted.
But if it’s done to improve appearance rather than for health reasons, it’s not normally available on the NHS. Instead, you’ll need to pay for the procedure privately.
Information about breast reduction for cosmetic reasons is provided elsewhere
Read about cosmetic breast reduction for women and male breast reduction.
This page focuses on when breast reduction might be available on the NHS.
Eligibility criteria for NHS breast reduction
The availability of breast reduction surgery on the NHS varies, depending on the eligibility criteria decided by your local clinical commissioning group (CCG).
Some CCGs do not fund breast reduction surgery at all, and others fund it selectively if you fulfil certain criteria.
Generally speaking, you might be considered for breast reduction on the NHS if you have problems caused by having very large breasts, such as:
- shoulder or neck pain
- skin irritation
- rashes and skin infections under the breasts
- grooves on the shoulders from bra straps
- psychological distress, such as low self-esteem or depression
- an inability to exercise or take part in sports
CCGs also tend to have additional criteria that may include the size of your breasts, your weight, your age, whether you smoke, and whether other options (such as wearing professionally fitted bras) have been tried, but have not helped.
You can find out what the eligibility criteria are in your area from your GP or by contacting your local CCG.
The referral process
See a GP if you think you might be eligible for breast reduction surgery on the NHS.
They can check whether you meet the criteria of your local CCG and, if you do, they can refer you to a breast or plastic surgeon for an assessment.
This may involve:
- asking about the problems you’re having
- checking your weight and general health
- an assessment by a psychiatrist or psychologist
- information about the risks and results of surgery
The assessment will help determine whether you’re suitable for surgery and whether there’s a strong enough reason for this to be done on the NHS.
The final decision is usually made by a panel of representatives from your local CCG, which will take into account the information from your assessments and a review of your individual case.
Things to consider before you go ahead
It’s important to discuss your problems and options with a GP and an appropriately qualified surgeon before having a breast reduction.
This will help you get a clear idea of what changes you can expect to see and ensure you’re aware of any risks involved.
Be aware that:
- a significant reduction can alter the shape and look of your breasts
- there will be scarring and possibly lost or altered nipple sensation
- your breasts can change in size and shape after surgery – for example, they may increase or decrease in size if you put on or lose weight
- breasts have a tendency to droop over time
- your breasts can get bigger during pregnancy and you may not be able to breastfeed after surgery – so you may need to wait until you’re sure you do not want to have any more children
For women with very large breasts, the benefits of a reduction may outweigh any potential problems.
But for women with only moderately large breasts, the benefits may not be worth the risks.
Alternatives to breast reduction surgery
It’s sometimes possible to reduce problems caused by having large breasts without the need for surgery.
The following measures may help:
- if you’re overweight, losing weight can sometimes help reduce the amount of fatty tissue in your breasts
- a professional bra-fitting service – for many women with problems caused by large breasts, getting a professional to fit a correctly-sized bra can reduce discomfort
- physiotherapy – exercises from a physiotherapist can sometimes help with aches and pains caused by large breasts
- psychological support and treatment – this can help if your large breasts are causing emotional or mental health issues
Breast reduction surgery will usually only be available on the NHS if you have first tried alternative measures.
The Avoca Clinic has partnered with Humm (previously Flexi-Fi) to help you spread the cost of your Surgery over 24 or 36 months for amounts up to €6,000 *
At Avoca, we not only provide you with the Breasts and Body you’ve always hoped for but we can also recommend a reputable financier who provides a fantastic service and has assisted many of our clients with the funding when they need it.
Humm is a retail instalment payment plan facility, an easy alternative to paying with cash or credit card for your procedure. Whether it’s a Breast Augmentation, Reduction or any of our procedures, Humm is there to make finance simple.
It’s all about you – you’re in total control. Once you have decided on the procedure you wish to have, you may then select the amount. You have full access to your Humm account. As we said, it’s all about you.
Interested in financing? Start your journey now and book your free consultation with The Avoca Clinic.
For some women, their breasts are a source of pain, discomfort and self-consciousness. Large breasts might get in the way of taking part in physical activity, exercise and even daily life. Many patients approach us to talk about breast reduction and back pain. Some opt for breast reduction and lift.
This is why breast reduction is a life-changing experience; bringing comfort, freedom and joy to thousands of women around the world every year. Breast reduction in Ireland is becoming increasingly common, as more and more women are freeing themselves of unnecessary pain and distress.
Breast reduction prices in Ireland are more affordable than you might think, and we have finance plans available.
It is a surgical procedure, so it’s natural to be cautious and curious. We would recommend looking at breast reduction before and after testimonials and consulting the queries below.
We are delighted to offer Online Video Consultations with one of our Plastic Surgeons and also a Virtual Breast Suite experience. Using our specially developed technology you will be able to see your Breast ‘before and after’ pictures during this consultation and ask all those questions you may have always wondered about.