Breast reduction surgery is an operation to remove excess fat, breast tissue and skin from your breasts. It can be carried out on both women and men.
For women, breast reduction surgery helps make your breasts smaller and lighter and gives them a better shape. For men, surgery can improve the shape of your chest and give you a more masculine figure.
People have breast reduction surgery for a number of reasons. Our article looks at the five most common benefits and how mammoplasty (female breast reduction surgery) and surgery for gynaecomastia (male breast reduction) could improve both your physical and mental wellbeing.
1. May reduce pain in your shoulders, neck and back
Having large breasts can put pressure on the back’s extensor muscles and even the spinal discs, changing the shape of your spine. This can cause back pain and increases the likelihood of suffering from poor posture, especially if you ‘hunch forwards’ to try to hide your chest.
The neck muscles can also be affected if your breasts are heavy. With additional weight on the chest, neck muscles can become strained and the spinal discs can bulge and become inflamed.
Reducing the weight of breast tissue relieves the pressure on the muscles in the back and neck and can restore a proper posture. This may help to relieve pain and discomfort in your shoulder back and neck.
It can also improve posture, especially in men. It may not be the weight of the breasts that causes men to slouch, but men with gynaecomastia may hunch over to try to hide a larger chest.
2. Reduces chafing, rashes and infection
Large breasts can cause chafing and sensitivity for both men and women. Chafing can occur when the skin of your breast rubs against your clothing and – for women – may be caused by your breasts being too large for the bra cup or by your bra straps digging into your shoulders. Heat rash can also develop between or under the breasts.
Intertrigo is a kind of dermatitis caused by an inflammation of skin folds where chafing stops sweat from evaporating beneath the breasts. This warm, damp area allows bacteria or yeast on the skin to thrive and multiply which can cause the skin to break down and bleed.
Breast reduction surgery can help to relieve these symptoms by reducing friction and heat between and under the breasts.
3. Allows you to exercise
For both men and women, having larger breasts can make physical activity, such as running, swimming and jumping – or even picking up your children - painful and uncomfortable. It’s especially noticeable during high-impact activities such as running or aerobics.
This pain is caused by the increased weight and pressure of the breasts and they move during exercise, putting strain on the rib cage and the ligaments that attach your ribs to the spine.
Breast reduction surgery can improve your freedom to move and – while there’s not a 100% guarantee – you should be able to get back to your usual activities six weeks after your operation. For men, reducing the size of your chest lets you feel more comfortable when you do physical activity. This can helps motivate you to stay fit and maintain a stronger, firmer figure.
4. Lets you wear the clothes you want
If you’ve been avoiding tight-fitting clothes or find that you need different sized clothes on the top half of your body and the bottom half, because of your breast size – breast reduction surgery may help. For women, it’ll help you to feel more confident in a swimming costume and for men it’ll let you wear more tight-fitting tops, revealing your chest at the beach or pool.
However, it’s important to remember that clothing sizes – including bra cup size – vary from retailer to retailer so we’d recommend that you try clothes on before you buy!
5. Boosts your confidence
Large breasts can mean a disproportionate body figure which, in turn, can make you feel embarrassed and self-conscious in public.
Smaller breasts (in women) and less chest tissue (for men) can provide a boost to your confidence since you’re less likely to feel that people are looking at your chest.
One of the main benefits of breast reduction surgery for men is that it’ll restore a naturally masculine appearance to your chest. With a firmer, flatter and better shaped chest, you’ll feel more confident, with increased self-esteem.
Breast reduction surgery at Benenden Hospital
We offer discreet, self-pay breast reduction surgery for men and women, carried out by our experienced Consultant Plastic Surgeons in a clean, infection-free environment in the heart of the Kent countryside.
Find out more about our breast reduction surgery service by completing our online enquiry form or by calling our Private Patient team on 01580 363158.
Published on 19 July 2021