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Mandy's breast reduction surgery

Mandy Mcdonald, breast reduction patient

After struggling for years with the physical and mental strain of having large breasts, Mandy had a bilateral breast reduction surgery.

How were your breasts impacting your everyday life before reduction surgery?

“I’d wanted a breast reduction for a very long time because it impacted my everyday life. I had huge breasts that I had to carry around every single day. They defined me as a person in a negative way and I received constant inappropriate comments, stares and people would even ask me if they were real and if they could touch them.

“I had dents in my shoulders and pain in my neck and back. The summer was more difficult in the hot weather, and I found it extremely difficult to find clothes that fit me. It’s often seen as a glamorous thing to have big breasts, but I can honestly say that it’s not very glamourous carrying them around.”

Mandy McDonald’s Breast Reduction Surgery

Hear about Mandy’s bilateral breast reduction journey. Learn how the surgery has improved her life, from reduced neck and back pain to well-fitting clothes.

How and why did you choose Benenden Hospital for your treatment?


“I did a lot of research on hospitals, called some places in London to enquire and I even looked abroad. You can halve the cost of your treatment by going abroad. However, there are so many risks to getting cosmetics surgery abroad and post-surgery there can be restrictions around flying. I wanted to look for somewhere locally, somewhere I could trust. Someone I know recommended the hospital to me and it’s perfect because it’s literally a 40-minute drive, so it’s really accessible for me.

“I called Benenden Hospital for some more information about the procedure and the lady who answered the phone was brilliant. That’s where my journey started.”

Initial Consultation

“I booked in my initial consultation with Consultant Plastic Surgeon, Mr Chris Macdonald and Clinical Nurse Specialist in Plastics and Cosmetic Surgery, Kate Comrie – they were both so helpful.

“As soon as I arrived and had my consultation with them, I just knew this was where I would have my operation. I had saved my money for the operation, and they really put my mind at rest that I was making the right decision.”

“I remember I’d burst into tears when explaining why I wanted to have a breast reduction (also known as mammoplasty) because it meant so much to me. They didn’t push me or rush me to make a decision and Mr Macdonald showed me lots of photos of what to expect.”

How did you prepare for surgery?

“I was told I’d need to come for another appointment before the operation, which was booked in efficiently. I worked hard to lower my BMI before the Bilateral Breast Reduction to better my surgical outcomes further. I felt I was in professional hands the whole way through, which was so reassuring. I’d lived with these big breasts my whole life and I felt so empowered to finally make this decision for my improved health and confidence.”

What was your experience of the environment and staff?

“Benenden Hospital is set in beautiful grounds. It’s the ideal location to promote recovery and relaxation while you wait for your appointment or operation. The medical facilities are clean, well-kept and everyone is so welcoming, from the staff on reception to the anaesthetist who gave me lots of reassurance and made me feel at ease.

“On the morning of my surgery, I was really nervous but as soon as I was taken to the ward, I was settled into my room by a wonderful nurse who made sure I was happy with the view looking out on the stunning grounds. They reassured me that these surgeons do these operations every single day, and that I was in really good hands.”

What happened post-surgery?

“On waking after the operation, the first thing I did was look at my new breasts. You’re asked to bring in surgical bras that help with recovery and compress your breasts a lot, so when I saw them, I thought I was flat-chested! Kate and Mr Macdonald came into my ward room to check in with me, ensure I was comfortable and they reassured me that I wasn’t flat-chested. I was well looked after during my overnight stay and the food was lovely.

“Before I was discharged, Mr Macdonald said, ‘It’s your job now, you’ve got to go home, sit with your hands by your sides and watch plenty of television to rest – this is an essential part of your recovery.’ I followed his instructions and had Kate on the other end of the phone/email whenever I needed. I would send her photos of my breasts to check and ask: ‘Are they meant to look like this? Are they healing correctly?’ This I found really reassuring.

“You also wake up after a breast reduction with tapes on your breasts. Kate redoes your tapes for you and teaches you how to do them. After that, you retape at home and ensure you’re wearing your compression bra every day. You must be consistent for about six weeks. I was, and despite it being a long process, the results are so worth it.”

What improvements has your Breast Reduction made to your life?

“I could be here all afternoon talking about the improvements this has made to my life. Mr Macdonald said that after six months, you can really start to feel and see all the positive effects of Bilateral Breast Reduction Surgery. When I first had my surgery, my scars were so visible, but I remained consistent with massaging them with creams. If you stick to your routine and look after yourself, your scars will hardly be visible and you should heal wonderfully.

“My back and neck ache, and the dents in my shoulders, which I used to have from wearing bras with really heavy breasts, have completely gone. I’m no longer carrying these huge breasts around every day, nor do I have to wear a compression bra, which is so invigorating!

“I can wear a small sports bra, crop top, dresses and even backless dresses with no bra – I could have never dreamt of that before! I can go on holiday and not worry about what bra to wear with what dress – you’ll know what I mean if you have larger breasts, as you need support, and everything is so much more expensive.

“I had a final appointment which marks six months post recovery – this just proves how much the Cosmetics service supports you through your patient journey as they want to ensure you’re happy and healthy before discharge.”

Would you recommend Benenden Hospital and its Cosmetic Surgery service?

“I’ve already recommended the hospital to a couple of friends who are looking to have a breast reduction. My advice to anyone who is looking to have cosmetics surgery is don’t look abroad, come here instead because you’ll be so well cared for.

“The advice, guidance and reassurance you receive from Kate, pre and post-op, is second to none. It’s made such a big impact on my life. Why would you cut corners and go abroad? This is your body that you’ll have for life, so invest in it; take care of it.”

Female breast reduction surgery at Benenden Hospital

To find out more about female breast reduction surgery and our other cosmetics procedures please complete our online enquiry form, contact us via Livechat or call our Private Patient team on 01580 363158.

Published on 23 April 2024