Breast reduction: why undergo reduction mammoplasty?

17 May 2013

Why have breast reduction?By Plastic Surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer

We hear a lot about breast augmentation but seldom do we hear about breast reduction: women tend to want bigger, not smaller breasts. I have already heard people wondering why some women would want to undergo breast reduction surgery when so many would love the contrary, so I thought I would write about it on my blog.

Reduction mammoplasty v. mastectomy

Firstly, reduction mammoplasty or reduction mammaplasty, also called breast reduction should not be mistaken for mastectomy, also known as breast removal, although both are generally linked to medical problems. You will almost certainly have heard that Angelina Jolie recently had a double mastectomy, i.e. had both her breasts removed, in order to prevent breast cancer because of genetic inheritance (her mother died of breast cancer). When you have a genetic condition making it more likely for you to suffer from breast cancer, mastectomy is an extreme solution but it drastically reduces the risk of developing breast cancer. In our minds a woman’s breasts are intricately linked to her femininity so it is a very hard choice to make, having both your breast removed, and it should be respected and praised. I am proud of being a plastic surgeon, knowing that plastic surgery can give these women back their breasts if they wish so through cosmetic surgery procedures.

Breast reduction is not as extreme, as it is ‘only’ a reduction of the size and mass of the breast. Gynaecomastia or gynecomastia is the masculine counterpart, male breast reduction, and is a solution for men who have more breasts than they feel comfortable with.

Why do some women need breast reduction?

Body harmony

Nature is amazing and most of the time, it does a great job. We all have a certain harmony to our features and our body parts are proportionate with the rest of our body. That is true most of the time and that’s why as a plastic surgeon I prefer to respect proportions and mimic natural results. However sometimes women have breast that could be or should be smaller. But women don’t undergo breast reduction surgery simply to have smaller breast in order to have a more harmonious body. They do it because their body is not meant to have such big breasts. Imagine someone who’s five feet tall, weighs 50 kilos and has 34FF breasts: this woman’s upper body cannot stand so much weight over the long term and this can lead to back problems. Hypertrophy of breast or macromastia is the name of a rare yet known medical condition when a woman’s breasts exceed 3% of her total body weight. Most of the time women looking for breast reduction do not suffer from this excessive condition but it doesn’t mean that they are not suffering.

Physical pain

Breast reduction is a solution when having big breasts becomes painful. Having large breasts can lead to severe back pain and neck pain, because you have some much weight on the front of your body that your back is strained and your posture is poor from trying to keep you balanced. Some women wishing to have breast reduction also complain of shortness of breath because of the weight of their breasts pressing on their ribcage and their lungs. Some patients also suffer from excessive sweating under their breasts.

Unwanted attention: wanting to have a normal life

Breast reduction can be an answer to get back to a normal life. Not many of us like to be the centre of attention and women who have not chosen to have disproportionate breasts certainly don’t like the unwanted attention and judgemental attitude they get  when they’re out on the street and just living their lives. Having breasts that are too big for you also means that doing sports can be difficult, not to say impossible; you sweat excessively and it’s hard to move around and to run. Imagine having, say, a backpack attached to your upper body or carrying a child when you go out to run, it’s not comfortable and soon becomes too heavy to keep running. Breasts also tend to ‘jump around’ on their own when women move, which is both painful and attracts far too much unwanted attention.

If you have breasts that are too big for you, if you suffer from backache, neck pain and/or excessive sweating under your breasts, consult your GP so they can tell you if breast reduction surgery could help you. If you’re looking for a qualified, attentive plastic surgeon in London for a breast reduction procedure don’t hesitate and contact me, I’ll be happy to help.


emailContact Dr Kremer

phone 0845 519 7232

info Virtual Consultations


Virtual Consultations

Dr Kremer is now accepting virtual consultations, via Skype or WhatsApp. If you would like a virtual consultation, or would like more information, simply get in touch with us via phone, email or through our contact form and we will schedule a date and time for your consultation.