To top
18 May

All the things to consider before breast reduction surgery

Written by Alicia Lartey

Image by @schiaparelli

I am hopefully coming to you with some wise words and a very personal story today. So, I had a breast reduction, let’s talk about it.

I have always had the view that plastic surgery is something you should have deep thoughts about prior to even booking a preliminary consultation because no matter which way you think about it, it is a major surgery.

When forming your decision to go under the knife there are two main questions you should ask yourself: can you live with scars? And is this aesthetic or functional? The latter question helped me categorize what a breast reduction surgery would mean to me and how it could improve my quality of life. Another important factor when going through surgery is your age, I personally do not think that you should have life-altering plastic surgery until you are at least 25 or like in my case you are having surgery for medical benefits (I am 22 for reference).

A reduction for me was a functional choice and would allow me to have a better range of movement in the gym, take pressure off my back and allow me to run (yes I did picture myself running freely in a field without being strapped into two sports bras). Although my choice was functional, this is in no way shaming or neglecting the aesthetic benefits having a reduction would bring to me, it is all about understanding what is driving you to make this decision. One thing that I learned about this whole process is how individualized bra sizes actually are and how much volume it is possible to remove (I went from a 36GG to about a 34 D/DD, through the removal of 1.7kg of tissue). 

Beginning the reduction journey was initially quite difficult as I did turn to the NHS which was a very frustrating and futile effort on all parts. Once I realized that private was my only option, all my energy could finally be focused in one place. Private healthcare in the United Kingdom can be quite expensive which is why many people embark on journeys of medical tourism but that is not something I ever wanted for myself. As someone with asthma and familial history of circulatory problems, I wanted to make sure that whichever surgeon I chose would look after me and have a team that was also equally as amazing as the primary surgeon.

I actually found my surgeon by chance, but I ended up choosing Dr. Caroline Payne and having my surgery at the Spire London East Hospital. The main thing that I loved about Caroline is that I felt heard during my consultation, safe, and very happy with the knowledge that it would be very unlikely for me to have drains put in after surgery. The total cost of the surgery for me was £7600 which included 2 follow-up appointments. It is important to remember that the cost of your treatment is entirely dependent on you and can be impacted by special requirements.

A great place to start looking for a surgeon is Google (in the least condescending way), I would also advise speaking to your GP to find out if they have any recommendations. During my search, Harley Street popped up quite a lot, but I could not justify the price difference for the service that I was receiving, I also wanted to be in an actual hospital (should anything go wrong).

A fairly common question that I’ve had is about surgery prep! I have actually been training with IALH fitness expert @trainthehardest for a couple of months to get me in the best shape I could be before going into theatre and the second thing for me was finding time off from work. I really struggled with finding time off from work and I have definitely pushed myself to go back to work before being ready as I felt a lot of guilt about taking time off which has impacted me physically and mentally. My advice to anyone considering a reduction is that your recovery is as important if not more important than your preparation, so please take the time off and indulge in having your support system helping you out.

It is truly a privilege to be able to write about this experience. I feel so blessed to be able to afford this surgery, to have found an amazing surgeon, and to have had supportive parents and my partner.