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Is Breast Reduction Surgery Safe?

Breast reduction surgery, or reduction mammoplasty, is a procedure that has gained popularity in recent years for various reasons, such as physical discomfort, emotional distress, or aesthetic reasons. But what are the breast reduction surgery risks?

 Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors evaluates the safety of breast reduction surgery, discussing the surgical process, potential risks and complications, recovery and post-operative care. We will also touch upon clinical negligence and what patients should do if they suffer from it.

Understanding breast reduction surgery

Breast reduction surgery is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess breast tissue, fat, and skin, often to achieve a breast size that is more proportionate to the patient's body.

Breast reduction procedures typically involve the following steps:

  • Types of incisions - depending on the patient's breast size and shape, the surgeon will make incisions around the areola, down to the breast crease, and sometimes along the breast crease.
  • Removal of excess breast tissue - the surgeon removes excess breast tissue, fat, and skin.
  • Reshaping of the remaining breast tissue - the remaining tissue is reshaped, and the nipple and areola are repositioned to a natural-looking height.
  • Closing the incisions - the surgeon closes the incisions with sutures or surgical tape.

Knowing what to expect when undergoing breast reduction surgery will allow you to better understand the benefits and risks of the procedure, and you will be more prepared going in. Having knowledge of the procedure will also equip you to ask the right questions when looking for a surgeon.

The potential risks and complications of breast reduction surgery

Like any other surgical procedure, breast reduction carries some general risks, such as

  • Anaesthesia complications
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Scarring

However, there are also specific risks associated with breast reduction surgery, including:

  • Changes in nipple or breast sensation
  • Asymmetry or unevenness in breast shape
  • Difficulty with breastfeeding

There are a number of steps patients can take to minimise the risks associated with breast reduction surgery, including:

  • Choosing a qualified and experienced surgeon
  • Following pre- and post-operative instructions
  • Maintaining realistic expectations of their surgery

In some cases, patients can feel disappointed if the result of their surgery is not what they expected. This typically stems from cases where a patient has sought out surgery due to body image issues. For more information on how negative body image and subsequent cosmetic surgery procedures can lead to cosmetic surgery addiction and harm, read our guide here.

Recovery and post-operative care

Recovery from breast reduction surgery typically takes several weeks, with most patients returning to work and daily activities within two to three weeks. Patients can expect some pain, swelling, and bruising during the recovery process, which is normal and usually subsides within a few weeks.

To ensure proper healing and minimise complications, patients should follow their surgeon's post-operative care instructions, which may include:

  • Caring for wounds by keeping them clean and dressed
  • Limiting physical activity by avoiding exercise and heavy lifting or stretching
  • Keeping an eye out for complications

Most breast reduction patients report high satisfaction with their breast reduction surgery, with improved physical comfort, self-esteem, and overall quality of life.

Evaluating the safety of breast reduction surgery

While breast reduction surgery carries high success rates, it is essential that any patients looking to undergo the procedure are aware of the risks and whether they outweigh the benefits.

Each patient is unique, and factors such as overall health, age, and specific breast anatomy can affect the safety and outcomes of the surgery. It is essential to consult with a qualified surgeon to discuss individual factors and determine the best course of action.

Clinical negligence and breast reduction surgery

Clinical negligence occurs when a healthcare professional's actions or omissions cause harm or injury to a patient due to a breach of their duty of care. All UK medical professionals must uphold the UK's standards for cosmetic surgery procedures. Failure to do so can leave them liable for any suffering caused to their patients.

Examples of clinical negligence in breast reduction surgery may include:

  • Incorrect surgical technique resulting in complications
  • Failure to provide appropriate pre- or post-operative care
  • Lack of informed consent or adequate information about the procedure

If you believe you have suffered from clinical negligence related to breast reduction surgery, you should take the following steps:

  • Contact your surgeon or another healthcare provider (such as your GP) to discuss your concerns and seek appropriate medical care.
  • Consult with a specialist solicitor experienced in clinical negligence claims to discuss your legal rights and options.
  • Gather evidence, such as medical records, photographs, and witness statements, to support your claim.

Breast reduction surgery is generally considered a safe procedure with high patient satisfaction rates. However, it carries potential risks and complications. It is crucial to consult with a qualified surgeon to evaluate individual factors and determine the best course of action. In cases of clinical negligence, patients should seek appropriate medical care and consult with a specialist solicitor to explore their legal rights and options.

Contact us

If you have suffered due to the negligence of a breast reduction surgeon, leaving you with physical pain, emotional distress or financial loss as a result, call our expert team today for legal advice. We can help you to understand how a legal claim can help your recovery and we will support you throughout the entire process. Call us today on 0808 273 6662, or fill out our online contact form to request a call-back, and we will contact you at a time convenient for you.

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Mike Saul


Michael Saul is a partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, where he brings his extensive specialist legal expertise and passion for helping people to the forefront of his work. With a proven track record of success in cosmetic surgery negligence cases, Michael has dedicated his career to providing clients with the highest level of representation and achieving favourable outcomes.

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