Breast reduction 


Alternatives to surgery

For both women and men, breasts can become large because of fatty deposits within them. This means that you may be able to reduce the size of your breasts by losing weight.

Read more information about a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Female breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is an operation to reduce the weight and volume of the breasts.

During the procedure, fat, glandular tissue and skin are removed from the breasts, which are then reshaped and the nipples repositioned.

Breast size is determined by genes, hormones, body frame and weight. For most women, breast size is proportionate to the body, but for some women the breasts are particularly large.

Breasts are sensitive to the hormone oestrogen. They can grow during adolescence or later in life after the menopause, or because of the use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). Some women also develop a noticeable asymmetry (difference in size or shape) between their breasts.

Breast reduction surgery can help women who are unhappy with the shape, weight or droop of their breasts by making them smaller and more lifted. However, breast size alters with body weight, so your breasts may increase in size if you put on weight or become pregnant even after surgery.

Men can also have breast reduction surgery to treat enlarged breasts, known as gynaecomastia. Read more about male breast reduction.

Availability on the NHS

Availability of breast reduction surgery on the NHS can be variable depending on the policy of your local clinical commissioning group (CCG).

If breast reduction is done to improve appearance rather than for health reasons, it is not normally available on the NHS. Instead, you will need to pay for private treatment.

To receive cosmetic surgery from the NHS, you will normally need a referral from your GP. You will need to have a consultation with a breast or plastic surgeon and possibly an assessment by a psychiatrist or psychologist. They will consider whether there is enough social, psychological or physical benefit to justify surgery – for example, if your breasts are causing you significant pain or mental health problems.

The final decision is usually made by a cosmetic exclusion panel of your local CCG, which will take into account the information from your assessments and review your individual case.

Read more about the availability of cosmetic surgery.

Breast reduction on the NHS

You may be considered for a breast reduction operation on the NHS if you have physical discomfort from having large breasts, such as:

  • backache 
  • neck pain
  • skin irritation
  • poor posture
  • excessive sweating, rashes and skin infections under the breasts
  • grooves on the shoulders from bra straps
  • an inability to exercise or take part in sports

Large breasts can also cause psychological distress. Common complaints from women with large breasts include not being able to wear fashionable clothes and finding it difficult to take part in active sports. Psychological distress may also include unwanted attention or harassment, self-consciousness and depression.

Some CCGs may also have specific eligibility criteria for breast reduction on the NHS that can include the size of your breasts, your weight, whether you smoke, and whether other options – such as wearing professionally fitted bras – have been tried but have not helped.

Before having surgery

It is important to discuss your problems and options with your GP and an appropriately qualified surgeon before going ahead with a breast reduction. This will help you to get a clear idea of what changes you can expect to see and to ensure you are aware of any risks involved.

Any type of surgery carries risks. The potential complications specific to breast surgery include:

  • scarring 
  • unevenly shaped breasts or nipples
  • wound healing problems 
  • loss of nipple sensation
  • being permanently unable to breastfeed

Read more about things to consider before breast reduction surgery and the risks of breast reduction surgery.

The operation

Bilateral breast reduction surgery (reduction of both breasts) takes two to four hours under general anaesthetic. You will usually need to stay in hospital for one to two nights afterwards.

There are several techniques the surgeon could use. The most appropriate method for you will depend on the size of your breasts and the desired result.

You will need to take it easy for two to six weeks while you recover from the operation, but recovery time depends on your age and general fitness. It is likely you will have sore breasts for a few weeks.

The final appearance of your breasts may not be obvious for several weeks or months after the operation.

Read more about how breast reduction surgery is performed and recovering from breast reduction surgery.

Page last reviewed: 07/01/2014

Next review due: 07/01/2016


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The 112 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Ands68 said on 14 April 2014

slc16....we have to ring back next week, so we are hoping to know something then! Glad yours is going well :-) x

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slc16 said on 12 April 2014

I was seen In sep too! And received it on the 29th march! Hope she isnt waiting too long! I love the improvement and its only been 2 weeks!

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Ands68 said on 07 April 2014

slc16 Im glad your op went well :-) My daughter is waiting for her op, she saw her consultant back in long was you waiting ??

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slc16 said on 02 April 2014

I am 20 years old and was a 30j before receiving a breast reduction last week. The change is unbelievable and I am already extremely happy with the results. I am in a lot of pain and still have a long way to go but so glad I got it. Happy to answer any questions.

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lins1978 said on 16 March 2014

Hello. Please can anyone help..

Im 35 and my bra size is currently 38gg /h I have sores under my breasts which give off a horrible odour. Im so embarrassed of my breasts i hate walking into a shop. I fold my arms. My neck and back are in constant pain.

I have been to my gp only to be told we longer do reductions on the I will have to put up with this pain.

Where shall I go now. I cant suffer much longer and I cant afford to go private

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vanyajoanne said on 05 March 2014

Hello. I am 21 and currently a size 34J. I went to my doctors in august 2013 and was referred straight away to the hospital for a consultation. At the hospital I was assessed and told I was to wait 3 months for the decision to be made by the NHS I received a letter in December which was the best news ever I had been granted nhs approval and was to attend the hospital on 24th January 2014 for my pre op assessment.. It has now been almost 5 weeks and I was told I should be in at the beginning of May. I am so excited.. it's just a waiting game now! Anyone has any questions or advice then feel free to ask.

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KayB91 said on 04 March 2014

Also I know somebody who was given a breast enlargement on the NHS which I find absolutely disgusting. Having small or average sized breasts does not cause any physical damage to your body! Some people just know how to abuse the system and it is wrong.

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KayB91 said on 04 March 2014

I'm 22 years old and feel as though I have particularly large breasts. I'm a size 10 in bottoms but size 14 in tops. The last time I was measured my breasts were a 34FF but this size was strangely difficult to come by so the lady said I could get away with wearing a back size bigger and a cup size smaller so I'm now wearing a 36E. This fit at first but now is far too small so I'm guessing I am now at least a G cup.
I have terrible back and shoulder pain, I'm sore under my breasts, I have a poor posture which has lead to joint problems, my breasts are extremely sore and sensitive and the weight is just immense. I'm now having difficulty even lifting my 2 year old son up which is so upsetting. Getting a good nights sleep is no longer possible, I cannot get comfy in bed no matter how many different positions I try and I am literally in pain 24/7 now.
Not only is this affecting me physically I am becoming quite depressed over this. I am in tears almost every day when I struggle to fit into tops and I have no confidence what so ever. It makes me feel huge although I know my frame is still quite small. I don't like my partner of almost four years to see my body anymore so our sex life is pretty much at a stand still. No woman should be made to feel like this over something that is not her fault and I can totally empathise with anybody going through this.
Tomorrow I am visiting my GP to discuss this and really hope I get somewhere. A breast reduction would totally change my life!

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CF2014 said on 21 February 2014

Hello, I was wondering how I would go about asking for a breast reduction or an op of some kind. I am 5ft7 and weigh 9stone2 I am currently wearing a size 30E bra but I was a 30G and it is so difficult to find bras that fit me other than at M and S. I have seriously bad posture and my back pain is terrible, I am only 16 so I understand that I may still be growing and what not but it's so upsetting because I am so embarrassed about how they look and how I feel whenever I'm in a bikini and what not. Please help! X

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Scoobydoo_101 said on 15 February 2014

I am 5ft 10 and a 34J, I have always had a big chest and started to wear bras when I was nine because they were so big. I have always wanted a reduction but I have been too young and my body was still growing. I am a size 12 on the bottom however I have to get a size 20 in the top because of my breasts. As I am now 18 I went to the doctor to see about a reduction and he referred me to the hospital. They told me I have to lose 1st 7lb before they will give me the operation and because I am in real bad pain with my back and I can't do normal activities they will do it on the NHS. It has been four months and I have finally lost the weight and I am waiting to be referred back to the hospital. I am so excited to get the operation and I can't wait for this life champing experience and I will finally be able to feel like a normal person and not the odd one out!

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moo96 said on 31 January 2014

I'm 18 in 2 months and currently weigh 8 stone, I'm 5'2 with 28/30GG breasts, I can't go jogging or running to try reduce the size that way as sports bras are just too much, I have immense back pain and also pains in my chest, have deep grooves on my shoulders from my straps which cause more pain ecause they are sore, all I can feel when I take my bra off is just this massive weight pulling on my skin, going bak to GP when I'm 18 though so hopefully I'll have good news:(

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Kim2014 said on 29 January 2014

Hi i,m 52 5ft a size 12 and carry a 36gg i been suffering with terrible back ache neck ache indentations in my shoulders for quite sometime now and its really getting me down i find it hard to get comfy in bed there fore am losing sleep my sex life is nil as i wont let my partner get anywhere near me ive never thought about breast reduction up till now but i am so depressed with these things now please help

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oliviaaaa said on 20 January 2014

I am 15 years old with 32FF and I get severe back and neck ache, skin irritation, I can't do sport for longer than 10 minutes, I get rashes and grooves where my bra has been. I want to know if I'm eligible for the surgery. I understand it is a big deal to get something like this at my age but its really starting to effect me especially with pain. I will turn 16 in a few months if that's any constellation.

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tbearrr said on 08 January 2014

I'm a 21 year old female with 28J breasts, well, one is a J the other is a HH. I'm in the process of applying (the need a record of my weight for two years?) and suffer from a lot of back pain plus a lot of body issues that are only getting worse. I'm worried though that since I don't fit all of the criteria (I don't have shoulder grooves yet - they're coming along though) that I'll get denied. Does anyone have any advice or similar experiences?

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amym1999 said on 07 January 2014

Could anyone give me advice please? I'm 14 and I turn 15 next month, I'm currently a size 32J and it's making my life hell. I'm not overweight so it's not the case that I need to lose weight, I'm not skinny but I'm certainly not obese and I think if I lost weight it would only make things worse as my body is already too weak to carry my breasts so if I was any smaller it would be a lot more difficult. I'm constantly in pain, my back, neck and shoulders are always in total agony, I also sweat really badly and it's horrible, I'm literally incapable of exercising, not because I'm unfit but because my breasts make it impossible. I have bad posture as well, my school has three floors and when I'm walking up the stairs my back honestly hurts so much. I can't get ever get a decent sleep either, no matter which way I lie I'm always in pain. I would leave it until I was 18 because I understand I'm too young but i really can't take it anymore, I've also been bullied ever since I started high school, not a day goes past where i don't get abuse shouted at me for being this way. Someone please give me advice or if anyone my age has had a breast reduction let me know yeah? Thanks

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tippytoe98 said on 08 December 2013

So basically, up and throughout puberty I was a slow bloomer and now all of a sudden my breasts are there and continually growing, I find myself every 3 months at M&S getting myself measured. I am currently a 34GG and I wondered onto this page to find out if this was for me. I suffer from severe back pain and my bra straps cut into my skin even when they are on the lowest strap. It affects me every single day. I find it hard to do any type of physical activity and it has stopped me from taking part in core P.E. It makes me feel uncomfortable when walking about town with friends, I get cat calls and rude remarks and gestures. Now, where some girls would love the attention, it is seriously unwanted and I absolutely hate it. Some say I should love the body I've been given, and I do but day in day out its killing me! Is there any advice you could give me?

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Jessg6691 said on 25 November 2013

I had a breast reduction three weeks ago, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. To anyone who is suffering with back pains and with finding clothes to wear, all you need to do is go to your GP, tell them how it is affecting you, and they will tell you if you are eligible or not, or refer you for an appointment with a consultant. The worst that can happen is that they say no, if you think it is something you would consider, then speak to someone about it, it could change your life.
I too had back pains, neck pains, I struggled to find any clothes or bras to fit, I hated myself. I was a size 38G, and as soon as I removed my bra, the consultant agreed I needed it!
I think that the most important factor is your weight. If your breasts look out of proportion to the rest of your body, you are more likely to be considered. If you are quite overweight, you will possibly be told to try and lose some weight and then return after that, to be considered for the operation. You need to realistically get your BMI to around 30.
I was extremely lucky, I had my initial appointment on 13/10/13, and I had the operation on 31/11/13, I waited just over a month. This was because I was transferred to a private hospital by the NHS, due to the hospital I was originally at having a big influx of trauma patients. I went for my consultant appointment at the new hospital, and I was shocked when the surgeon said he would operate on me the following week. A week later, I turned up at the hospital for my operation, the staff were amazing both before and after my operation. To me, the worst part was having the cannula in my wrist. If anyone is thinking of having a breast reduction but worried about the pain, please do not let this put you off. I stopped taking my pain medication after three days at home, I felt like I had no use for it. It is sore, but it is not unbearable, it just stings. I have returned to work after two weeks off and now I can barely feel a thing.

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dow13 said on 22 November 2013

I am a 17 year old girl who has 38E breasts I suffer backache, neck pain and have bad posture and bras are a problem as they dig into my skin. I'm self conscious about this as it is difficult to find clothing that will fit properly.
Can anyone give me advice please.

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frekkles said on 16 November 2013

Hya, everyone, I have just had surgery on Thursday. I came home next day,still bit sore but pain killers are relieving the pain. I was a 34 h and weigh 10 stone, now I'm a d cup. They have uplifted them too, I'm so pleased with them they feel so light! I could instantly feel the relief on my back. They are all bandaged up so can't see scaring but can see size and shape. I have to go back in 10 days to change dressings. I was so scared to have it done but already know it's the best thing I've done. Hope everyone who is wanting this operation on the nhs succeeds :-) I will keep you informed of my progress. X

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shuffles28 said on 07 November 2013

I am a 45 year old with size 42L breasts and seem to be still growing. I suffer from back and neck pain sores under my breast and the smell is awful I have to shower twice .I am overweight and think if I go to my GP she will tell me to lose weight ,I have lost weight in past my but my breasts have just got bigger. I am embarrassed going out as I feel people look at the size of my breasts and not at me. I am finding it hard to find a bra that fits me and I cant go out without one .
Can anyone give me advice please.

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Verity A said on 02 November 2013

I'm in absolute agony every day. Am 23 years old, 5'8", size 34H. My back, shoulders and neck hurt (and crack). Wearing a bra hurts and leaves grooves. Basically every thing mentioned above. Yes.
And it's really upsetting too, knowing it hurts.
My Doctors told me that it's "normal" apparently. But from talking to every female I know they aren't in pain 24/7.
I had to then get my mother to come with me to Doctors to demand they refer me to physio as they were telling me it's nothing, absolutely fine etc etc. Am now doing physio but honestly it isn't helping. I can't afford a reduction and it's really getting me down that I'm so sore all the time :'(

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frekkles said on 30 October 2013

Hy sin 78 WOW Sounds like it's gone really well. You are my age and did have same breast size! I want to b c -d. Back pain has been horendous last few wks, just can't wait now! Linda I was sent appointment to have body scan then had appointment with consultant. I have only been waiting about 4months,so quick I'm really pleased. Having surgery in 2wks. Don't think you could have local as its such a big operation. X

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canela1960 said on 27 October 2013

I had a breast reduction on the NHS in 1986 when I was 26 and it was the best thing I did. I went from a 42F to 38C. It changed my life and because I could be more active I lost 2 stone too. I recovered really quickly and was doing most things after one week. I became pregnant 2 years later but it didn't affect my breast size. However, going through the menopause made my breasts grow again and they've gone up to an E cup so I'm having an 2nd reduction, this time privately (£6,900). I can't wait, because I know what a huge difference it will make to my life. The NHS will take into account physical problems more than psychological ones - at least, that was the case in 1986. I made sure I emphasised the back pain I got and the fact I was putting on weight because I couldn't be as active as I wanted

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Sin78 said on 21 October 2013

Hi frekkles I'm feeling great thankyou!
I wrote out another one couple of days ago, hopefully it will show soon!
Incase it doesn't... Best thing I ever did! No painkillers after first 2 days. I'm 35 and Was 34H now about C cup!!! So uplifted - love them :)))))))

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Kimmat87 said on 21 October 2013

I really wish i could get mine done they just keep rejecting me im a 38 j and im nearly all of the above and see a physio also argh

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linda58 said on 20 October 2013

i have been approved for funding of a breast reduction on the nhs,just received the confirmation letter this week,two things I am wondering about,what happens next,also my main worry is having to have general aneastetic,and was wondering if it is possible to have my breasts reduced by having local aneastetic or liposuction,i am a size 36F which I know doesent sound as huge as some people,but I am in constant pain with my back and shoulders etc,and really need this operation done,the fear of going to sleep is worse for me as I did have a heart attack nearly 6 year ago and had a stent fitted,then I read about a famous singers mother who died having this op through a heart attack,so I just would like to know if when I see this surgeon if I would be able to have any other options,any advice greatly appriciated

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frekkles said on 20 October 2013

Hya sin78 my comment didn't show straight away either. Oh I would love to here about your experience. I hope you are feeling well. :-)

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Sin78 said on 16 October 2013

I've just had surgery on sat and left a huge essay telling others about it on here.... But it's not showing?!

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frekkles said on 15 October 2013

hy I have got funding and go for pre assessment next week. Please can people share their experiences please. im so nervous! x

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frekkles said on 15 October 2013

Hello ,im just wanting to really know about recovery time. Im due to have breast reduction on 7th nov !! Im so scared but excited too. The main worry is recovery and pain as I have children and really need to be there for them. Its only been about 4 months since I initially went to the gps. Im really pleased that I have been granted funding . I have been plucking up the courage for the last 10 yrs. I am a 34 hh , really suffer from bad neck and back pain . I have a small frame and am only size 10 at the bottom but 14-16 at top. please if people could share experiences?

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ghellowell said on 03 September 2013

I don't know why it was so fast my doctors have always been brilliant with everything so might be down to just a decent gp! I went and told the doctor my problems and he said to write in down in a letter which he sent along with the panel and then got referred for the body scan which weighed my breast tissue once the results got back from that they said they would fund me for that and went straight to the surgeon appointment to start the process!

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RMH86 said on 29 August 2013

HI ghellowell,

Can you tell me how you got referred so fast by your GP? I'm 5 ft 4, size 32 FF, 9 and a half stone. I finally went to my GP about it as having surgery privately is too expensive, but I have only been referred for physiotherapy. I am waiting for my first appointment, but was told the physiotherapist would have to make the recommendation about whether or not I would need surgery. If so I would then have to go before a panel.

Were you referred directly by your GP? What did you say to them, as I explained the problems with my neck and back and was told physio was my only option.

I'd really appreciate any tips you might have.

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ghellowell said on 13 August 2013

Hi! SainteeKirsten I would definitely recommend you have a family before thinking of surgery as of your breasts are big now they will get bigger while pregnant my doctor has advised me on this too. Also I would definitely advise anyone who is in a position with big breasts to go to your gp it was the best thing I ever did, I was too embarrassed to go to my doctor and went to get a quote privately last November and nearly died at the price! I plucked up the courage 6 months later went to my doctor and the process has been so fast I first got sent for a bodyscan which weighed my body tissue, I then got referred straight to the plastic surgeon! I'm now due to have a reduction on the 2nd September I'm 5ft 2 and 8 and half stone with 34G breast and i am so relieved to be having this done, I would honestly recommend anyone to just go to your doctor if you feel uncomfortable!

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omg ri said on 01 August 2013

Am 18yrs old with breast size @ 40DD, I have suffered from backache from my breast since the age of 16 I am so embarrased about them, I get unwanted attention I have stopped playing sports cause there always in way and I am really depressed I can't wear nice dresses that I like coz they just look even more massive i really need to build up my courage to go see doctor

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nikkileigh said on 18 July 2013

hi, I have been referred by my GP, had a Psychological assessment and now have an appoint with the plastic surgeon.
does this mean I my has a chance of having the reduction done?

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SainteeKirsten said on 29 May 2013

I am 25 years old, 5ft3in and 10 stone so of pretty average build but I have ridiculous breasts that are now a 30J. I find getting bras difficult and expensive and suffer with back ache, neck problems, excessive sweating and skin infections on the breasts. I get unwanted attention from men even though I try to keep my chest covered up. My partner is supportive of my wish for a reduction as although he obviously likes them, he knows they cause me problems. We want to start a family and I don't know whether to have surgery before or after??? I dread to think how big they'd get now if I fell pregnant!

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blue ivy said on 27 May 2013

Hi, I orginally left a comment on the 15th May 2012 advising how the consultation went. Well over a year on and I'm pleased to say op complete. Best thing I have ever done, since the Op (Sept 12) no back pain what's so ever. My 1st visit to the Dr was Feb 12, I only waited 7 month. I'm very grateful to have the op on the NHS and fingers crossed the back pain does not come back. Any one thinking of having it done, go for it !!!

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carol1951 said on 26 April 2013

My breasts have grown from a 36dd to a size 42ff ,in 3 years I am 5 ft tall of small frame. and the weight of my breasts are very painful , and uncomfortable,I weny into in Lingerie shop to be messured up for a correct fitting bra, the assistant looked me up and down and said sorry but we do not cater for your size, I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me , it was most upsetting , plus I get rude comments about my large breats I think being small makes my breasts look bigger and out of shape with my body,
I have tick every box on this page to have a mammoplasty done,
but even though you say it can be done on the NHS, my doctor thinks otherwise, and told me I would have to go private and pay for it, as I am a disabled person, and cannot afford to pay myself,
what else can I do please advice , as I am getting more and more depressed about my situation every day finding it hard to get a perfect fit

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canadiantomanx09 said on 16 April 2013

I am 17 years old, and 5 foot 5 . My breats have grown massivly in the past 3 years from going from a C cup to a GG. As i am only 17 my gp has told me i can not go in for a breast reduction and no one will even talk to me about it until i am 21 when they have probably stopped growing. I am self concious about my breast, yes i am overweight but not massivly and no matter how much i try to loose weight my breast size will not go down.. infact the last time the grew when i was on a diet instead of shrinking. I don't know what to do, i feel my breast are way to big and to be honest the size of them scare me, and to know that they are still growing aswell scares me even more. I have had nights where i cry to my mum about how big they are and how much they upset me. I cant wear the clothes i want to, or where the sexy underwear either, as its hard enough to find bras in my size. I also get sore back pain (there are days when i cant ven get out of bed) and what i can explain as a stiff neck because of my size. It is very depressing and i am very embarressed about it. The size of my breats stop me from goinging a gym and going for a run as1. it hurts me alot to do so and 2. I am to embarressed about the size of them.
is there any way to talk to someone and ask my questions about a reduction at the age of 17, and living on the isle of man?

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User764608 said on 15 April 2013

I'm 39 and 5ft 3 tall and medium built frame.I'm not fat for my build or age but my breasts are getting me down.I was a 34B by the age of 16,not bad but by the age of 22 I was a 32DD.By the time ihad my first child in 2002 my breasts were like bowling balls and up to a 34FF.Having not breastfed my child i never lost much tissue then i had my second child in 2006 and went up to 34H.This was so uncomfotable for me but i breastfed and lost a few poundsbut now im stuck at 34GG. I cant wear nice outfits or tops as they hang off my hips and too tight around my boobs. I have back pain in my lumbar area,neck pain like astiff neck.I really do hate these things now.I cry when i look at myself in the mirror because they just look too big for my body. I sweat profusely and have to talc underneath. I cant run or jump with my kids (both girls) as it hurts too much. I cant horse ride with my eldest as its too painful. I need to sort this now and have surgery as my baby making days are over. Its my 40th birthday in August and i know i'll look about 60 with these huge breasts hanging and hurting me. I want to feel like a yummy mummy and wear nice tops. I hate all the men staring at me when i shop or go out. I have an inverted nipple too so its not good for me. Im scared to start the ball rolling by seeing my GP as if i get rejected for surgery it will make me worse and as now a widowed/divorced mum of two i cant afford the private operation. I would love to be 32/34B or C cup again and the ironic thing is that i started my YTS in a lingerie factory making bras and pants and at that time even the 42D bras looked huge to life deals the blows. What can i do? Can anyone help?

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Malki21 said on 06 April 2013

I get very angry with the Double Standards in this country.... Women are more likely to get depressed carrying around a large pair of breast, yet the NHS turn down women with genuine concerns. YET.. a man wants a bigger penis for vanity and pleasure and gets it all free on the NHS? please tell me why men always get preferential treatment over women? I would have thought a breast reduction was far more important than a bigger penis?

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sophiewright591 said on 02 April 2013

I'm 17 years old, 5”5 and my breast size is 34F. I've always had very large breasts. I am currently in training to be a hairdresser but the servere back aches and neck pains when I'm doing peoples hair is awful. I always get measured for my bras but now I'm too large to buy any from the shops and I'd have to get them made to fit me and I just haven't got the money. I am forever getting unwanted attention and its getting me down I am extremely conscience of them and I can't fit into the clothes other girls my age can due to my breast size. My bras hurt me and dig in my skin because I feel like I can't be supported with a loose bra. :( I can't go swimming because I feel like I have granny boobs they are covered in stretch marks. I really do want them reducing does anyone know what my chances would be if I went to my local gp because they really are getting me down.

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baldmoor said on 27 March 2013

I have been assessed unsuccessfully several times for breast reduction.

I would like to have the procedure done privately and would like advice as to were you would recommend me to, I have looked at several web site which have not helped.

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maria1984 said on 13 March 2013

hi im 28 yrs old, iv recently been to my GP to ask for a breast reduction. i received a letter the other saying i cant have the reduction. I wear a 42G but my boobs are too big still. i also have a disability and suffer from depression. the size of my boobs are affecting my walking and standing, its hard with my disability but my boobs are hurting my back everything i stand. this makes it hard to excise so therefore i have put on alot weight. I have a 6 yr old daughter that i find im relying on to do the things i shoud be doing. Can anyone tell me if i can complain about my result? the result did get me down and i thought about cutting them off myself.

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User745184 said on 01 February 2013

Thankyou for the information CelticMairin!

I have been to my doctor numerous times & eventually she said she would write a letter to someone about my symptoms and request for a breast reduction. However it came back unsuccessful. I tried again after this and no luck. However my doctor didn't really ask me for any symptoms and I wonder how much she pushed it for me to go ahead. Iv been to physio and had no luck. my physio said she would report to my doctor saying I need a reduction ... Anyone know what I should do next? Im giving up on hope :(

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lulu33 said on 29 January 2013

I am due to go in for my breast reduction in March, it's my birthday 4 days before and I'm wondering if anyone knows how long before the op you have to stop drinking alcohol?! Thanks.

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CelticMairin said on 28 January 2013

PART 1 - I have just discovered this site and the most common thing I have noticed throughout the comments is that lots of questions were asked but I didn’t see any answers. I hope that some of the people who wrote the oldest comments have found answers elsewhere. However, I am going to answer some of the most common questions in the hope that it will help others.

The first step is to read the above article thoroughly, even print it off so that the next time you experience one of the symptoms you see described above it is handy and you can think again about whether you want to proceed. The next step is to see your family doctor or another doctor you feel comfortable with. Write down your questions in advance, so that the doctor can see you have come prepared. Tell him/her your symptoms and explain how you they feel and how they affect your life e.g. I seem to have constant grooves in my shoulders from my bra straps OR I always have pain in my neck and shoulders and feel pulled forward with the weight of my breasts OR whenever I work out or do sports I develop a rash under my breasts from the sweat being trapped there OR the skin under my breasts on the crease line is always sore. The more symptoms you describe the more you are building your case for having a breast reduction – and not just for cosmetic reasons, but because it is “medically necessary”. Now ask your doctor to write a letter referring you to the best breast surgeon so that the surgeon and you can make the right decision. Don’t take “no” for an answer. Tell the doctor that you disagree with his/her assessment and you will seek another doctor’s opinion if necessary. Remember, no-one should have to put up with the pain / discomfort of large pendulous breasts and your doctor isn’t the one who is experiencing what you are.

I cannot fit all the advice I want to give into the 2000 character limit, so I will post this info over 2 comments. See PART 2 below.

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CelticMairin said on 28 January 2013

PART 2 - Continued from previous comment by CelticMairin:

Next, when you see the surgeon be sure to take your list of questions again and describe the same list of symptoms you described to your family doctor (see the list of common symptoms in the above article). The surgeon will decide if the surgery should be done on “medical grounds” rather than for cosmetic reasons (e.g. I can’t wear any pretty clothes). Be sure to ask the question “Will the surgery be covered by the NHS?” The NHS will cover the cost of surgery if it is required on “medical grounds” or “medically necessary”. Again don’t take “no” for an answer; remember the surgeon isn’t experiencing what you are. If you have to go to another surgeon, you can phone and book an appointment saying you wish to discuss a possible breast reduction with the surgeon. Only when you see him/her should you ask about NHS coverage – don’t ask the office staff. If possible find out everything you can about breast plastic surgeons in your area. Ask friends or relatives what they have heard.

Read as much about the surgery as you can find on reliable websites, e.g. WebMD, Mayo Clinic, and others before you see the doctor and surgeon. Be prepared for pain (it is bearable and not as bad as having a baby); don’t let the doctors talk you out of having it done by scaring you with talk about pain. Each patient’s experience is unique; you might not experience the same healing or discomfort.

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sue0986 said on 17 January 2013

does ayone know what your bmi has to be to get a breast reduction?

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blahh said on 10 January 2013

Hi I'm 16 I recently bought a size 32gg bra however It is too small so I am guessing I am a size 34h. I dont have any confidence in my body what so ever and all through my high School years I constantly got comments thrown at me not all bad but it still made me feel out of place. I get back pain however it isnt unbearable and I struggle in sporty activities even though sports is a big part od my life as i have been dancing for ten years. I have extremely bad posture and sweat excessively which causes me to ho through twice as many bras, I've been thinking about a breast reduction for years now and I'm just plucking up the courage to do something about it, I'm just wondering if anyone would know if I was eligable for the breast reduction to be funded by the nhs?

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Katefaircloth said on 01 January 2013

Im 15 , with a breast size of 32ff . I have bad back ache and I have excess sweating under my breasts. Having large breasts means i struggle to participate in sports. Although the physical pain is bad , The physiological pain is bad as well, I constantly feel out of place with all the other girls and having people make fun of them is bad as well. I am healthy and not over weight. Is there any chance I am eligible For breast reduction ? Please can someone answer ?

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nervousdancer said on 09 November 2012

I am about to have my breast reduction on the NHS in the next month and am feeling quite nervous about the amount of pain I am going to be in. Was wondering if anyone can tell me and also give me an indication of how much you were able to move about afterwards?

I thought I might be helpful to other people to tell them how I got the funding. I think I was quite lucky but it was a fairly short time between my first GP appointment and now, probably about 6 months.

I am a dance teacher and have been experiencing a lot of neck/back pain which was interfering with my work. I thought this might be due to the size of my breasts which are 34 F/G. I went to my GP and explained the situation.

She then referred me to a physio to see if there was anything they could do to help. I went to about 6 sessions over 2 months where she tried acupuncture/massage/traction to help. In the end she referred me back to the GP saying there was not really much to do. My GP then had to write a letter to the NHS exceptions board to apply for funding using the following points as reasons:
- my BMI was correct
- I am fit and active
- I had been referred back by a physio
- It was affecting my ability to work.

About a month later I recieved a letter saying they had granted me the funding. Since then I have been for hospital appointments and consulations. I due for my pre op assesment next week.

Please let me know if you have any questions or advice!!!

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verybigsmile said on 28 October 2012

I was a 34C at the age of 8 and started to save
for a breast reduction at the age of 12 !
By the age of 18 I was a JJ and I loathed them and they did have a hugely negative effect on my self confidence.
Decided that I would use them for the purpose for which they were intended ( and I was told that it would make them shrink! ,,,,,,,,it didn't )
Eventually plucked up the courage to see my GP who referred me.
My operation was done "on the NHS"
My only regret? That I had left it for so long !
It has literally transformed my life.
Yes, I had to lose a bit of weight, yes, it was sore and I was scared, but it's been 9 years now and I am still absolutely thrilled with them ( and it has encouraged me to keep my weight steady at my operation level )
Good Luck !

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j2012 said on 18 October 2012

I`m 37 Years old, and i`m 5ft 4inches, my breast`s are a 38 FF,i find it difficult to find bras that fit me, and feel uncomfortable in certain clothing, i suffer from back ache, skin irritation under the breast`s, poor posture, and also dips on where my bra straps sit on my shoulders, i am currently on a diet and have just lost over 2 and a half stone, and this has made no difference to the size of my breast`s i feel now this has made them even more noticeable, and now look bigger than they actually are, i have felt so self concious about this for some time now and i feel this knocks my confidence and makes me unhappy about they way my large breat`s make me look.

Please advise me of where i can go from here regarding a breast reduction.


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courtney brown said on 16 October 2012

Im 16 years old. 4'9 but my boobs are a F-G. I weight 9 stone. With my age im not sure whether I would be able to get this boob reduction. I do get very bad back ache and im seeing a physiotherapist about it .. not only this but whenever I sweat it gets really itchy under my boob. I really hate having big boobs and feel as though i can only wear certain things.. its really effecting me. Can anyone help me out about whether or not I could go down this route?

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xxstarlightxx said on 06 October 2012

I'm 22 , 5ft and a 34 D, I suffer from neck pains, hard of breath, but I'm also asthmatic, I don't suffer from back pain, but I'm considering reduction, I'm currently at 2 gyms to sort my weight out, I have an ok posture due to going the gym, I've been bullied since I was 11 and still constantly bullied now, I don't have any children and I find it difficult to find supportive and fitted bra's.

am I eligible to have this on the NHS?

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katrinajane93 said on 30 August 2012

I have problems finding a bra to fit as my right breast is two sizes bigger, it makes me feel so down about myself, the size difference is visable through my tops which I'm wearing size 8 bottoms & size 8-10 tops which 10fits my breast area & not my stomach & oppersite for size 8 tops, i get back ache & sweat under my right breast I've tried bigger bra sizes to see if that helps & it don't seem to work, im 5ft3 & 19 years old, I've been thinking of breast reductions since I was 15 & never wanted anything more, I had a baby this year and I find it hard to take him out because people looking,laughing & talking about my breasts, its not nice having to wear hoodies in winter to hide my chest area, please help me? any advice will be greatfull, thank you x

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User706749 said on 22 August 2012

I am 21 years old. Im 5'5 and weigh 14 stone. Im a size 38k bra size however one breast is 2 cup sizes bigger than the other. I suffer severe back and neck pain due to my breasts being so big. Iv been sacked from my job whilst on prolonged absence with a sick note. My GP says its not my breasts causing the problem. Iv seen 10 GP over the past 5 years to get help but keep getting told there is nothing they can do as the NHS wont do a reduction for me. Iv been going to physio for over a year but have had to stop going as i cant travel to my local hospital by car or bus as the back pian is too bad. I cant buy a good bra as it wont fit due to the different sizes. Iv put on weight due to not being able to excercise as my back is so bad. I can no longer bend down to dress myself of a morning so iv lost all my dignity by recieving help from my mother in law. I want to start a family with my husband, however we cant make love as by breasts are too sore and so is my back. My whole life is on hold. I have no social life as all i get are crude comments, i lack self confidence, im depressed and would rather not be here anymore. I cant afford £8000 to get them done private and cannot get a loan as i dont have a job and my partner has bad credit history. Im totally lost in the world and no longer know who i am anymore. Iv been referred to a spinal clinic, awating an mri scan on my back. Im taking 16 tablets a day just to take the edge of the pain away. To top this, i have an underactive thyroid and am on hormone pills so my breasts keep getting bigger. I struggle to wear a bra these days. i no longer no who to turn to for help. If anyone knows what i could do, please reply. Im begging for help. Many thanksfor listening.

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ASDF123 said on 21 August 2012

I'm 30GG and I hated my boobs all through my teens and twenties. Don't like them much now at 32. But I have discovered brands for larger boobs for bras and clothes - if you're one of the people on here writing about ugly, old lady bras and clothes that don't fit, have a look on their website. I hadn't owned a dress since I was a child before I discovered them.

Also, google 'normal breasts gallery'. It made me feel just that - normal. It's really good to see pictures of real boobs that haven't been photoshopped or airbrushed.

Mostly for me I get sick and tired of girls telling me I'm lucky and they wish they had bigger boobs. They wouldn't if they know what it was like. Mine are a bit saggy and I have stretch marks and some loose skin. It's always so uncomfortable when I'm with a new boyfriend as I feel like they're expecting page 3 model type boobs and instead they get my rubbish ones. I'm a bit afraid of a breast reduction operation going wrong though.

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eshanov said on 14 August 2012

im a 46 L and 46 HH and for years i tried asking my GP for help, its got so bad i struggle to breathe laying down as the weight is horrendous, i considered a reduction but the only way i can have it done is to pay for it. i dont have £10,000 for them both to be done as my weight is an issue i would have to have more theatre staff and im diabetic. i struggle to find bra's that accommodate the difference. Im considering asking for a genetic test for breast cancer as if there is any risk they will sort them out. it may not be an answer for you but if it can save your life its worth getting checked.

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LizzieLizLiz said on 13 August 2012

I'm 20 years old and I'm a 32E and they get bigger when it's the time of the month and stay that way for about a week or 2. They also get tender, sore and cause me to have really back ache and working in a hairdressers isn't good for my back. I've only ever thought of a reduction a couple of times as my friends and others tell me 'I'm lucky to be naturally skinny with big boobs', but they don't know how it feels. It also gives me lack of confidence when trying to get clothes to look good on me without looking/feeling over weight.. I know I'm not, I wear size 6 bottoms and size 8/10 tops! Also trying to find good bras without having to spend a lot of money, with having a small back and a big cup they always seem to be majorly expensive (for a bra anyway) as well as swimwear, I would love to be able to wear a gorgeous swimming costume but they always seemed to be sizes and not cups.. (Eg size 8,10,12 etc) and I always have to get mix n match bikinis with a size 16 top! Also when wanting to wear a boob tube dress/top etc, I can't unless I want to look stupid with no support to hold them up!
And the horrible horrible attention I get from dirty men is unbearable especially with questions like 'are they real?' 'lets see them' 'prove they're real' ughhhhh get a grip!!
Can someone tell me if it's a good idea or not to consider getting a reduction?! Is it the best thing they've done? The worst thing? Do you feel better about yourself, inside and out? What is the scarring like? Noticeable?

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AngelEnergy said on 10 August 2012

Hi am nic i am 31 and i am 42e i am thinking of getting my chest reduced but not to sure i am in constant pain all the time i get severe chest pains and back pains. I dont know if my chest pains are because of the size of my chest so am getting referred to hospital for test if nothing comes up then i think it proberly will be because my chest is large. x x x

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karysha said on 19 July 2012

I'm 13 yearsold, and i have 36G breasts. There extrememly painful&are still constantly growing. I've had a lot of unwanted attention. I get perved on by older people, and they make me feel scared with the way they look at me, which makes me feel uncomfortable, but its not only have I had to put up with people perving on me, also inside school there's been alot of bullying. I'm very insecure about my body&get very depressed about it,the amount of times I have cried myself to sleep is unbelievable, I get called 'saggy boobs' by some older kids, and this girl non-stop tourments me, I have told adults although the tourment does not seem to stop. I personally do not think my boobs sag although they are heavy&cause me alot of back pain, which also effects my sports as I'm a very sporty girl. I cant sleep without a bra on because I find it uncomfortable, but I heard this causes breast cancer&also reduces breast size? I would love to have smaller boobs but the operation I know is dangerous, seeing as I myself have not stopped growing&neither have my breasts.I dont just want a breast reduction to please everyone else but also purely because of the fact im scared to get one at my age. I want the bulying to stop though. I dont feel proud about my body, it makes me want to be sick. I have been very depressive with all the comments made about it, and have tried numerous ways to lose weight because I'm quite curvy, i'm not fat, at least I dont think I am, but my breast size makes me feel really uncomfortable about myself, and lowers my self-esteem&happiness. Tbh I just want some advice on what to do? I'm 13 I want to be worrying about boys&my grades&sports, yet this is constantly on my mind. I want to feel happy about my body, and stop all the cramps, back pain, neck pain& tourments& and a breast reduction seems like the only way to do it. Is there any alternatives? Any advice please comment...thanks.

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kez12 said on 08 July 2012

I am 16, about 5ft 4 and have 32GG breasts, I find it very depressing and i lack confidence, i also gather alot of unwanted attention. I suffer from back and neck pain and it can be very uncomfortable. I also seem to have quite bad posture and i tend to slouch alot as it is not comfortable for me to sit up straight. I always wear my bra staps loose as when i have them tight they leave marks on my shoulders. I have thought about breast reduction surgery for quite some time now, but I have come to the end of my teather and i need to do something about it! Could someone please give me some advice on how to go about this, thanks

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Roweloveage said on 08 July 2012

I am 45 years old Mum of 4 and in the past 6 years I have gone from a 34B to a 36 F/G..... I get back pains I sweat underneath my bra which I have to change often.The indent marks on my shoulders look really bad and hurt me but I can not go with out a bra as it is too painful for that too . The weight of them makes it hard to breath at times but lifting them up helps , I know that seems outrageous but that works for me . . I am a size 10 on the bottom and 16 on top. , I do not like going out with my friends as guys seem to think that my breast is all I have but I have more, its embarrassing and it upsets me so much People seem to think its ok to say that I have really big breast ,Yes I know I answer and walk away ..... I have been to my GP twice regarding this and on both times I had a phone call to say that I was not successful , I cried my eyes out for days , I am a single parent and I work full time but I can not afford to pay for this as it is way out of my budget ....
Is there any other way I could have this done .I dont know what to do and need help

Thank you

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relieved said on 27 June 2012

I am 55 years old and have just undergone breast reduction and am only on day 4 of recovery, for me the issue was not one of "looks" but of pain and discomfort almost all of my life. Deep grooves on the shoulders, I also have severe back problems have undergone spinal surgery in the past etc. As well as the usual men talking at your chest, ugly and expensive bras. To date I can say I do not have a lot of pain post surgery, but yes, discomfort. for me the main issue is sleeping on your back i cannot get comfortable for the life of me and feel very tired, I have not yet seen the "new and improved" boobs, but already what a difference, have taken it very easy, have gone out albeit for short periods back and shoulder pain sooooo much better, not wearing a bra as yet, sticky taped up until i see the surgeon on thursday, quite frankly dont give a toot about the scarring at my age, but when all healed will be going crazy buying bras in all the colours of the rainbow!! still dont know what "size" i am i was a 34H, would i do it again, you bet i would, wish i could have had it done 20 years ago. Hopefully will continue to heal well and will post a note again when I see for the first time the outcome.

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Squidles1 said on 28 May 2012

I'm 16, 5ft 1" and 34G breasts... I am considering breast reduction surgery as I have a 12 week old son and its painful to carry him and when he is older and wants to run around I won't be able to cos I will get tired out... In July of last year I did my BMI and I was on the high end of overweight then I took the weigh of my breasts out of it and I went to the middle of healthy weight x

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ambeerr said on 26 May 2012

I'm 17 years old, i'm 5"4 and have 36G breasts and I'm still growing. I've tried losing weight but i only ever lose it from my stomach whilst my breasts stay the same. I'm seriously considering breast reduction but I know I would never be able to afford it. Every day things have started to become a struggle, i consider myself to be active and outgoing but I just end up constantly ending up out of breath so quickly. I have to take paracetamol with me wherever i go as I can't be on my feet for a long time (even if just going round the shops) without my back giving me problems. I need to visit my GP and discuss this matter, I don't know if its just a physiological thing but I just feel she will not take me seriously as I have tried to discuss it with my GP before and as if in theory, i felt like she was mocking me and avoided the subject. I'm just so confused with everything, my self confidence has dropped dramatically and I know I have reached a major low. Please if anyone could just give me some advice on what to do I would appreciate it. I really just need someone I can consult with who understands. Thank you.

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RosalieT said on 23 May 2012

I'm 14 years old, 5"5 and weigh around 8 stone. I have size 34 DD and it is like hell.
I constantly get pointed out from the crowd for having large breasts and it makes me really self conscious. I struggle to find tops that fit me (breast area and stomach etc) and end up in tears sat in a shops fitting rooms. At school i struggle to do PE as "they" don't stay still. I would buy a sports bra, but i am very prude person and hate having personal conversations with my Mum.
My Mum is large breasted and gets severe back ache from it. Having large breasts affects my posture, gives me acute back ache, i also get rashes on my chest and extremely embarrassing sweat patches. I have tried expensive anti perspiration deodorant, but after reading this article, it has made me wonder whether it could be down to my breast size.
It is constantly on my mind and i would do anything for a reduction. At the age of 14 am i old enough to have a breast reduction?

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blue ivy said on 15 May 2012

Hi, I'm 40 years old (size 12 bottom/14 top) and suffered from back, neck pain for many years. At 5ft 6inch (BMI of 25.67) and size 36F boobs I started to look into a breast reduction. I visited my GP in March and received an appointment for the 14th May 2012 to meet the surgeon. After worrying a few days prior to the appointment I feel I must add there was nothing at all to worry about. The surgeon measured from my neck to nipple which should be 21cm's, mine was 29 cm's, he then measured my chest size which showed on his manual as a 34DD however the bra I was wearing was 4 weeks old and fitted by Debenhams as a 36 F (georgous style). I then asked if I was too small to which he replied no we can operate which will take you down to a C cup however we can't guarantee that this will help with your back pain. The nurse then advised 16 - 20 weeks waiting list (Tyne and Wear) and handed me a leaflet. No further questions were asked, really straight forward, in and out within 10 minutes. Well that was yesterday so now I shall wait for appointment to come through. Really looking forward to the op.

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gixerchic said on 14 April 2012

i too had problems of large breasts.the mental anguish it caused me, was on a daily basis in some way or another, again it was finding bras to fit on a very limited budget as they range from £40 upwards, i only ever had two bras at any one advice would be to pursue the NHS relentlessly to get the surgery. after 24 yrs of needing this surgery i had it done last year with 950g 0f breast tissue being removed and now being an asda 36d size, (hence the 54 bra and matching knicker collection i built up). this surgery was the best ever and has transformed my life and mental health completely. the NHS should take note that it not a cosmetic procedure but an important / valuable second gift of life... Go for it.

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flyingfox74 said on 08 April 2012

I am 4'10 age 37 with a 36k bra , being so short with such a huge bust makes me feel smaller than i am , all people see when they look at me is my breast size , i changed this by dying my hair bright red !! it helps .
I went to visit my GP and see about a reduction but apparently my body mass index is wrong so i dont comply within the NHS regulations and was refurred to a private hospital with a letter and the price of around £5,000 .
My back aches from time to time and i do sit with my shoulders curved and slouch , its so hard becos of the weight of them for me to sit up straight for long.
I really need help just dont have the money , so :( sad face

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21yearold female said on 22 March 2012

I am 21years old 5ft 6" and have 28H breasts. I have got constant neck and back ache. I have a curvey body but my frame is still small, I wear size 8 bottoms but have a size 6 waist - but obviously there is no way I buy or wear size 6 tops with my breasts requiring at least size 12.

I am quite conscious of how big they are, I am at drama school and I am on the hunt for a corset to wear for a period drama - I tried one on the other day and have come to the conclusion that unless I pay loads of money there is no hope of me finding one to fit as my waist is just so small in comparison to my breasts.

I have had guys come up to me in the street asking if I am a page 3 model and eyeing me up, even though I have them covered up! I've even had a couple of women come up to me asking where I had 'them done'!

I am just wondering what is the NHS criteria for having a breast reduction? I would love to have one as I want to feel free in my body, but have no idea if I would meet the criteria. Also how long does it take to recover from the surgery?

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grizzlyM said on 22 March 2012

I was referred by my GP for a consultation January '11 I then got a notice to make an appointment and this was blocked saying I had to get funding. My Gp and I have tried and better tried to get this going but they just dont answer emails or referral letters. Why?
I am 63, have lost 5 stone,am disabled and need to get rid of my 42 K top. It is causing me severe pain and stress but no one listens. I am dumped on the scrap heap and in despair. How does a person complain to the NHS abaout the NHS. It is a self governing body of beurocratic pen pushers who have no idea what I am going through on a daily basis. Has anyone got any helpful suggestions before my desperate situation gets worse.

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dawn1989 said on 22 March 2012

I'm 23 years old, 5ft 3, size 12 in bottoms and size 16 on top. In 2008 I was a 32D and now they are 32GG. I'm scared that they are still growing. I've not put on a massive amount of weight so I'm confused as to why they're still growing! At first it was funny but now it's a joke.
My Mum has big boobs so it's potentially genetic but I've overtaken her in size now.
I got properly measured a couple of months ago as I kept falling out of every bra I got regardless of size and the helpful assistant advised me the only bras that would support me and keep them in would be the "old granny style" ones (as I call them). I'm a student with limited funds and these are so expensive. My boobs are extremely droopy and I these bras are so unflattering. I'm 23 years old - this is not right! I should be wearing nice underwear and making the most of being young. But I feel really frumpy and old before my time.
There's also the pain side of it. The bottom of my boobs are numb and they are extremely achey. I dread putting my bra on and taking if off. My shoulders and back aches as well.
They are really droopy with excess skin at the top with a few stretchmarks. They are so odd looking. I just feel like I can't enjoy my younger years anymore. I'm 23 with the boobs of an old lady. I can't get undressed in front of my fiance anymore as I feel so unattractive.
I have an appointment with my GP next week for a chat. Hopefully I'll get referred. Fingers crossed!

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PippaJ said on 08 March 2012

I'm a 28J, 5'3", 30yr old. Just about to have breast reduction next friday (!). I've been wanting to do this for about 10 years but actually applied for the funding in September 2010. It takes a very long time to get to this stage on the NHS! They will only do it if it is for medical benefit and the rules are fairly stringent! It took 3 months to get the funding and then a further 5 months to see a consultant. I've now been on the waiting list for surgery for 10 months since that appointment...! The last time I spoke to the admissions team at the hospital they said the waiting list is now over 1 year and there are more than 700 people, although I don't know if that is just for this type of surgery or whether it is all types of plastic surgery.
The key thing I would say to everyone thinking about going for this surgery is that it is a huge operation - far bigger than going up, you should be very sure that you want it in view of both this and how long it takes to get if you can't go private; it took me 10 years to make my mind up, with the problems getting worse all the time. If you're not sure if you would qualify, definitely go to your gp and ask as they will have all the pct criteria. At the end of the day, the worst thing they can say is no - but you'll never know that until you ask. Also, most insurance will not cover this type of surgery even on medical grounds because they class it as cosmetic regardless. Good luck to everyone out there in the system - it will come round eventually!! P.s. really scared about the operation, but focussing on the light at the end of a very long tunnel! :)

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KezziLavigne said on 07 March 2012

I also have back pain

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KezziLavigne said on 07 March 2012

I have just turned 16 and I'm 5'2" and my bra size is 32G and I really want breast reduction because I am embarrassed about my breast size and people had commented in the changing rooms and I have even been harassed an Facebook.

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arrange1012 said on 05 March 2012

I'm about 4'11ish and have recently retired. II have been self concious for years about the size of my breasts (38E).
I have suffered neck and back pain which is probably related to wearing bras that dig in despite how much I pay for them. Pull on bras do not support the weight of my breasts and I have really become so unhappy I make excuses and do not to want to go out. I would like to have breast reduction but because I am an older woman I fear being laughed at or refused the operation. How can I find out if I would be able to have the operation on the National health?

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Laura01 said on 18 February 2012

I'm 23 with a 28G cup size. I get very bad back pain including pins and needles up my neck- does anyone else get this? It's making me very depressed as I feel uncomfortable all of the time and I have very little confidence in my body. Does anyone know how long the waiting list would be if I went to my doctor?
Also, in reply to danimayfair's comment, if you are having trouble finding bras that fit then try


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danimayfair said on 31 January 2012

I'm 25 and have always had big boobs, I'm a 42GG and have recently been diagnosed with Siatica....I believe this is due to the size and weight of my boobs but when I have mentioned this to my GP they were very quick to dismiss me saying that it wasnt part of the problem. I struggle to find stores that make bras to fit and as La Senza has now closed down I really don't know where else to look or go for help, its really not making me feel any better about myself either, can anyone suggest what to do next????

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spage said on 04 January 2012

As i have had breasts since i was 10 a reduction has always been on my mind, now at 22 and a 34H it is still on my mind however the only reason i dont is because i want to be able to breast feed my children when the time comes. Until that point comes when im finished having children and can have this surgery il have to stick to a few home help things iv found along the way, thought i should share.

A few people have mentioned shoulder grooves, this should not happen with a well fitting bra, i know alot of you will be thinking that youv been fitted so its right but thats not always true, shoulder grooves are a result of wearing a back size that is too large, the best thing to do is buy a smaller back size, it may feel tight but that is how it should be. If you do this you will need to compensate by going up a cup size. Another issue is the dreaded four boob, the wire at the front should be flat to your chest if its not you need a bigger cup size. A great way of checking if your bra fits properly is to jump about when you have it on, you should not come out of it at all, if you do you no its too small. I know its horrible knowing you may have gone up a cup size and you may want to deny it by buying the same size bras but honest it will help with back and shoulder pain.
Another issue it exercise, i am in that boat as well, it is far too embarrassing to exercise out doors, a great thing to do is youtube pilates classes, brilliant to help with back pain!!
I hope this helps!!!

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sarahxkem said on 27 December 2011

i am 17 and i have 36 e boobs. i have to buy nw bras every 2 months because im sttill growing aand the bras i have to buy aint cheap or very pretty either there designed to support. i am on my feet all day at work coz im a chef and i get extremee back pain that last quite a long time it is sso painful that i just feel like crying x in my opinion im not overweight so my boobs aint caused by just fat x i may have a jelly belly and massive breasts as everyone tells me x i hate them though i hate wearng low cut tops because i attract so much attention and the attentio i get from the boys i no just makes me feel like a slag because they only ssee that which is a big problem for me x i have consided a breast reduction for a long time because i would love to go out and have fun without getting asked from some bloke whether my boobs are real or not x the only thing that bothers me is that my boobs are part of me they make me feel like a real girl and other girls always say to me id love to have big boobs so i feel like i obligated to suffer with them and i am freaking out about whether there would be any scars becaause then i would never be able to strip off infront of a boy again coz illl feel like their staring att them xx need help and to satisfied with me body xx

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ALPCUR said on 19 December 2011

I am 19 and a breast size 36GG and 5ft. I have recently put on on some weight and am a size 14 (was always a size 10). I am in the process of going to the gym regularly and trying to get the weight off, however even as a size 10 i am a 34G. I have booked a consultation with a private cosmetic surgery group as I am so desperate for a reduction i have contemplated paying for it myself. My breasts have been something which hindered alot of normal activity and even been noticed and commented on at work, which as imagined is causing me extreme embarrassment and pyschological worries. My main concern is finding out my eligibility on the NHS and what steps i would have to follow and to speak to someone who has had a reduction to find out the process etc.

Any info would be much appreciated, thanks alot.

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kirstymw said on 01 December 2011

Hello everyone,

I have been reading all your comments on here recently as i have been doing a lot of research on breast reductions as i am a size 10/12 and my current size is a 32HH/30J so obviously too big for my frame!

I was referred to the PCT by my Dr about 6 months ago but was firstly refused the funding because I didnt meet 1 out of 3 of the criteria points. So I went away, was referred to physio by my Dr to get the evidence I needed and this morning my Dr called me with great news, the PCT is giving me the funding! I am really so happy. Life changing.

Any advice from anyone on here who has had the operation, i would be extremely grateful. I would really love to talk to anyone who has had the operation - I am so happy but so scared at the same time!

Thank you,

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Penny1971 said on 28 November 2011

I am 40 years old and have always had a large bust ranging from ff to a h, after my 3rd child they settled at a 34J and were huge! I weighed 10 and half stone am 5.2" and my BMI was 26. I was suffering so much with back ache and had developed a stoop and shopping for clothes was an absolute nightmare. I asked my doctor to go on the waiting list for breast reduction surgery and have to say he was great, I had to have a 3d scan of my body done but sailed through this and from start to finish the whole process took less than 18 weeks. Had my surgery last week and although very sore am over the moon with my new 34c breasts, this op is available on the NHS please do not be fobbed off by doctors who automatically say it's not available anymore on the NHS as it is, insist on a referral.

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KezMeg said on 19 November 2011

Hi, ive just turned 32 and im a 36J size 14/16 and 5ft9. Ive had large breasts since i was about 11 and always hated them as i got older my breasts got larger. Since 15, ive always suffered with back pain and gets really bad. I take regular of pain killers but still hurts. Ive wanted a reduction since i was around 19/20 when i was a size 10 with 36F. Always struggle to find clothes and nice underwear even more so now im a J cup. Ive just had my date through for reduction surgery (on the nhs) on the 19th December! And although im terrified of the op i know ill be more happy. I d to go for a body scan to determine if i qualified to see the size and weight of my breasts compared to my figure/frame. I go for my pre op on the 7th December. Ive waited so long so it doesnt seem real at the moment.

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katietapping7 said on 17 November 2011

Im 29 and have been to the doctors today begging him for a breast reduction,
ive recently lost over 4 stone and still losing more, my bra size before was a 46G it has now gone down to a 34K, although my back size has gone down my actual boob is no different and infact feels heavier on my now smaller back, my back kills me on a daily basis, i get really sore underneath get starred at, cant run or jog cause it hurts to much, find it hard to find bras and tops that fit, and am really down about them have been since i was a teenager, and although ive made a contious effort to try and reduce them by losing all this weight he wont put me on to a specialist as he said there are not funding it at the moment, is this true??? ive really had enough of them some times i wish they were like ballons that i could just put a pin in them and they deflate.

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danieller16 said on 11 November 2011

im 16 and i have 36HH size breast's im 5,9, i get picked on at school because of the size of them, they get in the way all the time and i'm sick of it i can't think of anything to do to stop it, i have to buy im bra's and they are sometime £30-£40 pound's pair bra i can't find my size anywhere else.

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skezzar said on 10 November 2011

I'm a 16 year old girl and I've got size 32J breasts, I'm currently about 5"3 and I am finding that I suffer from many of the physical problems as well as the psychological promlems that come with having larger breasts, such as: poor posture, extreme back, shoulder and neck ache, groves in my shoulders from bra straps, not being able to take part in almost any physical activity , finding it hard to find clothes I can fit in, unwanted attention and self-conciousness. Which all together are leading to me feeling very down about myself as a person and how I look as well as all the other problems I am experiencing. I've been considering a Breast Reduction for about a year now as I have had large breasts since the age of about 12. I've been to see my GP who claimed that the NHS will not do anything to try and sort this problem because of the age I am and they just recommended getting properly fititng bras, which I have now been doing for a number of years (which are also costing a lot of money to purchase) and do not seem to make much difference to the amount of pain I find myself in at times. I was looking for a second opinion to whether I would be suitable for surgery?

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smellybelly said on 05 November 2011

im sixteen years old and have size 32ff boobs. im 5'1 with a fairly petite frame, i hate shopping as i feel extremely uncomfortable trying on and trying to find clothes to fit. although my friends say they are jealous because they want big boobs alot of the boys comment on them and tell me to 'whack them out' this makes me extremely uncomfortable as i dont want comments like that directed at me. i struggle to find bras to fit and the ones i do find are not very appealing or flattering. i was wondering if anybody could explain how old i would need to be to get a reduction? and do breasts continue to grow if they have been reduced? thanks...

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TrickseyKate87 said on 26 October 2011

Hi I am 24 years old and come from a family were all females have large Breasts. I have being wanting a breast reduction for a long time I am currently a 36 K. I am around 16 stone although I have not being on the scales in a while. I did start and lose weight but all that seemed to happen was I was getting more and more backache and my breast were getting larger so I put the weight back on. I went to my GP who said I was too fat and needed to go to a gym. I explained that I did not enjoy going to a gym as I felt like everyone was looking at me to which I was told that I needed to get a sports bra I do not think that the Slim Doctor who had a normal size Breast understood what the problem was. My grandma recently got breast cancer and I am worried that if I do not get the reduction I will end up the same. Can anyone tell me if having large breasts increase your risk of cancer?

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rebeccawest84 said on 20 October 2011

HI im 27 year old and im only 5 foot 2 and weight about 16 stone I have very large boobs that are a 38 n and I cant get rid of them because of my weight I have asked my doctor to refer me but they wont they say I have to lose weight but I have tried oh I have so tried I have done everything to the point were I make my self ill I suffer with migraines really bad ones were the one side of me goes numb and my back neck shoulders they are in aggony and its all to do with the of change in my body I cant win if I wont to lose wight I have to suffer every day with headaches or stay the way I am lose my husband because ill push him away lose my life because of depreshion or ask you for suport in helping me get the reduction please can you help me to understand wha is going wrong for me why aint I entiteld to a reduction if its health wise not just because I cant look at my self or show them to my husband shorley I should be able to have it my nick name is becky big boobs were ever I go I dont wont to be tha no more it hurts me to much I wont to just be me for once in my life smile cos im really happy with the way my chest is and not just because its an act

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JD89 said on 20 October 2011

Im 22 Years old, have had big boobs since about 12 years old. I saw my GP when i turned 18 after suffering with back/neck ache and depression due to them for years. I was turned down even though she never asked to see them as dismissed the issue saying i need a better bra. I have since had 2 children and my boobs have grown to a 34H causing more discomfort and even more embarrassment. I went to see my GP again and was told the money is not available and the NHS wont be doing this sort of operation for a long time. I have now had to spend £5,500 on having it done private. It is the best thing i have ever done and my back ache instantly went. Its disgusting that the NHS is treating this as 'cosmetic' as a way of getting out of paying for as this has affected my life so badly for so many years. Im lucky because i can now live my life without health problems but so many women and men are suffering.

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Donnatella said on 12 October 2011

im a 39 year old lady with size 32gg/h my back and ribs hurt all of the time, I'm now looking in to a bust reductions now, as I can't do anything I like to do sport wise, which is upsetting me a lot. Can anyone recommend or that has had a bust reduction, and would be willing to show me pictures, this may seem a bit mad but I want them to look good..

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Yasemin101 said on 12 September 2011

I am 14 and i have 34DD breasts. They are really affecting my confidence. I am embarrassed to do PE at school and it is very difficult to find clothes that cover them. For as long as i can remember i have had big breasts, even in primary school, where i was bullied about my breasts. I have tried losing weight but nothing seems to work. I am too embarrassed to go to my doctor as he is a man and my mum doesn't take me seriously. I really think that a breast reduction is the only option for me. This is really getting me down and depressing me, and as i have my gcse's coming up im worried this could affect my results and the rest of my life. Some please help

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ejangel said on 07 August 2011

I am 15 and am 4ft 11 i recently went up to a 34 gg and are constently having severe back pains, i find it hard to take part sports activities that i love an its affecting my confidence i also find it hard to find a bra thats right for me everytime i get a new one it just doesnt seem to be right im scared of the thought of surgery but i dont want to be in pain anymore is there another option to surgery ??

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tiamariacoke said on 04 August 2011

I'm 30 and currently 8 months pregnant. Pre-pregnancy I was 30F. I'm very slim and petite. My height is 5'1

Due to my frame, I suffered a lot. I can't find tops to fit my chest and waist, i can't go running, finding a sports bra is a nightmare and yes I did go to Bravissimo and none of the sports bra fitted. Above all was the physical pain. My back (where the straps lie) ached so much. It really knocked my confidence big time...not to mention the epic shops I had to do to find dresses and tops to fit without looking trashy. I went for a consultation with the NHS and they said they can def do it but I should consider whether I want to breatsfeed. If I do then I should put it off. We'll I'm pregnant and my bra size has shot up to 34G.
Sorry but I hate it. The weight, the droop, not to mention when it gets hot. is just awful and I think it's only going to get bigger when my milk kicks.
After I have finsihed breastfeeding which is around 6 months I def want to go ahead and get them reduced to suit my frame and hopefully reduce/eliminate the pain. Of course there's the issue of having more kids and whether I want to breastfeed but what does that mean...I eventually have the ops when I'm close to my 40s??!!! From the age of 16 I've put up with bullying and low self esteem...yes when you find the right fitted bra it helps so much. I agree with that BUT I'm now fed up of putting up.

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KTRed said on 01 July 2011

I have had a large chest since being a teenager - I was a 32G cup at 16 and now vary from a 30HH-J cup, and a size 14 waist. I was bullied terribly at school and hated the way my body changed - eventually I went to the doctors and was referred and accepted for a bust reduction at 18. At first I thought it was a great idea but I didn't go through with it for a number of reasons including the factors of scarring (I scar very badly), inability to breast feed etc. 10 years later, even though I do still get the aching shoulders and back sometimes, I'm glad I didn't go through with it - they do cause problems but I'm now comfortable in my own skin, and although this might not be the right choice for everyone, I think you need to ask yourself if the bust reduction will make you happier, or if there are other problems that could be addressed without less drastic and permenant measures. I had no counselling or further consultation to make sure I was ready for the major surgery and body changes I was choosing to make.
Don't be embarrassed; it's your body and your choice; I'd just say make sure you're sure this is the right thing before you go through with it. Ask as many questions as you need to.
I still have occassional days where I hate my big chest (mostly when I can't waer certain types of clothes) but really, I've learned to be proud of it because it's part of me, and those who can't see past my boobs aren't worth worrying about anyway!

Whatever you do - get a good fitting bra - go to a good shop (Like John Lewis/Bravissimo) and be fitted by a trained bra-fitter. I've been doing it since I was 14 (my nana made me go - I hated it at first but when I saw how my chest looked with a proper fitting bra, I soon got over it!)

Go semi-regularly - your chest does change size, mine fluctuates between a number of sizes. Replace your bras regularly too.

If you're doing PE/sports - buy a good sports bra in the right size. I go running, and I love it! Take care x

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hollyjk said on 09 June 2011

Im 26 and last year i had a breast reduction on the NHS. I was a size 32HH and im now a 32FF. i know it doesnt seem a big change but it was enough to make a difference to my life. i do wish they had taken me abit smaller but hay ho!! i suffered from bad back, shoulder indents and also it affected my confidence. i do still have problems with my back but i think that is the effect of have large breasts for so many years. i have 3 children and being pregnant with those size breast was a nightmare! talk about front heavy!! But i would recommend this surgery to anyone! the recovery was very quick for me, i was back to lifting my kids and moving fully after about a week or so! my sister who had a breast enlargement was in more pain than me!! Hope this helps some people

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kayzlee said on 02 June 2011

i am 23 and have had 2 children my breasts are 40 GG and have gone up 2 sizes since having children. i lost quite abit of weight after having my daughter but my boobs stayed the same. i am tryin to lose more weight through exercise but struggle with my breast size and get bad back pain. i really want a breast reduction but my g.p says the nhs dont really do them? is this true and do i qualify for one?? please help!

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oobakeep28 said on 29 May 2011

I recently turned 18 and im a 34 h, i struggle to find bra's to fit me and sports is almost impossible. I have a lot of pain in my back and neck sometimes i can barely move. I have to buy bigger sized clothes to avoid men staring in the street its getting me so low i dont even want to go out any more my fiance wants to get married next summer but i dont feel comfortable with how i look. I'm considering having a breast reduction but i'm not 100% sure as my mum's has left her feeling even worse because of the scars. Please contact me with your view on this.

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RachieB said on 23 May 2011

As a 24 year old I have 36G breasts, they give me terrible back and shoulder pain as I have had surgery on my left shoulder, I always find I get unwanted attention from men and have to choose my outfits carefully to avoid the attention, i have tried lots of different solutions and get fitted for bras every 2 months just so I know that I'm wearing the right size. This is really getting me down I need a solution

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User214703 said on 06 April 2011

Solution to under-breast rashes & the best bras

i too suffer from uncomfortably large breasts, and only extreme diet once reduced their size, which i was not able to keep up.

However, for those who are unable to proceed with a breast reduction, for reasons of health (myself)etc i can at least advise on 2 crucial issues:

1 go to John lewis or similar and get fitted for your bra - it will make a huge difference to comfort. For decaders i have found 'Fantasie' bras fit best; prices are around £25 - worth every penny.

2 Treating and preventing rashes under breasts -

after years of experimenting, i have found the following solution works 100% - i have never had a rash since

mix 50/50 of a non-perfumed clear/see-thru cleansing lotion (i personally find Vichy Purete Thermale is best as it is allergy free) with liquid glycerine.

The glycerine is sold cheaply at good (or old-fashioned) pharmacies. Once mixed, it will last for about 5 months. Shake well each time before use. This is how to use:

Wet and squeeze dry a cotton wool pad.
(never pour the solution onto a dry pad as it wastes the mixture and is not necessary)

pour a small amount of the solution onto pad and gently wipe entire area of skin and breast which come into contact with each other. If you have a rash, do this twice a day til under control. Now the crucial part: Never wash off the solution, and never use soap or anything else to clean the area. Pat dry only. The solution will leave a subtle residue - slightly sticky - and this is the magical bit - it forms a gentle safe barrier, so bacteria cannot thrive. I call it my second skin, and have no 'thrush' or rash since i discovered this remedy. If you have no rash but want to prevent one, do the routine once daily. If it is hot or you have done exercise and are sweaty, do it straight after exercise or after a day out in heat.

After years of sore skin, this is my little miracle.

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ting123 said on 29 March 2011

I have just turned 17 and i have 30F or G breasts depeding on the bra, and i am only 5 ft. They are causing so much strain and uncomfort to my back and kneck and and i always get marks on my shoulders from where my bra is cutting into my shoulders. I am seriously considering surgery to reduce them as they have decreased my confidence so much since they have been growing from a considerably young age. i just wondered if anyone could give me any advice about how and where i can get started on looking for a solution, as its something that seems to have both so many advantages and disadvantages.

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terri xx said on 15 February 2011

Im 20 and i have size J breasts ive had 2 children but always suffered with large breasts, i cant find bras in shops or on the internet that fits or are affordable, i suffer with bad back pain and i have been to physiothreapy. I have bad dips on my shoulders and i get really bad sores under my boobs. I cant lay on my back as i find it hard to breathe because of the pressure on my chest and i cant lay on my front as it is to painful. Will i be able to have a reduction on the NHS?

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lucy2202 said on 27 January 2011

I'm 16, and i am a 36gg. i suffer with back pains terribly, an my neck aches alot too. It affect me physically and emotionally, as it really dosent help my confidence. I wanted to know what the age limit on on a breast reduction. i havent been to my doctors yet, as i wanted a bit off advice first. Could anyone help me?

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xlozzax said on 12 January 2011

I am 14 years old have a 36 DD bra size and for years never found the right bra to fit because one breast is a lot bigger than the other so i find it extremely difficult to cope with life, I am embarrassed to play sports and show my body off. I am overweight but have recently joined the gym and lost a lot of excess fat but my breasts have not done a thing except hurt and cause me sadness. :'(

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xlozzax said on 12 January 2011

I am 14 years old have a 36 DD bra size and for years never found the right bra to fit because one breast is a lot bigger than the other so i find it extremely difficult to cope with life, I am embarrassed to play sports and show my body off. I am overweight but have recently joined the gym and lost a lot of excess fat but my breasts have not done a thing except hurt and cause me sadness. :'(

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pintsized_xiii said on 04 November 2010

I'm 17 years old and 4'10" tall. since i was 14 my breasts have been a G cup and no matter how much weight i lose from my stomach they stay the same size. i've been self conscious and bullied about them all through secondary school and it has now reached a point where i am physically repulsed by them. i also get deep marks in my shoulder where my bra digs into my shoulder from holding them up and my back hurts most of the time. Recently i've started seriously considering having a reduction, but i wouldn't even know where to begin in talking to my GP about it, being a naturally shy and self conscious person.

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morelindo said on 16 September 2009

"Some men who have large breasts may need to have a breast reduction, which is a procedure called a gynaecomastia."

This is wrong. Gynaecomastia is the term used to describe the development of abnormally large mammary glands in males, resulting in breast enlargement. It describes the condition, NOT the surgery. Surgical treatment includes either liposuction, gland excision, skin sculpture, reduction mammoplasty, or a combination of these surgical techniques.


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sobinette said on 14 September 2009

I have problem with the right size Bra. I tried all different sizes. Band and Cup fits perfectly but the strap is always loose so whenever i do it tight to hold the bra proparly in place, it leaves mark on my shoulder and digs in. It's very painful too. Also I feel my neck area bit stiff and painful.
So i am thinking of having Breast Reduction done.
Can anyone help me out with this or if there is better solution why strap on the Bra is not fitting properly.

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