What is the effect of a bilateral breast reduction on sexuality?

A breast reduction is the removal of excessive breast tissue and is often associated with shoulder pain, backache, shoulder grooves due to bra straps and postural changes.  The excessive weight can interfere with exercise and sporting activities. Furthermore the psychological well-being and sexuality of women can be affected negatively by increased breast size.


With improved techniques breast reduction has become not only a functional operation but also an aesthetic operation. Various sizes and shapes can be obtained depending on the individualised needs of patients with surgical techniques varied to meet the needs of every patient. Although there are risks of the surgery often the benefits far outweigh the negatives and overall breast reduction is one the most rewarding plastic surgery procedures. Although not 100% guaranteed improvements in symptoms can be dramatic and lead to improvements in quality of life.


Patients need to be taken through the various options and shown examples of the variety of results so that they can be empowered to make a decision to proceed. Often results are related to patients anatomy and an experienced surgeon will be able to explain what is possible and give an idea of what can be achieved.


In a recent study from Iran the authors looked at the effect of breast reduction on patients and their partners. They assessed the sexual function of the women and their partners were evaluated using the Index of Female Sexual Function (IFSF) and the International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF). 

The authors found that there was a significant improvement in the mean IFSF and IIEF scores after surgery in both patients and their partners. In addition, patients expressed high levels of satisfaction with the results of surgery in terms of physical and psychological scores. 

Reduction mammoplasty is one of the commonest and most rewarding breast operations and can have a dramatic effect on physical and mental health in women with large breasts. 

The results suggest that breast reduction surgery has a positive impact on the quality of life of the patients. In addition, sexual dysfunction in the women and their male partners improved after reduction mammoplasty. The postop analysis was performed after 6 months.

Mr. Ross offers a variety of different breast reductive techniques. He does not use any dressings or drains and patients can mobilize immediately following surgery. The improvements in surgical techniques have made the recovery from breast reduction surgery more rapid and often patients are able to get back to normal every day life almost immediately. Patients are advised to avoid sexual activity for the first few weeks postoperatively. 


Impact of reduction mammaplasty on sexuality in patients with macromastia and their partners. Emami SA, Sobhani R.J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2016 Oct;69(10):1335-9. 

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