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Breast reduction, asymmetry & gynaecomastia

Some women have breasts large enough to cause them problems, like infection and pain. They can get surgery to make their breasts smaller. It is called breast reduction.

Breast asymmetry refers to a noticeable difference in the appearance of breast size or shape when comparing one breast to the other.

Gynaecomastia (sometimes referred to as "man boobs") is a common condition that causes boys' and men's breasts to swell and become larger than normal.


We propose that women can have breast surgery only if the meet several conditions, like trying other treatment for their symptoms without any success, how large their breasts are, or if they plan to have babies in the future. This procedure is only normally considered for patients with a BMI in the range of 18.5 - 27. Please click here to look at the full criteria for a breast reduction.

How can I be referred for this intervention?

As the intervention is ineffective, it is not routinely commissioned by the NHS. This means that it won’t be routinely funded.

However, if your Doctor thinks that you may benefit from this intervention, they can apply to the Individual Funding Request (IFR) panel. The IFR panel will then assess the application and make a decision about your treatment.

The IFR panel meets weekly and aims to consider cases within 14days. The panel’s decision will be communicated to you by letter if you are an adult or by letter to your GP if you are the guardian of a child applying for funding.

If your IFR application is rejected (meaning that your surgery will not be funded by the NHS), then you or your GP has the right to appeal to the IFR panel against this decision within 90 days. The panel is independent to your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).