Case Studies

Claim for negligent breast reduction surgery resulting in significant over-reduction and asymmetry


Our client, who underwent breast reduction surgery following weight loss, asked her surgeon for a reduction in her cup size from H to DD/E/F. She took photographs with her to the consultation as examples of how she wanted her breasts to look.

Although an exact cup size cannot be guaranteed when undergoing breast reduction surgery, the procedure was negligently performed and meant that our client was left with a B cup on one side and on the other side, such a significant reduction in the size of the breast that it effectively equated to the size of a man’s pectoral muscle. This was understandably extremely distressing for our client.

Although breast implants were an option to improve the final cosmetic appearance, evidence from the expert plastic surgeon we instructed concluded that they were unlikely to help significantly. Our client had already undergone fat transfer to improve the appearance, but this was not successful and therefore the cosmetic effect of the negligent breast reduction was  permanent.

Our client was left with substantial over-reduction, scarring and an unsightly bulge where the scar did not follow the natural curve of her breast. She also suffered psychological injury with ongoing body image concerns, particularly over the size of her reduced breasts in comparison to her body size and shape. 

In addition to the surgical failures, there was also a failure by the surgeon to manage our client’s expectations appropriately, in that, whilst the photographs she provided pre-operatively gave an indication of what she expected, such an outcome, given her age and circumstances, was never likely. 

After negotiation with the defendant, the claim settled for a reasonable sum which reflected the extent of ongoing asymmetry caused and also allowed for the fact that some over-reduction can occur in these cases.  

The case was handled by Sarah Gubbins, associate in the clinical negligence team in our London office, and supervised by partner John Kyriacou.


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP