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NHS Breast Assessment Service

The assessment of patients seeking NHS-funded elective breast reduction surgery can be time consuming, subjective and unsatisfactory for the patient.  Many Clinical Commissioning Groups use bra size as a core measurement for assessing eligibility.  Unfortunately, bra fitting methods vary widely and bra sizing is not standardised, making this an unreliable and inaccurate method for estimating breast volume.

Body Aspect has worked with NHS organisations to find a solution that offers a fairer and more accurate method for making decisions.  3D body imaging technology is used to accurately capture and assess breast size in relation to the torso, and compute breast volume and shape.

Body Aspect has scanned over three thousand NHS patients, resulting in a high level of satisfaction amongst commissioners and patients alike.  As a result, equity of access for patients is assured and inappropriate referrals are eliminated.

Information for patients

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Body Aspect has worked hard to develop a specialised Breast Assessment Service that offers an improved pathway for those seeking breast reduction, augmentation and correction of asymmetry.  Our scanning technology captures your body shape and size, using harmless infrared sensors, in just a few seconds. We have scanned over 3,000 NHS and private healthcare patients.

  • An accurate assessment of your breast size and shape.
  • A report sent to your Clinical Commissioning Group within five working days.
  • High patient satisfaction - our service is designed to make the process as easy and comfortable as possible.
  • A friendly welcome and sensitive staff who will guide you through the process.
  • A 30-minute appointment with a trained professional.
  • A dignified experience, with 3D image capture conducted in a private curtained area.

- breast reduction patient

- breast asymmetry patient

- breast asymmetry patient
Sample Report

In 2001, commissioners, consultants and patients in the East Midlands were affected by the lack of a clear and equitable pathway for breast assessment services. This led to a growing waiting list, inconsistency, poor use of resources and ultimately patient dissatisfaction. Subsequently, the Body Aspect team were consulted about 3D body measurement technology and its application to this field of expertise.

Body Aspect worked with the NHS to design specific criteria that considers breast volume and the relative size of the breasts in relation to the thoracic region. This enables each patient to be assessed impartially using the same standardised criteria. We provide an accurate, objective report to the commissioning organisation, making commissioning decisions fairer and more efficient.

As a result of using the Body Aspect system, many CCGs now find that patients are assessed more quickly and fairly. The new pathway is more dignified for and acceptable to patients. Innovative CCGs are adopting the Body Aspect system because it’s better for patients and it’s better for commissioners.

Following an NHS consultation in 2018 (Evidence-based Interventions), new guidance was issued for breast reduction eligibility, requiring CCGs to adopt appropriate minimum criteria. By adopting Body Aspect's service your CCG will benefit in the following ways:

  • Clear eligibility criteria, enabling objective decision-making.
  • A shorter pathway.
  • High patient satisfaction.
  • A dignified experience for patients and clear pathway for them to understand.
  • Elimination of inappropriate referrals, saving time and reducing unnecessary costs.

The advent and adoption of Infra-Red Scanning has radically changed the decision-making process, by providing evidence-based scientific criteria. It has been agreed by local NHS organisations that a body scan is the most accurate and fairest way of measuring a person requesting breast reduction surgery to see whether referral to a hospital consultant is appropriate.

Hull CCG – Annual IFR Report – 2014

Nottinghamshire CCGs – Cosmetic Procedures Annual Report – 2015/16

Jan Webster, IFR Manager, Leicestershire CCGs – 2014

Breast Assessment Case Study

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Breast reduction has been something I’ve been considering for a long time. I get a significant amount of back and neck pain that affects me every day.

I think feeling good about yourself and your body image is very important, but it’s not always easy. Having low confidence about how you look can affect your mental health in a negative way and images of perfection that we see in the media can make it more difficult to have a positive view of yourself. I’m hoping that the surgery will take me a step closer to feeling more comfortable in my own skin.

I was surprised at how quickly the scan was finished. It was non-invasive and conducted behind a privacy screen. It was as painless as having your picture taken.

It wasn’t as scary as I thought it would be – it gave me the opportunity to see what my body actually looks like in 3D. The primary aim of the scan was for an assessment of my breasts, but as a bonus, it showed me some areas where I want to lose some weight.

It’s much more accurate. Bra measurements vary between different retailers and bra fitters, but the scan image and numbers don’t lie. I think it’s a fairer way to consider each person’s individual case because the criteria takes into account your actual body proportions and the volume of your breasts rather than relying on bra cup and back sizes, which aren’t standardised.

There was plenty of time during the appointment to discuss any concerns or queries I had. My questions were answered clearly and concisely, which made me feel reassured and confident in Body Aspect’s services.

The atmosphere was very calm and the staff were approachable, but the appointment was conducted in a professional way. I felt very at ease. I didn’t feel self-conscious at all – my dignity was respected at all times.

It was excellent. Appointment times were very flexible, there was parking right outside the building and the appointment was a body positive experience.

Absolutely – using the technology to capture information for breast assessments makes a lot of sense. During my assessment, there was no need to have a physical exam because the scan itself captures the information needed – this means I could be assessed with a greater degree of dignity. It would be fantastic if there were further investments in services like these.