A leading health expert has said that cosmetic surgery isn’t just about vanity any more but has important health benefits.

Professor Laurence Kirwan, who has clinics in New York, Connecticut, United States, and also in London, said: “One of the procedures I carry out most often is breast reduction. The procedure removes excess breast tissue, which causes health problems for some women.”breast implants

He said that weight reduction of as little as 250 grams from each breast, combined with a breast lift, has been shown to produce measurable benefits.

Prof Kirwan said: “My most famous patient, who has been very open about it, is Swedish-born television presenter Ulrika Jonsson. Her large breasts caused her a great deal of back pain so in 2009 we reduced her bust from 32E to 32C.”

He said that damage to the body caused by overly large breasts can include slipped discs, nerve damage and curvature of the spine.

Overly large breasts also can hinder the ability to exercise so patients who want to improve their health might find breast reduction the stimulus necessary to begin losing weight, Prof Kirwan said.

Studies have shown that patients who had breast reduction surgery were more physically active, had better glucose control and reduced their risk of diabetes and other conditions.

Unfortunately, many women suffering from the physical strain of overly large breasts are too embarrassed to consult their general practitioners in case they are dismissed as wanting the surgery for vanity’s sake, Prof Kirwan said.

He said: Forget the issues of self-esteem and body image – the women I see who are desperate for breast reduction are in a great deal of discomfort.

According to American and Scandinavian studies, breast reduction surgery’s benefits are similar to those of other surgeries more recognised as beneficial for health, such as hip replacements.

Researchers estimate that overly large breasts can shorten a woman’s lifespan by up to five years due to the cumulative damage to the body. They can cause women to ‘stoop over’ earlier, damaging nerves and discs in their backs. Breast reduction surgery prevents this damage, prolonging the spine’s long-term health, Prof Kirwan said.

Liposuction is another procedure that can help people avoid health problems. Developed to remove fat cells around the belly button, outer thighs and upper arms that were resistant to diet and exercise, liposuction never was meant to be considered an alternative to weight loss, Prof Kirwan said.

Prof Kirwan said; “Excess fat in these areas secretes enzymes that cause inflammation in blood vessels and can lead to heart disease. These chemicals also may cause diabetes, a disease that affects the health of the eyes, kidneys, heart, nerves and feet.”

Numerous studies have concluded that reducing the body’s fat load means the pancreas, which controls glucose levels in the bloodstream, is not overworked.