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Breast reduction should be available on the NHS and not rationed like other forms of cosmetic surgery, researchers said yesterday. A study by doctors in Oxford published in the British Medical Journal showed the operation greatly improves the physical, social and psychological well being of women who undergo it.

Most of the women surveyed sought the operation to relieve pain in the back, shoulder or neck. Afterwards, they were more able to take part in sports and other activities after treatment and their self esteem received a boost.