American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals
 

Is breast reduction surgery right for you?


Many women find disproportionately large breasts to be a nuisance – they can cause back and neck pain, interfere with sports and other activities or simply draw too much attention to one's appearance. And anyone with larger breasts can attest to the painful grooves bra straps can create in your shoulders!

I perform breast reductions regularly for patients who want to improve their emotional well-being, decrease physical discomfort or alleviate feelings of self-consciousness.

All or part of the surgery may even be covered by insurance – if it is performed to relieve pain or other medical issues.

Breast reduction surgery overview

Also known as reduction mammoplasty, breast-reduction surgery changes the size, weight, shape and firmness of the breast tissue, fat and skin. It can be done at any age; however, the best results are achieved once your breasts are fully developed and pregnancy is no longer an issue. (Pregnancy may alter your breast tissue, impacting the overall outcome of your surgery, and breastfeeding may be more difficult following the procedure.)

Breast-reduction surgery is a viable option if you:

  • Experience chronic back, neck and shoulder pain
  • Have difficulty sleeping, or staying asleep, due to the size of your breasts
  • Experience your bra straps digging into your shoulders
  • Have a skin rash or irritation under your breast crease
  • Have limited physical activity
  • Have challenges finding well-fitting bras or clothing

You may be an ideal candidate for this procedure if you:

  • Are physically healthy
  • Don't smoke
  • Have reasonable expectations
  • Feel your breasts are too large
  • Feel your participation in sports or other physical activities is limited due to breast size

If you would like to learn more about breast reduction surgery, contact a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area. It may be the first step you take toward feeling more comfortable and confident with your appearance – and the first step toward returning to a more active life.


The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

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