Having large breasts (macromastia or breast hypertrophy) is like carrying a couple of twenty-pound weights around all day.
While some women are fine with having large breasts, others find it downright painful.
Over time, the breasts can begin to pull on your muscular system, causing chronic back pain.
Taking your breasts down a few sizes can open up a world of possibilities.
Imagine exercising without your cumbersome breasts weighing you down.
Picture yourself in fashionable clothing that shows off your newly contoured silhouette.
Best part? No more back pain.
This is what a breast reduction can do for you. Keep reading to learn more about this popular cosmetic technique.
Why Do Large Breasts Make Your Back Hurt?
Large breasts can cause back pain in a few different ways. First, the masses of breast tissue, fatty tissue, and connective tissue place excess weight on the upper back.
Unless the body has enough support from the surrounding muscles and rest of the body to support the extra weight and pressure, severe upper back pain can result.
The upper spine is incredibly strong and is able to withstand a significant amount of pressure. However, over time, and with enough pulling, even the robust spine can be subject to deformity.
The breasts pulling on the upper back and chest can make it difficult to maintain good posture. Slouching over can lead to a further warping of the spine.
To make matters worse, some women are self-conscious about having large breasts. They may hunch forward in an attempt to hide their excessive breast growth, which exacerbates back pain.
But wait, there’s more.
As a woman with large breasts, you might struggle with chronic pain associated with bra straps.
Those tight straps can dig into your skin. Some bras are so tight, they limit activities you would normally engage in.
A Relationship Between Breast Size and Chronic Back Pain
As you can see, oversized breasts can cause your back to hurt in a number of ways, and in various locations.
There could be an injury to your back over time, leading to problems like herniation.
Cartilage in your spine could break down, leading to osteoarthritis.
Myofascial pain and vertebrae fractures are also possible.
The back pain tends to occur in a chain reaction, with each symptom growing more painful as time goes on.
Some women with small or even average breasts envy women with large breasts.
But as we’ve shown, having large breasts can sometimes be more trouble than they’re worth.
With large breasts limiting some activities and causing pain, many women turn to breast reduction surgery, the cosmetic surgical way to live a normal (and pain-free) life.
How Does Breast Reduction Surgery Alleviate Back Pain?
Breast reduction surgery (reduction mammoplasty) is often recommended to women with back pain caused by oversized breasts.
There are many ways to alleviate pain when you have larger breasts. You can wear specialized bras, engage in physical therapy, and take medication. But only breast reduction surgery can permanently resolve your back pain issue.
An eye-opening study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons followed 179 women around with size DD breasts or larger who experienced chronic pain in their necks, shoulders, and backs.
Following breast reduction surgery, only 10% of the women still had symptoms.
With such high success rates, it’s clear why breast reduction surgery is the seventh most requested cosmetic surgery in the world.
What is Breast Reduction Surgery and How Does it Work?
The surgery is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia.
When you arrive on the day of surgery, part of the preparation will involve you meeting with your cosmetic surgeon.
Meeting with Your Surgeon
This preoperative meeting usually takes place in the surgeon’s office. Using a black marker, the surgeon will mark the places on your body that require incisions.
Breast Reduction Surgery
Once the anesthesia has been applied, you will fall asleep. You won’t wake up until the procedure is over and you are in the recovery area.
During the surgery, the cosmetic surgeon is assisted by an anesthesiologist and other medical staff who will monitor your vital signs closely to ensure your safety throughout the surgery.
Reduction mammoplasty involves cosmetic techniques aimed at decreasing breast volume.
This can involve the excision (cutting away) of breast tissue, liposuction to suction out fatty tissue, and excess skin removal.
Since this is a cosmetic procedure, the surgeon focuses on making sure the results are aesthetically pleasing while allowing for proper breast function.
Recovery from Breast Reduction
You will wake up two or three hours later in the surgical recovery area. After a short period of rest, and once you have been cleared for release, you will be able to return home.
Once you are sent home from a breast reduction, you will be advised to take it easy for at least a few weeks.
Your cosmetic surgeon can advise you when to return to work, engage in physical activities, and how to sleep properly to preserve your surgical results.
Following surgery, the aim of a breast reduction is to give you natural-looking results and a smaller, more manageable chest.
You can breastfeed and should have perfect sensitivity around the nipples after you have healed.
Does Insurance Cover Breast Reduction for Back Pain?
Your health insurance policy is meant to cover you for medically necessary procedures unless stated otherwise.
Cosmetic procedures are seen by health insurers as elective and are therefore not usually covered.
Many health insurance companies see breast reconstructions as both aesthetic and medically necessary (under the right circumstances).
That means, to get your breast reduction covered, you’ll need to prove to your insurance provider that your surgery is a medical necessity.
Your doctor can help in this regard.
A letter of necessity can be written by your doctor to your insurer explaining all the reasons why a breast reduction would improve your quality of life.
Back pain, limited activities, inability to exercise to remain healthy, and bra strap burns that get infected are some symptoms of large breast problems that can get your procedure covered.
Unfortunately, you might have trouble getting insurance to cover a breast reduction procedure.
Many health insurance agencies want multiple documented reports from varying referred specialists before coverage can be considered.
If you don’t want to jump through hoops while scheduling appointments with a chiropractor, physical therapist, and orthopedist, there is another way to help with the costs of a breast reduction.
Medical Financing for Breast Reduction Surgery
Medical financing offers a way to have surgery now while using your credit line like a charge card.
You run the card at the time of service, whereby you will be subject to the repayment terms.
You can enroll at the front desk of your cosmetic surgeon’s office. The front staff can help with the application and instant approval process.
Of course, you are free to shop around for the best interest rates and repayment terms. Your surgeon merely provides financing in-office for the sake of convenience.
Are You a Good Candidate for Breast Reduction Surgery?
Your doctor may suggest you try non-surgical means before resorting to a permanent breast reduction.
Techniques for alleviating breast pain related to large breasts include weight loss and improving your posture.
If non-surgical techniques fail to work, you may be a good candidate for breast reduction surgery.
To be considered for a breast reduction, you will need to demonstrate that you are in good general health.
The initial consultation for a breast reduction includes a physical examination and a review of your medical history. If the surgeon feels your health is sound, you could be cleared for a breast reduction.
During the physical examination, the surgeon measures the breast tissue to determine if you have excess tissue that can be used to reshape the breast to match your body weight and frame.
If you do have enough excess, surgery will likely produce favorable results.
On the other hand, you may not be cleared for surgery if your breast tissue will not support a reduction with aesthetically pleasing results.
What are the Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery?
The primary benefit of a reduction mammoplasty is the relief of chronic back pain.
If you also suffer from shoulder pain and neck spasms due to your large breasts, cosmetic surgery can also help you live a normal life without pain.
Surgery can help improve your self-image and allow you to participate in activities you were barring yourself from previously on account of your excess breast tissue.
Are There Risks to Breast Reduction?
Breast reduction surgery is a very safe surgery that comes with few risks.
Any potential complications associated with the popular cosmetic procedure are the same as any surgery.
Risks of breast reduction include infection, excess bleeding, and blood clots.
In rare cases, numbness can occur around the areolas and nipples.
Scarring with breast reduction surgery is usually hidden within the natural folds of your breast crease. Some rare cases of surgery produce scars that are dark, oversized, or obvious.
Taking good care of your incision wounds during recovery can minimize scarring. Scars should also fade over time.
Does Your Back Hurt? Got Neck Pain? Find Relief with a Breast Reduction
At Moein Surgical Arts, we have worked hard to provide you with easy access to cosmetic surgery and back pain relief. When excess breast growth has limited your life and caused you pain, a consultation with Dr. Moein is a good first step to finding relief.
Call our office anywhere throughout Los Angeles, Encino, or Glendale, and tell us about your large breast problem. Dr. Moein and his surgical staff will make you feel at home while helping you improve your aesthetics, self-esteem, and life! Dial now. (310)896-4051.