What is Breast Reduction Surgery?
Breast reduction surgery is a surgical procedure that removes fat, breast tissue and skin from the breast. This reduces breast cup size and weight, while at the same time lifting, reshaping and repositioning the nipple/areolar complex to a more youthful position.
While there is a large population of women that may want to augment their breast size by adding volume, there is an equally large number of women that want to reduce the size and weight of their breasts.
Reasons one may consider breast reduction surgery
- Breast reduction can decrease pain and improve posture.
Large breasts lead to tension and stress in your shoulders, back and neck. For most women, this begins shortly after puberty or pregnancy and tends to progress or worsen with time. Chronic pain and discomfort often lead to avoidance of exercise and athletic activities which leads to weight gain and decreased core strength, which further exacerbates the pain.
Not only do women who have large breasts deal with the above-mentioned pains from the heaviness of the breasts, but the breasts also can cause women to hunch over, leading to poor posture. The weight of large, heavy breasts can, over time, cause a curvature of the spine. This often leads to neck, back and shoulder pain. Removing excess breast tissue will decrease the tension on your neck, shoulders and upper back, improving posture and discomfort.
- Breast reduction can improve mobility and exercise abilities.
When you have large breasts causing pain and discomfort, it becomes difficult to remain active and physically fit. Having larger breasts and the associated heaviness on your chest brings multiple challenges regarding exercising, sports and physical activity.
There are many exercises, especially cardio, that require more vigorous movements that are difficult to accomplish with large, heavy breasts. Finding appropriate supportive bras is also a challenge. As a result, most refrain from these sorts of exercises to avoid pain and discomfort. This is a common reason for women to undergo a breast reduction because smaller breasts will make it easier and more comfortable to be active.
- Breast reduction can increase confidence and self-esteem.
Many women, especially young women, feel uncomfortable having large breasts and report low self-esteem due to large breasts. This is very common with teens who feel awkward when playing sports or swimming. Large breasts also may be a source of unwanted attention while out in public or with friends. Reducing breast size to a more normal or proportionate size can allow you to be more comfortable in public and with normal activities, which will increase your confidence and self-image.
From a practical standpoint, large breasts also can make it difficult to find appealing clothing. After a breast reduction, your body will be more proportionate, and clothing will be easier to shop for and your clothing options will increase as most clothing brands market to “normal” size breasts.
- Breast reduction can reduce sagginess and provide a lift to the breasts.
With time and pregnancy, breasts unfortunately and inevitably age and sag. If you have larger breasts, this is often more drastic and noticeable.
Larger breasts have more tissue and fat, which results in more weight and an increased risk to sag sooner than smaller breasts. Breast reduction not only removes excess skin and breast tissue to get you to an ideal cup size, it also lifts and repositions the breast tissue and nipple on the chest wall to a more youthful position. This lift will make your breasts appear perkier with improved medial cleavage and place the nipple at the most projecting point of the breast.
- Breast reduction can fix asymmetry in the breast.
Breast asymmetry is very common. In fact, most women have mild asymmetries between their breasts, whether it is with the size, shape or nipple position. Sometimes, this asymmetry can be more significant and a source of discomfort or low self-esteem. Breast reduction surgery often is used to correct and improve these asymmetries.
- Breast reduction can assist with better sleep.
Lastly, breast reduction surgery can assist with a better night's sleep. Having larger breasts can make finding a comfortable sleeping position difficult, as well as having the pressure from heavy breasts making it hard to completely relax. Breast reduction surgery can eliminate this issue and make it easier to comfortably lay in bed without the added weight and pressure of large breasts.
- Does insurance cover breast reduction surgery?
Because large breasts, or macromastia, commonly lead to chronic pain, issues with posture and social issues, it is often considered medically necessary and may be covered by your health insurance plan. The first step is to contact your insurance company or have our office help you to determine coverage of breast reduction surgery. Occasionally there is a policy exclusion and our office can help you determine out-of-pocket expenses.
- Is breast reduction surgery right for me?
Breast reduction surgery is a common, well-tolerated procedure that relieves pain and discomfort associated with large breasts to give you back your life. Don’t let your best life pass you by. Discuss with a board-certified plastic surgeon to determine if a breast reduction is right for you.
Information provided by board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Paul A. Critelli, MD, at the UT Health North Campus Tyler. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 903-877-7826 or visit uthealthnorth.com/services/plastic-surgery.