Large-breasted women increasingly turn to surgery to relieve chronic pain and get bodies that are better proportioned.
April 13, 2005 – Despite the national media attention on breast augmentation and breast implants, a different trend can be seen at plastic surgeons’ offices all over the nation: an increase in the number of women receiving breast reductions. Over 113,000 women will elect to have their breasts made smaller this year, an increase of 11% from previous years. While many people may find this information surprising, in truth, overly large breasts can cause serious physical pain. The weight of pendulous breasts causes structural demands on the neck and back that can create chronic pain. Depression and self-consciousness to the point of lowered self-esteem are also commonly documented.
“Many people don’t understand the daily pain endured by women with overly large breasts,” said Dr. Grant Stevens. “Chronic neck, shoulder, and back pain is typical. Headaches are common. Often these women can’t participate in high-impact activities like running or most sports.” The physical problems are severe enough that insurance companies will often cover breast reductions, though it does depend on each patient’s physical situation. In addition, the FDA called breast reductions “good medicine.”
Breast reductions can also equate to easier mammograms. For women with excessive breast tissue, getting a good mammogram reading can be difficult. By reducing the size of the breasts and eliminating some excessive breast tissue, doctors can more clearly get and read mammogram results, helping to save more women’s lives.
“Overly large breasts affect more than just the physical,” said Dr. Stevens. “They can cause a self-consciousness than can morph into depression and create a lack of self-esteem.” Often these women have been subjected to unwanted comments and attention that has increased their self-consciousness. Many spend an inordinate amount of time finding clothing that hides their bodies or searching for bras that don’t create deep ridges in their shoulders from the extra weight of their heavy breasts.
The simple positive effect of eliminating chronic pain can be reason enough for most women to choose to have a breast reduction. Most are happy to discover that the benefits are not only about what has been decreased: pain, headaches, breast pain, and grooves on the shoulders from bra straps working over time. Many are happy to discover the things they gain as well: more self-esteem, more self-confidence and more activities in which to participate. In fact, women who have breast reductions report some of the highest satisfaction rates amongst all plastic surgery procedures.
More information about breast reduction surgery can be found online at www.losangelesbreastreduction.com.
Dr. Grant Stevens is a board-certified plastic surgeon and the Medical Director of Plastic Surgery Associates. He specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery and has been named one of America’s Best Physicians in The Guide to Top Doctors. Dr. Stevens was nominated by his colleagues which makes this recognition especially prestigious and rewarding. He is an active member at Daniel Freeman Hospital where he is the past Chairman of the Department of Surgery, the past Chairman of the Liposuction Committee, and the past co-director of the Breast Center. He is also on staff<