Breast reduction in relieving symptoms associated with Macromastia

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Plastic surgery on large breasts to improve health

Women with large breasts or “Macromastia” can suffer from pain in the shoulders, neck and back in addition to brassiere shoulder grooves and a general feeling of ill health both physical & emotional.

In a questionnaire study from the Department of Plastic Surgery, Hamad Medical Corporation in Doha, Doctors Makki & Ghanem reported that surgery to reduce the size of the breasts or “Breast Reduction”, resulted in improvement in these symptoms and an overall satisfaction rate of 67 percent.

Overall, approximately two thirds of the women patients were satisfied with the results, one quarter were not satisfied and a minority were not sure. One third of the women would have preferred to have more discussions with the surgeon before the operation. Approximately, three quarters of the women would recommend breast reduction to others.

Approximately, an average of one kilogram of tissue was removed from each breast in Doctor Makki’s study, and according to Doctors Bruhlmann & Tschopp from the Division of Plastic Surgery, Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland an average reduction of 500 to 600 grams of breast tissue on both sides has a long-lasting effect in reducing shoulder and back pain.

As for the general health effects of breast reduction surgery a study from the Section of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, University of Michigan Medical Center, Doctors Behmand & Tang found a positive role for breast reduction in relieving symptoms associated with “macromastia” and in restoration of normal physical and emotional functioning.

Long-term results and patient satisfaction with reduction mammaplasty. Makki AS – Ann Plast Surg – 1998 Oct; 41(4): 370-7

Outcomes in breast reduction surgery. Behmand RA – Ann Plast Surg – 01-Dec-2000; 45(6): 575-80


edited by T. Farhat, MD – 2001