While some women decide to undergo a breast augmentation surgery to enhance size, women who have naturally larger breasts often choose to undergo a breast reduction procedure. Just as some women have breasts they think are too small, others have breasts that they feel are too large. Often, their concerns go beyond the cosmetic to the impact their breasts have on their day-to-day lives.
Large breasts can cause a number of problems, from physical discomfort to social awkwardness. If the breasts are not proportioned to match the rest of a woman’s body, it can be difficult for her to find clothing that fits or tops that are flattering. A reduction surgery can help improve a woman’s self-esteem and make her feel more comfortable with her body.
There’s actually a medical term for overly large breasts: macromastia. Women with macromastia can suffer from a number of physical problems. A common issue is pain in the neck, shoulders, and back from the weight of the breasts. Some women develop deep grooves on their shoulders from the pressure of their bra straps. The weight of the breasts can also cause the skin in the area to become stretched out and can cause the breasts to sag. The low hanging breasts can cause chafing and irritation of the skin.
Large breasts can cause a number of other physical concerns, such as headaches and pain in the chest. The weight and pressure of the breasts can lead to numbness in the arms or hands, as well as a stooped posture. Some women have difficulty sleeping due to the large size of their breasts. The weight of the breasts can also put a woman at an increased risk for weight problems or obesity, since exercise can be difficult with large, heavy breasts.
Social and Emotional Concerns
While some think of large breasts as attractive, women with macromastia often experience a number of emotional and social problems linked to the size of their breasts. Younger women and teenagers often face increased scrutiny and comments from their peers. They might feel awkward or self-conscious, especially if they are expected to wear a swimsuit or participate in physical activity in gym class.
Things to Think About
A breast reduction surgery can help to solve a number of physical, social, and emotional concerns linked to macromastia. A study published in the journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in August 2013 found that women who had a breast reduction saw improvements in several areas and an overall improvement in their quality of life. The study used the Breast-Q questionnaire to evaluate the women.
Many of the women reported feeling happier and more satisfied with the look of their breasts after the surgery. They also reported an increase in sexual, physical, and social well-being after the reduction procedure.
When considering a breast reduction, it’s important that a woman have an understanding of what the procedure involves and the potential results. It’s typical for the surgery to remove up to two pounds from each breast, dramatically reducing the amount of weight a woman has to carry. The surgery typically involves the removal of both fat and excess skin. Scarring is part of the process, though in many cases the scars heal well.
Although there are many benefits to a breast reduction procedure, it’s also important to understand any risks involved. Generally, the benefits outweigh the risks of complications.
Women who plan on having children after a breast reduction procedure might be concerned that the surgery will affect their ability to breastfeed. There are cases when a reduction surgery led to a woman being unable to breastfeed, but the chances of that occurring are very low. Another related risk is a loss of feeling in the nipple area. The chances of lasting numbness in the nipple area is also very low.
In most cases, the benefits of breast reduction are well worth the time and cost of the surgery. Dr. George Bitar and Dr. Robert Centeno at the Bitar Institute, in Washington, D.C., are able to discuss the surgery with you in greater detail and help you decide if it’s the best option for you. Call their office at (703) 206-0506 to schedule your initial consultation today.
George Bitar, MD, FACS is an award-winning, board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, the Founder and Medical Director of Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Virginia. He specializes in the latest surgical and minimally invasive techniques to scar management and reduction. Dr. Bitar is involved in groundbreaking research and education in plastic surgery and has authored numerous articles, abstracts, and chapters.