Pain Relief Through Breast Reduction Surgery

Large breasts, medically known as macromastia, is associated with a range of musculoskeletal symptoms involving back, shoulder, and neck pain. The weight of the breasts eventually causes grooving of the skin across the shoulder from the straps of a bra which is weighted down. While insurance companies often insist on conservative treatment measures such as weight loss and physical therapy before approving surgery, only actual breast reduction surgery can truly alleviate the associated medical symptoms. Breast reduction is a highly successful procedure that in every patient provides an immediate and long-term relief of painful back, shoulder, and neck issues. Having performed many breast reductions, I am convinced that the relief comes as much from the breasts being repositioned back up higher on the chest wall as it does from the amount of breast tissue and weight removed.

Patients often ask if they are going to get a breast lift as well as a breast reduction. The answer to that is.absolutely! The design of a breast reduction (it is a very geometric operation) is such that a lift and reduction is performed at the same time. Like making a cone out of a flat piece of a paper, a wedge of skin and breast tissue is removed from below and the breast is brought together with the nipple being moved higher. (a simplistic illustration) This makes the remaining breast tissue temporarily sit higher up on the chest wall that it will eventually be.

While initially after surgery the breasts will look too full up on top (and the bottom of the breasts will look cut off or too flat), within weeks the breasts will round themselves out better. If a breast is made to be perfectly round at the end of the surgery, it will not remain so later. If so, the breasts will bottom out later and no fullness on top will remain. You must factor in to the design of a breast reduction how the breasts will change after surgery to end up with a good-looking result.

All of this comes at a to speak.and the price is the trade-off of extensive breast scarring.

When I say, extensive breast scarring, I do not mean that the scars will look bad. I do mean that the amount (length) of the breast scars will be extensive. Out of one's sight, half of the breast scar lies along the lower breast crease. The visible remainder runs around the nipple and then vertically down to meet the lower breast fold. While I have performed very few breast scar revisions, patients need to have a good appreciation of the scarring to be certain that this is an acceptable trade-off. Breast reduction works well and is highly accepted by most patients.

The breasts can be reduced to almost any size that a patient prefers and one that is a better match to their body frame.

Dr Barry Eppley, board-certified plastic surgeon of Indianapolis, operates a private practice at Clarian health in twosuburban Indianapolis locations. He writes a daily blogs on plastic surgery at

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