When is breast reduction necessary?

When is breast reduction necessary?

26th Apr 2019



The most critical element in a woman’s physical beauty is balance in her body. The breasts play a critical role in defining your physical appearance. When the breasts are proportional to your overall body outline, you will appear more attractive, welcoming, and sensuous. While most women undergo plastic surgery to increase their breast size, some women develop overly large breasts that create both physical and emotional pain and discomfort for patients.

Breast reduction surgery is developed to reduce the size of overly large breasts. If your breasts are too large, you may consider getting a breast reduction. The procedure is highly invasive and involves incisions and surgical removal of the excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin from the breasts. As a result, the size and weight of the breasts decrease, which helps alleviate the problems associated with having very large breasts. Breast reduction is not always necessary; however, certain conditions indicate that you should get a breast reduction.


Factors that necessitate breast reduction

Most breast enhancement surgeries are cosmetic. Women undergo such procedures to enhance their aesthetic appearance. For example, breast augmentation is used to add volume and projection to smaller breasts, whereas the breast lift restores the firmness and youthfulness of the breasts. But when it comes to breast reduction, it becomes necessary not only cosmetically, but also medically.

Overly large breasts not only look aesthetically unappealing and abnormal, but they also create physical pain and discomforts for the patient. As such, breast reduction can be both medically and cosmetically necessary. The good news is that many insurance companies entirely or partially cover breast reduction surgery when it is deemed medically necessary. But keep in mind that each insurance company has its own set of policies to regulate the coverage of breast reduction surgery.

The breasts become overly large for different reasons. The common causes include genetic factors, the use of certain medicines, hormonal changes in the body, poor lifestyle, and considerable weight gain. When the breasts become too large, they present the following symptoms, making breast reduction a necessity:


Chronic pain

Overly large breasts come with additional weight. The excess weight of the breasts creates chronic pain in different areas of the body, such as the neck, shoulder, and back. If you are having chronic pain due to overly large breasts, chances are you will be eligible for insurance coverage of breast reduction surgery.

The extra weight of overly large breasts creates strain in localized areas of the body, besides applying pull on the chest wall muscles and shoulders. As a result, the patient experience physical discomforts and pain in the areas mentioned above. If there is a chronic inflammatory condition associated with overly large breasts, it can also be treated with breast reduction and the patient may qualify for insurance coverage.


Shoulder dents

When the breasts become overly large, the extra weight also creates dents on the shoulder. This happens because large breasts apply pressure and pull on the bra straps, which leaves slots on your shoulders. Women with overly large breasts often get stubborn pockmarks on the shoulders due to the bra straps. Shoulder grooves also indicate that you need breast reduction surgery.


Problems when moving or doing physical activities

Overly large breasts limit the activities of the patient. When the breasts grow beyond a certain point, the patient does not feel relaxed and comfortable moving around or doing physical activities. The extra weight of the breasts often causes patients to withdraw from healthy activities like exercise, swimming, jogging, and sports. When doing these activities, the patient experiences not only physical discomforts but also emotional discomforts. If you are experiencing this symptom, it is a sign breast reduction surgery is necessary for you.


Breathing problems

For some patients, overly large breasts create breathing problems. Excessively large breasts drag on your chest wall muscles and ribs, increasing the efforts your body has to do to inhale and exhale. As a result, you may experience problems with your breathing pattern. When breast reduction surgery is performed and the excess weight of the breasts is reduced, your diaphragm and chest wall muscles will work faster, and the time it takes for your lungs to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide will be reduced. As a result, you will notice an improvement in your breathing pattern. If overly large breasts are causing breathing problems for you, then breast reduction surgery might be necessary for you.


Aesthetic problems and self-esteem issues

Overly large breasts not only cause medical issues, but they also look aesthetically unwelcoming. Any body area that is not in conformity with other body parts looks abnormal and weird. As such, when the breasts are too large and not proportional to your body outline, they will make you look aesthetically unpleasing.

Many women with overly large breasts experience self-esteem issues as a result of the aesthetic problems caused by the size of their breasts. Self-esteem problems cause patients to limit their social activities. It also keeps them away from healthy activities. When the emotional pain is severe, it can even lead to cognitive problems for the patient. Breast reduction surgery will reduce the size of the breasts and make them balanced with your body. As a result, your self-esteem will be restored and you will feel good about your physical appearance. If having overly large breasts is causing embarrassment or self-confidence problems for you, it is a sign you need breast reduction surgery.


You can’t fit properly in your clothes

Another sign that breast reduction is necessary for you is when you are not able to fit in your clothes or can’t find clothes that fit you properly. Overly large breasts make it difficult for women to find accurately fitting clothes. Most cloth makers don’t make clothes specifically for women with excessively large breasts. As a result, you may experience a challenging situation when shopping for clothes. When women with overly large breasts fail to find an appropriate dress, they often use clothes made for women with small or medium breasts. It can make the physical pain worse.


Other treatments have failed to work

Since breast reduction surgery is highly invasive, you should consider it only as a last option. First, you may try alternative and non-invasive methods to reduce the breasts. For example, you may consider losing weight, exercise, physical therapy, and chiropractic treatments. For some women, these methods work to reduce the size of the breasts and alleviate the associated pain. However, in most cases, these techniques fail to deliver the desired results. If you have already tried these options without optimal results, you may consider getting breast reduction surgery.


The benefits are higher than the risks

Breast reduction surgery is a very invasive and risky procedure. During the pre-operative consultation, you must discuss the risks with the plastic surgeon. It is also important to choose only a board-certified plastic surgeon who is experienced in breast reduction to perform the surgery. A good plastic surgeon will help you do a risk/benefit analysis and recommend you the surgery only when the benefits are higher than the risks.

To qualify for the surgery, you need to be in overall good health. You must not be suffering from serious health issues, and your goals and expectations must be realistic, reasonable, and achievable.


The surgery proper

Breast reduction surgery is performed under general anesthesia. During the operation, the doctor will make incisions on the breasts. The type and length of the incisions depend on the severity of the condition and your aesthetic goals. After making the incisions, the surgeon will access the glandular tissue and remove the excess tissue. The doctor will also remove the excess fat from the breasts. To prevent the breasts from sagging after removal of the tissue and fat, the surgeon will remove the excess skin created as a result.

After removing the excess skin, the surgeon will suture and close the incisions. In some cases, only removing the excess fat from the breasts through liposuction can help reduce the breasts and alleviate the associated symptoms. Your recovery will start right after the surgery and can extend over many weeks.



Even though most women desire to have bigger and fuller breasts, some women experience many problems due to overly large breasts. When the breasts become excessively large, they create physical pain for the patient, besides leading to emotional issues. The signs that indicate that you need breast reduction surgery have been explained above. Breast reduction surgery reduces the breasts by removing the excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin. If your breasts are overly large and the condition is creating problems for you, you may consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to explore the treatment options.


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