How To Recognize The Signs That You Need a Breast Reduction

Marc Everett MD, FACS
New York City Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon
Can Large Breasts Cause Back Pain

If you are large-breasted, there can be many signs that you need a breast reduction. Breast Reduction surgery has been proven to provide a number of benefits for your health, and this is the reason that your insurance may cover the procedure. There are thousands of women who suffer from breast-related physical pain, and if not properly addressed, these issues can develop into much more serious conditions over time.  

In order to avoid progressively worsening symptoms, it is essential to recognize the early signs that may indicate that a breast reduction procedure may improve your quality of life.  Look to us for the many options that can help remedy your situation. This blog covers the signs to look for, qualifications for the procedure, and what insurance options may be available to you.

Reasons To Get A Breast Reduction

From chronic, physical pain to general unhappiness with your physical appearance, the most common reasons to get a breast reduction include: 

  • Pain
    Back, neck, or shoulder pain is especially prominent in those with large chests, even more so for those who have smaller frames.  Carrying the excess weight may cause muscle spasm of the neck, back and shoulders.
  • Rashes and Infections
    The space within the breast fold between the bottom of your breast and the skin of your chest and abdomen can act as a location that harbors moisture and potentially infection.  Friction of the skin at this location, particularly in the context of moisture retention can act to worsen these conditions.  If you have rashes or infections under your breast, the risk of further complications can be eliminated by a breast reduction.
  • Neurological Symptoms
    Migraines and nerve tingling in arms and hands may actually be from the weight of your breasts pulling on your neck.
  • Improper Posture
    Heavy breasts often negatively impact one's posture in an attempt to compensate for the extra weight. This will also contribute to muscle spasm of the neck, back and shoulders.
  • Limited Physical Mobility
    Large breasts may hinder one from performing particular physical tasks to the fullest extent. They may even hurt during physical activity.
  • Sleep Difficulties
    Continuous lack of sleep caused by breast discomfort can negatively impact one's physical and mental health.
  • Unwanted Attention
    For some people, large breasts can draw unwanted attention and can cause emotional distress.
  • Appearance
    It is not uncommon for large-breasted individuals to struggle with body image issues. In addition, finding clothes that support or cover a larger chest can also be challenging.

Luckily, a permanent solution to these issues is breast reduction surgery. Therefore, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, you may be a good candidate for this elective surgery. Below, you will find more information about qualifications, insurance, and where to schedule an appointment.

Breast Reduction Qualifications

If you are thinking about breast reduction surgery, it is vital to understand the qualifications for breast reduction. To begin, you must be in overall good health. This is imperative for the safety of surgery and a shortened breast reduction recovery time.

Body mass index, or BMI, will also be a primary factor of consideration. In addition to the negative effects of obesity as a whole, weight loss may naturally decrease breast size. Thus, BMI will be heavily taken into consideration when qualifying for surgery.

Your doctor will assess you for any other underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, that may pose additional complications. Additionally, smoking is an immediate disqualifier for breast reduction surgery.

Finally, your breasts must be fully developed. Performing a breast reduction too early in one's development can be detrimental and is not recommended. Although the minimum age for breast reduction surgery is generally 18-years-old, this can vary depending on your doctor's assessment of your development.  We have cared for younger patients with extenuating circumstances.

Overall, if you are serious about breast reduction surgery, it is essential to take the necessary measures to become the best candidate possible.

Does Insurance Cover Breast Reduction Surgery?

The total out-of-pocket cost for breast reduction surgery will vary based on your insurance plan. 

Under certain conditions, Dr. Everett can deem the surgery to be medically necessary, and your insurance may cover part or all of the cost of your surgery. However, Dr. Everett has to demonstrate medical necessity to your insurance company. Therefore, each symptom must be documented as a medical condition to ensure insurance classifies surgery as a medical necessity. This will give you the highest chance of being fully insured for a breast reduction.

Taking The Next Steps

Breast reduction surgery can be life-changing for the better. If you believe that you are ready to take the next steps, Dr. Marc Everett MD, FACS can help you throughout every step of your breast reduction.

Dr. Everett has earned a reputation as one of New York's leading plastic surgeons for breast-related surgeries, including insurance-covered breast reductions and revisions of previous breast surgeries.

For a free insurance validation and to schedule an in-person or virtual consultation, please click here.

Can Large Breasts Cause Back Pain

Can large breasts cause back pain?—and if so, what are your options for finding relief?

Back pain from breasts is one of the most common reasons that individuals seek out breast reduction surgery, with many finding themselves struggling with the day to day discomforts of having a large chest. The main culprit behind this troubling issue: large breasts are quite heavy, and all that weight can pull the body’s center of gravity forward, in turn increasing tension on the lower back, as well as the upper back, neck, and shoulders.

Here’s what you need to know about the range of other issues that large breasts can lead to, as well as some targeted tips for relieving the back pain that they can cause and how surgery may be able to help.

Common Problems Caused by Large Breasts

The physical side effects of having large breasts don’t stop with back pain. Aside from the fact that large breasts may bring some individuals unwanted attention or cause discomfort and dissatisfaction with their bodies, there are a number of other physical issues that they can lead to—all of which may interfere with one’s overall quality of life.

Here are some of the most common and persistent physical problems caused by large breasts:

1. Neck, Shoulder, and Back Pain

Here’s one that we’ve touched on already. As noted, this pain can almost always be linked to the weight of large breasts, which are unevenly positioned and place an unbalanced amount of weight on the front of the body. This weight disrupts an individual’s center of gravity and causes neck, shoulder, and back muscles to compensate, all of which can lead to increased tension and pain.

2. Numbness

Breasts are made of dense fat tissue. And the more of this tissue an individual has, the more pressure is being put on nerve pathways in and around the breasts. This can lead to complaints of numbness of the breasts themselves, as well as numbness in the hands and arms, since the weight of the breasts pull on a common pathway for these nerves.

3. Rashes

Large breasts create a prime environment to trap moisture while sweating or after a bath or shower. This moisture can in turn develop into a rash, and from there into an infection. Because of the way large breasts sit, this can happen even despite the best of efforts being made to keep the area under the breasts clean and dry.

4. Difficulties Exercising

Many individuals experience difficulties exercising due to large breasts, and for a number of different reasons. This includes breast pain or discomfort during workouts, as well as increased shortness of breath caused by the excess weight. For some, this may make it impossible to maintain a regular exercise routine, which can be quite detrimental for their health and well-being.

How to Relieve Back Pain from Large Breasts

If you are experiencing back pain or other physical symptoms as a result of your large breasts, try implementing the following easy methods for relief.

For those with a D cup and above, these tips may be able to help you reduce muscle tension, though a surgical breast reduction is likely the way to go if you’re looking for a permanent fix:

  • Wear the correct bra size – From your everyday bra to your sports bra, if you’re wearing the wrong fit you’re not getting the adequate amount of support that you need. Go for a professional fitting so that you know you’ve got the right size.
  • Work on your posture – Does posture affect breast pain? You bet. To relieve tension on your back—as well as your neck and shoulders—focus on sitting and standing up straight, with your chin slightly lifted and your shoulders shifted down and back.
  • Mix up your exercises – Some types of exercise can target back pain, particularly yoga and Pilates. If they’re not already part of your schedule, try them out and see if they help.
  • Watch your weight – Losing weight could reduce the size of your breasts—and thus the pressure that they put on the rest of your body. It’s not a given since breast size and weight aren’t always directly correlated, but if you’re overweight then it is worth considering as a solution.

Ultimately, even with these changes some individuals will still experience back pain due to large breasts. A breast reduction is the best solution if all else fails, and can offer lasting and reliable relief.

Will Insurance Cover Breast Reduction Surgery?

Identifying that breast reduction surgery may benefit your health is the first step.  Next, you should meet with your plastic surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for breast reduction surgery.  Depending on your insurance coverage, you may pay little or nothing out of pocket.  However, the total out of pocket cost will vary based on your insurance plan.

Want more information? Dr. Marc Everett MD, FACS has garnered a reputation as one of New York’s leading plastic surgeons for breast-related surgeries, including insurance-covered breast reductions and revisions of previous breast surgeries. Please contact our office today for a free insurance validation and to schedule a consultation to learn more about your options.

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