Quality of life for women includes something the vast majority of men never have to worry about the size of their breasts. Any plastic surgeon will tell you that by far the most common procedure related to breast size is breast augmentation surgery. But there a surprising number of women for whom breast reduction surgery. What are some of the reasons women decide to reduce the size of their breasts? Siwy Plastic Surgery has done this bit of homework for you in this article. From back and neck pain, skin rashes, and psychological indications, we’ll cover 3 main reasons why breast reduction surgery may be right for you (including insurance coverage information):
Breast Reduction Surgery 101: What it is and Insurance Coverage
Life can be made significantly more difficult than it needs to be for women whose breasts are disproportionately large. Breast reduction surgery removes excess glandular tissue, fat, and skin to make each breast smaller, lighter, and firmer (areola reduction and nipple repositioning can also be included). While there are many online sources of information about the kind of scar the procedure leaves and what recovery is like after breast reduction surgery, please be careful to verify the information is coming from a trusted medical site, such as a board-certified plastic surgeon (like Siwy Plastic Surgery), WebMD, and so on. The question of whether or not health insurance will cover breast reduction surgery is a tricky one. Most health insurance companies start out assuming reduction mammoplasty (also spelled mammaplasty) is a cosmetic procedure and won’t cover it. But if you can build a case that it’s medically necessary, you may be able to get it covered. For more information on coverage, see our blog article, Does Health Insurance Cover Breast Reduction? With that introduction to reduction mammoplasty, here are 3 reasons breast reduction surgery may be right for you:
Skin Rashes Caused by Overly Large Breasts
Siwy Plastic Surgery has seen many a female patient for whom skin rashes caused by large breasts result in constant discomfort. Many people (especially men) might assume skin rashes don’t seem like a very serious issue, but that’s easy for them to say if they don’t suffer from this particular reason. It can be just as debilitating as back and neck pain. Skin rashes are also among the medical indications that can help build a case for insurance coverage of breast reduction surgery by a qualified plastic surgeon. The most common skin rashes that can become a constant challenge for women with large breasts include heat rashes, intertrigo, and dermatitis. Intertrigo skin rashes are caused when skin surfaces rub together. Because the areas where this occurs also be sweaty, the moisture can attract fungi and bacteria, further exacerbating the rash. The result is red, inflamed, highly irritated skin. When these and other kinds of rashes, many of which are made worse by overly large breasts, reduction mammoplasty may be a viable treatment for women to find relief.
Neck, Back, and Shoulder Pain Caused by Large Breasts
The fact that most insurance companies in the United States refuse to cover the “cosmetic procedure” of reduction mammoplasty is especially frustrating for any female patient who is experiencing chronic pain caused at least in part by their overly large breasts. While breast size is rarely the only factor to thoracic (upper back) discomfort, two significant studies in 2008 and 2013 conclude that large breast size can be a significant contributing factor. Meanwhile, a 2012 study noted how overly large breasts can be a contributing factor to both neck and shoulder problems. Secondary symptoms from neck pain can include headaches.
Other factors that come into play are overall weight as well as correct bra sizing and poor posture. Women with disproportionately large breasts do seem more likely to an incorrectly fitted bra. Without adequate support from a properly sized bra, pain issues can be exacerbated. These various factors breast size, weight, bra fit, and posture are so interconnected that none of them can be viewed in isolation from the others. In many cases, all four will need to be addressed in a holistic fashion to achieve the best long-term results. Breast reduction surgery by qualified plastic surgeons to remove excess fat and tissue can be an effective part of a treatment plan for women suffering from chronic pain caused at least in part by overly large breasts.
Psychological Issues Caused by Disproportionately Large Breasts
Physical discomfort is a good medical reason to consider breast reduction surgery. But psychological issues that impact the quality of life can be just as important. Women with overly large breasts often find their body the object of unwanted attention. They may try to wear large, loose-fitting clothes or clothing accessories to hide their large breasts. It can become a source of constant psychological stress in a woman’s life, resulting in social isolation and even depression. Breast reduction, especially when combined with overall weight management and correct bra sizing, can be a pathway to psychological healing and new levels of confidence and self-esteem thanks to an improved body image and less unwanted attention.
Breast Reduction Consultation with Siwy Plastic Surgery
You will likely want to know many things about reduction mammoplasty before making a decision to go through the procedure with a specialist at a plastic surgery medical center or hospital. Most women have questions about how to prepare for surgery, what happens during the surgery itself, and what the recovery is like afterward, how soon they can get back to normal routines and exercise, what the pain management is like, wound care to minimize scarring, and so on.
If you’re wondering whether or not breast reduction surgery might be right for you, you can learn a lot by reading the Breast Reduction Frequently Asked Questions page of our website. But we’d also be happy to sit down with you and talk through your symptoms and experiences to help you make an informed decision. Dr. Barbara Siwy, MD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has been helping women throughout central Indiana look and feels their very best for more than 30 years. If you’d like to arrange a consultation with Siwy Plastic Surgery, please call us at 317-876-7777.