Will a Breast Reduction Alleviate Back & Neck Pain?

How Large Breasts Can Trigger Chronic Pain & Poor Posture, & Other Symptoms

Large breasts can become symptomatic for one or multiple reasons – the main reason being that extra weight from excess or unusually positioned breast tissue changes healthy body mechanics. Over time, patients have worsened posture and suffer from related back and/or neck pain. Changes in the spinal column can also affect the surrounding muscles and nerves, causing pain that may radiate outside the affected area and become chronic if left untreated. Another common symptom of excess breast tissue is intertrigo, a term that refers to a type of skin rash that commonly occurs in the breast folds. This rash is usually associated with inflammation and moisture that causes a breakdown of tissue and puts a patient at risk for further infection. Body image issues are another concern for women suffering from abnormally large breasts, especially if this issue presents in the teens or early twenties. Young women may find it difficult to relate to their peers or find clothing that they feel comfortable wearing regularly without added support.

Health & Well-being Improvements Through Breast Reduction

By reducing the overall size and pendulousness of large breasts, many patients report having less fatigue. This translates into tolerating more daily activity and an increased capacity to exercise effectively. It is common for patients to return for a three-month follow-up after breast reduction and exhibit noticeable weight loss or improved physical conditioning as a direct result of their surgery.

Is Breast Reduction Covered by Insurance?

Conservative breast reduction surgery is often considered a cosmetic procedure. If breast reduction is being performed as part of your treatment for persistent medical issues, it may be considered medically necessary and therefore covered by insurance. It is important to understand the nuances of insurance such as in-network vs out of network providers, payment schedules, and how your surgeon will plan to bill the insurance company. Insurance companies can also review claims within a certain time after surgery and recoup any funds paid that are subsequently deemed frivolous. If you have questions about insurance coverage for any component of your surgery, discuss them with your surgeon’s coordinator. Never agree to proceed with surgery without being ready and able to pay for the full quoted amount, in the event of a billing dispute with the insurance company.

What to Expect from Your Breast Reduction Surgery

Surgical breast reduction may employ any of the following techniques, which are similar to those used in breast lifts:

An incision is made from the breast fold to the nipple-areolar complex, in a circle around the areola, and terminated at the breast fold to make a keyhole shape. The amount of reduction desired will determine the width of the keyhole. This is called a keyhole or lollipop incision.

Three separate incisions (a circular one around the areola, a vertical one from the areola to your breast fold, and one horizontally along your breast fold) are connected to allow for the removal of a large amount of tissue and skin. This is called an anchor or T-incision.  The length of the horizontal fold incision depends on the amount of skin excess in the inferior pole of the breast.

Liposuction can be used as needed with any of the techniques above to remove excess fatty tissue.

After the incisions are made and excisions are completed, the remaining skin and breast tissue is repositioned and sutured in place to support the new shape. The areolas are reshaped (if needed) and reattached higher on the breast, and then the incisions are closed. Breast composition and the amount of reduction desired determine the technique used in surgery.

Schedule a Consultation Today

The first step to schedule a consultation would be doing thorough research. There are many ways to find a plastic surgeon. Arguably the best way would be to receive a referral from another physician, such as primary care, dermatologist, or OB-GYN. These providers often see multiple patients with good results and can attest to those by referring their patients somewhere. Friends are a secondarily good referral source, especially if they are patients themselves. When it comes to advertising, the most essential consideration is the plastic surgeon’s education, board certification ONLY by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and before/after gallery. If those components match your desired outcome, then they would be a good source of information to seek in consultation. You will often come across taglines such as “no downtime surgery” or “no anesthesia required”. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. There are no shortcuts to SAFE plastic surgery.

The next step would be contacting the office of a board-certified plastic surgeon to find a time to meet them. First impressions last a lifetime, so pay attention when speaking to the receptionist upon calling. Should you decide to have surgery, this is the team you will be dealing with multiple times per month for at least a year. The administrative team directly reflects the surgeon’s ways of working. Another thing to clarify would be a potential timeline for surgery. This is sometimes best done before reaching out to qualified providers because they are booked one to six months out, on average. Knowing well enough in advance will give you adequate time to interview surgeons, get any preoperative lab work done, and feel confident moving forward with your scheduled procedure.