Health Benefits of Breast Reduction

If you have large breasts that are out of proportion to the rest of your body and are causing physical and emotional discomfort, you’ve probably read or heard of the health benefits form breast reduction surgery. A breast reduction is a surgical procedure that removes excess volume and weight from your breasts and includes a breast lift removing excess skin as well. This helps achieve better proportion and balance. While the surgery improves the appearance of your breasts it is generally carried out to treat symptoms associated with are will you are a will will will will you large breasts.

There is a large body of peer reviewed literature supporting the health benefits of breast reduction surgery. Let’s break these benefits down for you.

 

Reduces back pain and improves spine health

As time goes by, you may notice that your large breasts may have negative effects on your spine health. The weight of your breasts can cause back pain and stress on your spine by changing your normal body alignment. A convincing number of studies suggest that breast reduction can correct back pain and spine problems associated with large breasts.

In a 2019 study assessing the effects of breast reduction on the symptoms of large breasts, researchers reported that breast reduction reduced the prevalence of back pain. [1]

Another 2019 study also found that breast reduction improved symptoms caused by large breasts. [2] Researchers reported that women with large breasts who had the surgery experienced less back pain and that this benefit was a direct result of reduced breast weight and tension on the spine.

 

Reduces breast pain and skin irritation

The weight of your large breasts can put extra pressure on your shoulders by pulling your bra straps. This creates deep bra strap grooves that cause breast pain and skin irritation. There’s a good deal of evidence supporting the beneficial effects of breast reduction on various discomforts caused by bra strap grooving and here are a few of those studies.

A 2009 study found that women who had breast reduction reported a decrease in shoulder pain as well as back pain. [3]

Another 2001 study assessing the effects of breast reduction on physical and emotional symptoms in women with large breasts, researchers reported a decrease in shoulder pain and shoulder (bra strap) grooving. [4]

In a study of women with large breasts who had breast reduction for cosmetic and medical reasons, a significant improvement in shoulder pain, skin irritation, and shoulder grooving by bra straps were also found. [5]

 

Improves body posture

If you have large breasts, they can place excess weight on your chest which makes it difficult for you to maintain a good posture. Numerous studies have found that breast reduction can help improve poor body posture caused by large breasts. These postural changes can be due to the physical strain but others commonly mention that they stoop to make their breasts appear smaller and less obvious.

A 2012 study of women with large breasts who had a breast reduction reported that the procedure corrected poor body posture by improving body image and reducing weight in the upper part of the body. [6]

A 2013 study assessing the effects of breast reduction on body posture in women with large breasts found an improvement in the alignment of different body parts such as the shoulders, trunk, and pelvis. [7]

A 2015 study of women with large amounts of breast tissue also found that breast reduction was associated with greater improvement in body posture. [8]

 

Reduces the prevalence of headaches

The excessive weight of your breasts can put greater strain on the muscles of your neck and back, resulting in tension headaches. Studies show that breast reduction can reduce the prevalence of this type of headache.

In a 2010 study of women with headaches caused by large breasts, researchers reported that breast reduction decreased the frequency and severity of headaches by 50 percent. [9]

A 2012 study investigating the effects of breast reduction in women with large breasts also found that the surgery was associated with a lower prevalence of headaches. [10]

 

Improves quality of life

Although women with large breasts consider surgery mostly for physical symptoms, large breasts also make women self conscious of their appearance and presentation. This in turn cam affect productivity, self-confidence, and outlook in life. Multiple scientific studies confirm that breast reduction has a positive impact on quality of life on both physical and emotional scales.

In a 2020 study of women suffering from different symptoms associated with large breasts, a noticeable improvement in the quality of life was observed in the group who had breast reduction compared with the group who did not have the surgery. [11]

In a 2017 study of adolescents with large breasts, a significant improvement in the quality of life was observed 6 months after breast reduction. [12] This improvement persisted at 5 years.

In a 2014 study of women who had breast reduction, an improvement in the quality of life was observed even in the first few months after the procedure. [13]

A/Prof Mark Magnusson performs this surgery regularly and has helped many breast reduction patients across Gold Coast, Brisbane and Toowoomba. Schedule your consultation and let A/Prof Magnusson help you with your health & aesthetic journey.

 
References:

  1. Mian S, Dyson E, Ulbricht C. Reduction mammoplasty and back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Spine J. 2020 Mar;29(3):497-502. doi: 10.1007/s00586-019-06155-2. Epub 2019 Oct 12. PMID: 31606817. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31606817/.
  2. Papanastasiou C, Ouellet JA, Lessard L. The Effects of Breast Reduction on Back Pain and Spine Measurements: A Systematic Review. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2019;7(8):e2324. Published 2019 Aug 12. doi:10.1097/GOX.0000000000002324. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6756677/.
  3. Foreman KB, Dibble LE, Droge J, Carson R, Rockwell WB. The impact of breast reduction surgery on low-back compressive forces and function in individuals with macromastia. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009 Nov;124(5):1393-9. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181b988aa. PMID: 20009823. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20009823/.
  4. Chadbourne EB, Zhang S, Gordon MJ, Ro EY, Ross SD, Schnur PL, Schneider-Redden PR. Clinical outcomes in reduction mammaplasty: a systematic review and meta-analysis of published studies. Mayo Clin Proc. 2001 May;76(5):503-10. doi: 10.4065/76.5.503. PMID: 11357797. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11357797/.
  5. Schnur PL, Hoehn JG, Ilstrup DM, Cahoy MJ, Chu CP. Reduction mammaplasty: cosmetic or reconstructive procedure? Ann Plast Surg. 1991 Sep;27(3):232-7. doi: 10.1097/00000637-199109000-00007. PMID: 1952749. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1952749/.
  6. Mazzocchi M, Dessy LA, Di Ronza S, Iodice P, Saggini R, Scuderi N. A study of postural changes after breast reduction. Aesthetic Plast Surg. 2012 Dec;36(6):1311-9. doi: 10.1007/s00266-012-9968-0. Epub 2012 Sep 6. PMID: 22955792. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22955792/.
  7. Goulart R Jr, Detanico D, Vasconcellos RP, Schütz GR, Dos Santos SG. Reduction mammoplasty improves body posture and decreases the perception of pain. Can J Plast Surg. 2013;21(1):29-32. doi:10.1177/229255031302100114.
  8. Strong B, Hall-Findlay EJ. How Does Volume of Resection Relate to Symptom Relief for Reduction Mammaplasty Patients? Ann Plast Surg. 2015 Oct;75(4):376-82. doi: 10.1097/SAP.0000000000000190. PMID: 24727444. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24727444/.
  9. Ducic I, Iorio ML, Al-Attar A. Chronic headaches/migraines: extending indications for breast reduction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2010 Jan;125(1):44-9. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e3181c2a63f. PMID: 20048598. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20048598/.
  10. Singh KA, Losken A. Additional benefits of reduction mammaplasty: a systematic review of the literature. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2012 Mar;129(3):562-70. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31824129ee. PMID: 22090252. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22090252/.
  11. Crittenden T, Watson DI, Ratcliffe J, Griffin PA, Dean NR; AFESA Research Group. Does breast reduction surgery improve health-related quality of life? A prospective cohort study in Australian women. BMJ Open. 2020 Feb 17;10(2):e031804. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-031804. PMID: 32071171; PMCID: PMC7044824. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32071171/.
  12. Nuzzi LC, Firriolo JM, Pike CM, Cerrato FE, Webb ML, Faulkner HR, DiVasta AD, Labow BI. The Effect of Reduction Mammaplasty on Quality of Life in Adolescents With Macromastia. Pediatrics. 2017 Nov;140(5):e20171103. doi: 10.1542/peds.2017-1103. Epub 2017 Oct 6. PMID: 28986442. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28986442/.
  13. Valtonen JP, Setälä LP, Mustonen PK, Blom M. Can the efficacy of reduction mammoplasty be predicted? The applicability and predictive value of breast-related symptoms questionnaire in measuring breast-related symptoms pre- and postoperatively. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2014 May;67(5):676-81. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2014.01.020. Epub 2014 Jan 24. PMID: 24508223. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24508223/.