It is not unusual for a woman to feel self-conscious or unhappy with the size of her breasts. Larger breasts are appealing to some people. Unfortunately, larger breasts are not always healthy or safe. Even though breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgeries today, more and more people are seeing the benefits of a breast reduction.

From lifting and firming to making them much smaller, reducing the size and shape of your breasts may be necessary for a variety of reasons. This guide and a board-certified plastic surgeon can help you determine if you will benefit from a breast reduction surgery. Here are signs you may need a breast reduction.

What is Breast Reduction Surgery and Who Needs It

Breast reduction surgery is a procedure that removes excess breast tissue to make the breasts smaller and more manageable. This surgery is often recommended for women who have large breasts and experience a number of problems as a result, such as neck and back pain, skin irritation, bra strap grooves, and skeletal deformities.

A breast reduction surgery can also improve breast symmetry if one breast is noticeably larger than the other. In some cases, breast reduction surgery may be covered by insurance. It is important to speak with your doctor to see if you are a viable candidate for this surgery.

Signs You Might Need a Breast Reduction

A breast reduction surgery can provide a number of benefits for women who are unhappy with the size of their breasts. Some of these benefits include:

Relief from neck and back pain

Your breasts may be located on your chest, but they directly affect your shoulders, neck, and back. If you have large breasts, the excess weight will pull your chest forward, placing stress and tension on the shoulders, neck, and spinal column.

You may be surprised to learn what size breast cup can lead to this chronic pain. For example, even a D-cup or higher can place an enormous amount of tension on the chest, shoulders, neck, and back, leading to chronic pain that affects your daily life.

If you are constantly experiencing discomfort or severe pain in your shoulders, neck, or back, a breast reduction may be the solution.

Breathing Difficulty

Another sign you may need a reduction is if your breasts are preventing you from breathing properly. If you have large breasts, the excess breast tissue places unnecessary weight on the chest, constricting the diaphragm’s ability to expand and contract during the natural breathing process.

If you have large breasts, you may struggle to breathe when performing simple tasks, like running errands, getting dressed, or doing household chores. In some instances, you may experience breathing issues when you first lie down to go to sleep, since the excess tissue and weight from the breasts places too much pressure on the chest and lungs.

Wearing tight-fitting bras to support your breasts may also affect your ability to breathe.

By reducing the size of the breasts through surgery, less weight will affect your chest and lungs, which will help you breathe in a more normal, comfortable manner.

Skin Irritations and Rashes

If your breasts are causing skin irritations or rashes, it may be time for a reduction surgery, as well.

The skin around the breasts and bra line can become irritated in a few different ways.

bra strap groove

For example, you may notice redness, swelling, and irritation of the skin under your bra straps. This irritation stems from the weight of the breasts pulling on the bra straps, affecting the skin under the straps on the shoulder, your back, and your chest and abdominal area. Some women experience deep, painful groves from the straps of their bra. A breast reduction can eliminate this type of stress on your body.

If the skin of your breast is rubbing onto the other breast and creating friction, you may develop a red, irritated, and painful rash. In the summer or when you sweat, fungus or bacteria may grow on the skin, causing an uncomfortable infection.

Improved Breast Symmetry

If one breast is noticeably larger than the other, breast reduction surgery can improve breast symmetry. This surgery is not only limited to women with large breasts, but it can also be beneficial for women with asymmetrical breasts.

Asymmetrical breasts are breasts that are not identical in size or shape. They may be different in size, have different breast shapes, or both. About 25% of women have asymmetrical breasts.

There are a number of reasons why breast symmetry may be a concern for women. Some women feel self-conscious about having one breast that is noticeably larger than the other. Others may find that their asymmetrical breasts cause them physical pain or make it difficult to find bras and clothing that fit properly.

Improved Appearance

A breast reduction can also improve the appearance of your breasts. Women who undergo this surgery often report that they feel more confident and comfortable with their appearance after the surgery is completed.

The breast reduction surgery is a breast lift, which means that the breast tissue is reshaped and the breast is moved higher on the chest wall. This gives the breasts a more youthful appearance.

The scars from a breast reduction are usually located around the areola and down the breast fold. In most cases, these scars will fade over time and will be barely visible.

If you are considering a breast reduction, speak to a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Lett to learn more about the procedure and whether it is right for you.

Limited Lifestyle

Last, but certainly not the least, large breasts can negatively affect your lifestyle.

Your large and heavy breasts may prevent you from participating in certain physical activities, such as walking, running, dancing, or yoga. The pain and discomfort in addition to the breathing issues may affect your ability to work and do household chores. Self-esteem issues are also common for women who have very large breasts.

If you are struggling to live the lifestyle you want to live because of your large breasts, reduction surgery is a good solution to consider.

Risks/Side-effects of Breast Reduction Surgery

There are risks and side-effects associated with breast reduction surgery to be aware of. Some of the most common risks include infection, excessive bleeding, and adverse reactions to anesthesia. Additionally, breast reduction surgery can often leave scars that may be visible and/or sensitive. It’s also important to note that breast reduction surgery is a major operation and can be quite expensive. As with any surgery, there is always a risk of complications.

Schedule a Consultation for Breast Reduction Surgery in Tennessee

To learn more about breast reduction surgery and if it is the right option for your health and wellness, contact The Lett Center today.