Breast reduction surgery
The physical and emotional reasons breast reduction surgery could enhance your quality of life.
In our modern, image-obsessed world, many women feel their breast size is inadequate, and long for a larger cup size. There are also many women with the opposite problem; women who find their larger cup size is definitely not all it is made out to be. Let’s take a look at how breast reduction surgery could enhance your overall wellbeing.
Whilst many women may associate larger breasts with a confidence boost, for those who have breasts which are disproportionate to their frame, they can actually be a source of embarrassment and pain. To put this into perspective, if you are a size 10C, each of your breasts would weight approximately 700g; if you were a size 10E, you’re looking at 1.1kg per breast; and a 10H is about 1.8kg per breast. Imagine carrying that excess weight around your neck, day and night!
Larger breasts can also present a myriad of physical problems for women.
The pressure of the extra weight of oversized breasts can cause issues including, but not limited to:
- Backache and neck ache
- Headaches and migraines
- Spasms in the muscles
- Shoulder aches and pains from the pressure of the bra straps, caused by the weight of the breasts
- Numbness and tingling in the fingers due to the pressure of the bra straps on nerves
- Shortness of breath, particularly if asthmatic
- Dermatitis under the lower breast folds
- Scoliosis, caused by the weight of the breasts on the spine and the neck
- Thickening of the base of the neck
- Poor posture and hunched shoulders from trying to hide the size of the breasts
- Shoulder grooving
Exercise and sporting activities are all the more difficult in these circumstances as it can simply exacerbate the physical pain, which can then increase the likelihood of the woman becoming obese due to avoiding such activity.
Women with larger breasts are also often prone to having inverted nipples, reduced sensitivity in the nipple/areola, and may struggle to breast feed at all. Self-examination of the breasts to screen for small tumours is also more difficult for larger breasts, as is mammography, due to the amount of breast tissue.
With all of the physical issues listed above also comes the likelihood of poor body image, and a diminished feeling of wellbeing.
This can be particularly difficult for young girls who develop very large breasts very early in life and suffer unkind comments at the hands of schoolyard bullies. The pressure and embarrassment of large breasts “bouncing”, even with a sports bra, can put them off physical activities at a very young age, and swimming in public can be humiliating.
Women with larger breasts also find that some men tend to be distracted by their chest when in conversation, rather than looking at their face. This can lead to a diminished sense of self-worth and cause problems in forming romantic relationships.
Breast reduction surgery can be life-changing for women who feel burdened by what nature gave them. It can be both a physical and metaphorical weight off their shoulders.
Some of the outcomes of breast reduction surgery can include:
- Improved symmetry
- A more proportionate body shape
- Correction of the placement of the nipple/areola
- Increased sensitivity to the nipple/areola
- Easier to find a well-fitting bra
- Increased likelihood of being able to breast feed
While you may think that breast reduction surgery will cure all your problems, it is also possible that the loss of breast tissue could lead to a form of grief related to a change in the body shape, particularly if the outcome is not exactly what you had pictured in your head.
Some women may find that after the surgery, they struggle to come to terms with the symmetry of their new body, and that other parts of their body, such as the stomach, now seem larger.
It’s essential that your decision to go ahead with surgery is met with realistic expectations of the outcome.
The reality of any surgery at all is that you will have scarring. These will generally fade with time, but you normally will be left with a fine line.
Possible complications of breast reduction surgery
Besides scarring, other possible complications of breast reduction surgery include:
- Post-operative fluid retention
- Partial loss of sensation in the nipple/areola (this is rare)
- Nipple necrosis (very rare)
- Skin separation over the inverted T junction
- Fat necrosis
- Dermoid cyst
If you feel that breast reduction surgery could improve your quality of life, it’s essential to see a trusted and caring surgeon. The procedure and complications will be explained in detail at a consultation with Dr Margaret Anderson, who will fully assess all cases and help you to prepare for the surgery both mentally and physically should you decide to proceed.