Why Do Women Choose Breast Reduction?
When it comes to media coverage of plastic surgery, breast augmentation takes up a lot of the spotlight. This not to say that there is a problem with the idea of “bigger is better,” but it is important to note that increasing the volume of the breasts is not the only option for women looking to make a change to their figure. Many women instead choose breast reduction. Bryn Mawr’s Dr. Laura Gowen at Cirillo Plastic Surgery, serving the Philadelphia area, frequently works with patients seeking a solution to the condition technically known as “mammary hypertrophy.”
There are multiple reasons a woman may opt for breast reduction surgery. Here are some of the most common:
Overly large breasts can be a source of irritation, discomfort, and even pain. The weight of excessive breast tissue is always there, so women dealing with this condition get little to no relief from the ever-present pull. The constant tug of gravity on the breasts can strain the neck and back, with symptoms ranging from intermittent soreness to chronic aching—especially for women who maintain good posture despite the downward drag. Too much volume can also cause bras to be stretched to their carrying capacity, pulling straps tight against the skin. Even silky and smooth material can cause irritation on the shoulders in these situations.
Tight straps and lingering red lines once a constricting bra is taken off are not the only clothing-related problems associated with excess breast tissue. Women whose breasts are so large as to appear out of scale with the rest of their body often have trouble finding outfits designed for their unique proportions. Fabric may hang in an unflattering way, or certain parts of a dress may be too snug or too lose because of the way the material is being filled out by the body underneath.
Simply put: Big breasts can get in the way. Their bulk and tendency to bounce can make exercise—from jogging to yoga—a more difficult endeavor, or even a pain. Some women resort to doubling up on sports bras when they participate in physical activities. Shopping, too, can be a bigger chore with bigger breasts, since not every retailer carries sizes that can accommodate women with a significant amount of breast tissue. Special orders (and the associated cost and hassle) may be necessary.
It can be disheartening to think about, but big breasts do often draw attention—and not all of it is wanted. Women who are obviously well above average on top may find themselves in situations that range from regular second glances and stares to unwelcome advances. Comments, questions, and jokes may become commonplace, but no less annoying for their frequency.
Any of these reasons alone may be enough to prompt a woman to consider breast reduction surgery, though many women certainly face more than one—if not all—of these situations every day.
While plastic surgery is a decision with lifelong implications, it is also something that patients can find to be empowering and restorative. An informed choice can go a long way toward relieving physical problems and unwanted thoughts and feelings related to carrying the literal burden of overly large breasts. It is not unusual for a woman to say that a reduction surgery gave her more confidence.
Note that breast reduction can also reduce a small amount of sagging and cause the nipples to sit higher on the breast mound, simply because lighter breasts are less likely to droop. This can also lead to a change in the shape of the breasts. Women interested in addressing a significant degree of sagging should consider a breast lift, which has its own unique techniques and benefits.
Get more information on breast reduction surgery from Bryn Mawr plastic surgeon Dr. Laura Gowen at Cirillo Plastic Surgery, where she performs body contouring and other procedures. Call 610.525.0500 or send a message online.