What are the symptoms that indicate that breast reduction is needed ?

I've been having headaches, shoulder pain, and lower back pain. I have shared this with my doctor and all she recommends is pain pills.

ANSWERS FROM DOCTORS (9)


Answered by The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery

The typical requirements for obtaining insurance coverage is establishing a case for medical necessity. This often involves demonstration of a history of musculoskeletal and joint pain (neck, shoulder, back), rashes, and shoulder grooving. These symptoms have to be resistant to more conservative measures including weight loss, medical/pharmacotherapy, and physical therapy.

As always, discuss your concerns with a board-certified plastic surgeon (ABPS).

Published on Nov 30, 2018

Answered by The Institute of Aesthetic Surgery (View Profile)

The typical requirements for obtaining insurance coverage is establishing a case for medical necessity. This often involves demonstration of a history of musculoskeletal and joint pain (neck, shoulder, back), rashes, and shoulder grooving. These symptoms have to be resistant to more conservative measures including weight loss, medical/pharmacotherapy, and physical therapy.

As always, discuss your concerns with a board-certified plastic surgeon (ABPS).

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Answered by Harry Glassman, M.D.

If you have very large breasts, a breast reduction may be indicated simply for cosmetic purposes. From a functional perspective, indications are: (1) deep shoulder grooving from bra straps, (2) back and neck pain, (3) limitations of certain activities such as exercise, (4) skin rash from skin against skin in the fold under the breasts, (5) breast pain and the feeling of heaviness, and (6) curvature of the upper back known as kyphosis.

Published on Nov 28, 2018

Answered by Harry Glassman, M.D. (View Profile)

If you have very large breasts, a breast reduction may be indicated simply for cosmetic purposes. From a functional perspective, indications are: (1) deep shoulder grooving from bra straps, (2) back and neck pain, (3) limitations of certain activities such as exercise, (4) skin rash from skin against skin in the fold under the breasts, (5) breast pain and the feeling of heaviness, and (6) curvature of the upper back known as kyphosis.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Answered by Barry J. Kaplan, D.O.

Large breasts can and do cause back pain. Some insurances cover reduction for large breasts.

Published on Jun 03, 2016

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Answered by Barry J. Kaplan, D.O.

Large breasts can and do cause back pain. Some insurances cover reduction for large breasts.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Answered by ELLIOT B. DUBOYS, MD, FACS

Large breasts! Large breasts have been known to contribute to headaches and shoulder, neck and back pain. However, if you have "normal" sized breasts, they are likely not the cause. One should never undergo breast reduction surgery and expect a cure as back pain is multifactorial. Good luck. Was your doctor a plastic surgeon?

Published on Jun 02, 2016

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Answered by ELLIOT B. DUBOYS, MD, FACS

Large breasts! Large breasts have been known to contribute to headaches and shoulder, neck and back pain. However, if you have "normal" sized breasts, they are likely not the cause. One should never undergo breast reduction surgery and expect a cure as back pain is multifactorial. Good luck. Was your doctor a plastic surgeon?

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Answered by Larry Leverett, MD, FACS

Heavy breasts (macromastia) are uncomfortable and present with heaviness, pain in the bra strap area, maceration (excess wetness) underneath the breasts, and dissatisfaction with one's body image. Breast reduction greatly improves all of these problems with one operation.

Published on Mar 21, 2016

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Answered by Larry Leverett, MD, FACS

Heavy breasts (macromastia) are uncomfortable and present with heaviness, pain in the bra strap area, maceration (excess wetness) underneath the breasts, and dissatisfaction with one's body image. Breast reduction greatly improves all of these problems with one operation.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Answered by Randy Proffitt, MD, F.A.C.S.

There are many symptoms of "mammary hypertrophy," which is the medical term for symptomatic large breasts. Typically, women complain of upper back, neck, and shoulder pain. Occasionally, they have indentations from the bra straps digging into their shoulders. Many women have skin rashes or chaffing under the breasts, or even fungal infections due to the breasts laying on the skin of the chest and abdominal wall. Also, they can have tingling and numbness in the hand from the bra straps impinging on the nerves of the brachial plexus. These symptoms, combined with anatomic large breasts, are an indication for a breast reduction procedure. And yes, I see many women whose headaches go away after surgery.

Published on Feb 29, 2016

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Answered by Randy Proffitt, MD, F.A.C.S.

There are many symptoms of "mammary hypertrophy," which is the medical term for symptomatic large breasts. Typically, women complain of upper back, neck, and shoulder pain. Occasionally, they have indentations from the bra straps digging into their shoulders. Many women have skin rashes or chaffing under the breasts, or even fungal infections due to the breasts laying on the skin of the chest and abdominal wall. Also, they can have tingling and numbness in the hand from the bra straps impinging on the nerves of the brachial plexus. These symptoms, combined with anatomic large breasts, are an indication for a breast reduction procedure. And yes, I see many women whose headaches go away after surgery.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Answered by Charles Slack M.D.

All your symptoms go along with having large breasts that are typically droopy. If you get relief of your symptoms by simply holding your breasts up, then you would very likely get relief with a breast reduction. When a reduction is done, the weight of the breasts is reduced, but more importantly the breasts are lifted, which repositions the weight of the breasts into a higher position. This takes the stress off the muscles of your neck, back and shoulders, thus alleviating or reducing the pain. It is similar to how it feels to carry a stack of books with your arms stretched out verses held close to your chest. You won't last very long carrying books in your outstretched arms, but you can go all day if you can carry them close to your chest. Breast reduction has the highest patient satisfaction of any surgery plastic surgery procedure because of how often it relieves these symptoms. You don't actually need to have overly large breasts to have these symptoms, and sometimes a breast lift alone will improve the symptoms.

Published on Feb 29, 2016

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Answered by Charles Slack M.D.

All your symptoms go along with having large breasts that are typically droopy. If you get relief of your symptoms by simply holding your breasts up, then you would very likely get relief with a breast reduction. When a reduction is done, the weight of the breasts is reduced, but more importantly the breasts are lifted, which repositions the weight of the breasts into a higher position. This takes the stress off the muscles of your neck, back and shoulders, thus alleviating or reducing the pain. It is similar to how it feels to carry a stack of books with your arms stretched out verses held close to your chest. You won't last very long carrying books in your outstretched arms, but you can go all day if you can carry them close to your chest. Breast reduction has the highest patient satisfaction of any surgery plastic surgery procedure because of how often it relieves these symptoms. You don't actually need to have overly large breasts to have these symptoms, and sometimes a breast lift alone will improve the symptoms.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Answered by David C. Yao MD, FACS

Thank you for asking. Symptoms may include back, neck, and shoulder pain. Also, patients often experience bra strap grooving and failure to improve with medical management. Some patients have a wound or rash under the folds. See your primary physician for a referral or see a board-certified plastic surgeon for an evaluation. A patient's overall health should be appropriate for this elective procedure. Best wishes

Published on Feb 29, 2016

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Answered by David C. Yao MD, FACS

Thank you for asking. Symptoms may include back, neck, and shoulder pain. Also, patients often experience bra strap grooving and failure to improve with medical management. Some patients have a wound or rash under the folds. See your primary physician for a referral or see a board-certified plastic surgeon for an evaluation. A patient's overall health should be appropriate for this elective procedure. Best wishes

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Answered by Gerald Minniti, M.D., F.A.C.S

Usually, women with large breasts experience shoulder and neck pain, as well as shoulder grooving from bra straps. A breast reduction helps to alleviate discomfort.

Published on Feb 29, 2016

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Answered by Gerald Minniti, M.D., F.A.C.S

Usually, women with large breasts experience shoulder and neck pain, as well as shoulder grooving from bra straps. A breast reduction helps to alleviate discomfort.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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