May 24, 2016

Is Breast Reduction Surgery Right for You?*


Hiya ladies! Today, I've teamed up with Gary Ross to bring you a post all about breast reduction surgery. As a 34F myself, I have first-hand experience on the disadvantages of being a bustier lady. As well as the minor inconveniences bustier women experience, such as never being able to find cute, matching undies or a pretty bikini, and forking out a flippin' arm and a leg for a comfy bra (which still looks like it would be more suited to your grandma's underwear drawer), bigger boobs can also have negative consequences on health!

Very large boobs are linked to several physical – and psychological – problems in women. There are the more well-known ailments like back and neck pain, but some women also suffer from shortness of breath, migraines and even numbness and tingling in their arms. Some can also have problems sitting at desks and picking up children, and of course they are often verbally or physically harassed in public (boo to objectification of women!).

How big boobs can cause problems

This is an area of growing research, but doctors believe that many of the problems are caused by anatomical changes stemming from the excessive weight of the breasts on the chest and shoulders. 

As breasts grow, a woman’s shoulders can roll forward, putting pressure on the ribs, shoulder blades and shoulders, leading to shortness of breath, pain and even nerve damage from the compression of bra straps.

Additionally, doctors say many women with large breasts also experience shortness of breath, as well as headaches and shoulder pain, all stemming from the excess weight on their chest.

Some women even experience migraines, arm numbness and tingling from the weight on the chest and shoulders stressing nerves behind the collar bone. After a long day, many women find the pain and chafing from bra straps is a problem in itself.

Is it time for surgery?

Of course there are exercises, postural changes and special bras, as well as painkillers, but these remedies only go so far and for many women, surgery is the best option.

Many women who have had a breast reduction from Gary Ross in Manchester report a great improvement in fitness, posture, pain reduction and emotional well-being. 

How is it done?

All breast reduction surgeries have the same aim – to remove at least a pound of tissue and fat from each breast and to remove the excess skin that’s left behind. A breast reduction involves three hours of surgery under a general anesthetic, and it’s regarded as a very safe and simple procedure.

Older techniques involved the removal and repositioning of the nipple, but this is less common now.

Many women report that post-operative pain subsides after just two days and they are often back at work within 7-10 days, and are exercising within two weeks.

Scarring

There will be scarring, but surgeons aim to keep it to a minimum. Some women will be more prone to scarring than others, with black and Asian skins being more at risk of keloid (hard and raised) scars.

It’s important to discuss scarring beforehand, and to make a care plan to reduce the appearance and prominence of any scars. Regardless of the scarring, however, most women are glad they underwent the surgery.

Nipple sensation, sensitivity and breastfeeding

Some women are concerned about losing nipple sensation or being unable to breastfeed after the surgery. However, many surgeons have observed that sensation is increased, as the breast size itself can interfere with feelings – physically and psychologically.

Most women are also able to breastfeed thanks to newer techniques, although there may be a reduction in supply in one or both breasts if a lot of tissue was removed.

It goes without saying, but if you are in any way concerned about your physical or mental health, please book an appointment with your GP to discuss your options as soon as possible.

Would you consider breast reduction surgery? 

*This is a collaborative post. Please see my full disclaimer for more information.


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9 comments

  1. I'm a 32H and a size 10-12 so I feel your pain if not more so!

    I've had larger breasts since I was in year 7 (with 28DDs!) it brought a lot of unwanted attention but most of all has given me a life of back pain meaning constant costly osteopath and physio appointments, frustration with finding clothes that fit - I usually have to buy mix and match bikinis that are size 18 on top and have to sew the back smaller to fit my small waist. I'm constantly altering clothes or just look fat or frumpy when I wear baggy tops that fit my chest. And also a dip in self confidence. I've gone through phases of treating them as an asset and then trying to hide them away. I've got an array of low cut tops and then many thick, more conservative high necked tops. Bras always dig in and the underwire is big enough to fit round my head! I've been considering a reduction since I was 14, in the hope it would solve all my issues but as I'm currently paying for cosmetic dentistry to straighten my two front teeth, I just don't have the money. The NHS are very particular about your body type, size and circumstances as to whether they say you can have it free. Unfortunately I would need to be a lot thinner which is ridiculous.

    I'm still hoping to do it in the future, but am hoping that I can reduce them at least by a few cups by exercising and working out my chest muscles.

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  2. Blimey, you're definitely feeling it more than me; while I am a 34F, I am also a size 14, so I'm not too top heavy! You must feel so uncomfortable, I can imagine.

    I can totally relate with your frustration over bikinis and bras. I can't buy bikinis if they're labelled in clothes sizes; I have to buy the separate pieces, and the bikini top in cup sizes. I usually buy my swimwear and underwear from Debenhams, but it costs a bloody fortune! I am so envious of girls with smaller chests who can nip into Primark and pick up three pretty bikinis for £15!

    I used to go by the old favourite 'if you've got it, flaunt it!' However, as you've said, that often attracts all the wrong attention. I don't shy away from low cut tops and dresses, because I'm proud of my body, however I also love a good high-neck dress/jumper as well! Basically, I'll dress however I want, regardless of my bra size!

    I was discussing this with someone at work the other day and I agree that the criteria set by the NHS for breast reduction surgery is a little strict! If that were for augmentation, I'd totally understand the strict criteria, since it's mostly cosmetic surgery at the tax payers expense! However, breast reduction surgery is for good reason!

    Good luck with your ongoing cosmetic dentistry! I'm starting Invisalign treatment in January to correct a misaligned top tooth which has always affected my confidence.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment on the post, hope you found it interesting/helpful!

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  3. this is eye opening for sure and I can't believe NHS refused Jasmine's request :/

    I'm a size 24 D or DD but used to be a size 34 E. I lost a big of weight so they have become smaller which is great because buying bras and bikinis was so hard. I totally relate to your comment above beauty, primark bikinis are a big no no for me too haha
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

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    1. I know, it's shocking, isn't it?! I'm hoping that when I lose weight, my cup size will drop down. I find it so annoying that shops charge so much for larger cup sizes and don't make as many designs x

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  4. This is not something I would consider at the moment, because my breasts are okay but I strongly considered/am considering getting a nose job, but surgery still terrifies me. Still, a very interesting and kind of amazing read. I think it's wonderful that we have come so far and that after such a surgery breast feeding can still be possible. Thanks for sharing, this was definitely educational for me, great post and very well-written xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin | Instagram

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    1. This isn't something I would consider either. Right now, my bra size isn't impacting my life, but I know of people who really struggle with awful backache and have even struggled from breathing problems. The thought of surgery absolutely terrifies me, too. However, if your nose is really affecting your confidence and self-esteem, it will be worth it in the long run! Thank you, glad you enjoyed the post xx

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  5. I found this post really interesting. I'm a 30 D so don't have an issue with this, however, if I did and it was affecting my health or my confidence I think I would seriously consider surgery. x

    Kate Louise Blogs

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this post. Glad to hear you don't suffer from any of the problems mentioned. Great to hear your perspective x

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