Breast Reduction Surgery Can Alleviate Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain

By Brian Kobienia, MD, FACS on March 01, 2011

Breast reduction surgery is a common surgical technique to relieve the symptoms of neck pain, back pain, shoulder pain, rashes beath the breast and generalized breast discomfort.  This operation is accomplished between 80,000 and 100,000 times per year in United States.  Often times, insurance companies will cover the procedure if certain criteria are met.  These criteria include having documented symptoms that fail to respond to conservative therapy and having an appropriate amount of breast weight removed surgically based on the patient's height and weight.


There are many reasonable techniques to accomplish breast reduction surgery.  These include the standard inferior pedicle technique, a bipedicle technique,  a vertical scar breast reduction, and liposuction alone.  The choice of technique is often tailored to the specific patients needs.

 Risk vs Benefit

The patient who decides to undergo a breast reduction surgery needs to accept that she will be trading large, heavy breasts for a much smaller but perkier breasts and breasts with scars.  The patient also needs to know that the scars that are left may be conspicuous.  In addition, potential loss of sensation to the nipple other parts of the breast can occur.  Breast-feeding may not be possible following this intervention.  Having said that, the majority of women are very pleased they've chosen to reduce the size of their breasts.  They are once again able to enjoy physical activity such as running and jogging.  This often makes weight loss much easier.  In addition, buying appropriate size clothing is possible for the first time in their lives.

Not For Smokers

This operation should not be performed on people who are using nicotine products. This can lead to wound healing complication rates that are simply unacceptable. To see examples of before and after pictures of this intervention look to

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