Can A Breast Reduction Provide Relief for Back Pain?

If your poor posture and back pain are caused by large breasts, a breast reduction from our Vancouver area practice is a safe and effective method to get relief for the discomfort. In fact, many believe that a breast reduction is the only permanent way of relieving certain types of back pain. Many patients combine a breast lift, which involves elevating the breasts to a higher position on the chest to make them perkier, with a breast reduction, to maximize results.

Although upper back pain can also be a result of other factors such as heavy exercise, bad posture, or injuries, large breasts are one of the most frequent causes of pain in the back, shoulders, and neck. This discomfort occurs due to changes in the center of gravity and an abnormal body alignment when large breasts pull the upper body forward, leading to constant tension in the muscles of the upper back and a strain on the ligaments. The excess weight of the breasts is the main cause of the problem, as there may not be enough support from the surrounding muscles, the rib cage, and the rest of the body.

For example, D-Cup breasts would be between sixteen to twenty-four extra pounds that are being carried on the chest. Additionally, large breasts can make it challenging to maintain good posture because it isn’t easy to hold them up, making you more likely to hunch over. Many women may also be self-conscious about large breasts and slouch forward, making the pain worse. This long-term, chronic pain may not only make daily tasks difficult but also have a negative impact on quality of life.

Breast reduction has one of the highest satisfaction rates out of all plastic surgery procedures for good reason. In breast reduction surgery, excess fat, tissue, and skin are removed to make the breasts smaller, then they are reshaped to be more proportional with the patient’s weight and frame. Research has shown that the reduction in back pain is linked to lifting the breasts in addition to removing the extra weight.

For more details about the benefits of a breast reduction, contact our Vancouver area office of Dr. Owen Reid. Call us at 604-343-9309 or submit a contact form to request a consultation to discuss breast reduction surgery and determine what’s the most appropriate surgical option for you.

Breast Reduction Techniques

If you said that there was a different breast reduction technique for every practicing plastic surgeon you wouldn't be far from the truth. Although it's common for each surgeon to have their own innovative surgical tips, the vast majority of surgeons are using a personalized variation of a common technique.

Breast reduction techniques are most commonly classified by their scar pattern, and the two most common patterns are the Vertical Scar Technique and the Inverted "T" or Anchor Technique. However, this is only half the story. Arguably, the more important part of a successful breast reduction is what goes on under the skin, within the breast tissue itself, and the scar pattern doesn't tell us anything about how the surgeon handles this part of the operation. For example, Dr. Reid has to make decisions about which parts of the breast will be preserved, which parts will be resected and how to re-configure the breast to achieve the best possible shape. These variables are all independent of the  scar pattern.

What technique does Dr. Reid use?

Dr. Reid uses the technique that best suits the patient; there is no one best technique nor would it be appropriate to use the same technique for each patient. Breast shape is highly variable and so a surgeon requires expertise with more than one technique and should also be able to adapt these techniques as needed to breasts with varying characteristics.

So will I get the Vertical Scar or the Inverted "T" Scar pattern?

In breast and body contouring surgery, a plastic surgeon chooses to place a scar or lengthen a scar in order to achieve better contour and shape. This holds true for breast reduction surgery. Dr. Reid uses both patterns and although it's always nice to limit scar length, he finds the Inverted "T" scar pattern to be very helpful for those patients who have significant breast ptosis (droop) and skin laxity. In this situation, the 'additional' scar, concealed along the infra-mammary fold, allows Dr. Reid more control over breast size, shape and position. In contrast, those patients who have large breasts without significant ptosis are typically good candidates for the vertical scar technique.

Dr. Owen Reid commonly performs breast reduction surgeries in Vancouver, Richmond and Delta. For more information or to book a consultation, please contact our office at 604-273-1034.